​Around 90 Paviors and their guests attended ‘An Evening of Magic’ on Thursday 23 February. This was the Master’s ‘special event’ that had been postponed from the summer, and took place at Simon Drake’s House of Magic in Kennington, South London.

Despite transport difficulties caused by ‘Storm Doris’, most people arrived in time to view the Enchanted Garden on their way into the House, enjoy a welcome drink in the Red Room, and then to absorb themselves by exploring this fascinating venue. Upstairs is the atmospheric Drawing Room, where on display are magic memorabilia and automata that have been collected by Simon Drake over many years. There were guided tours downstairs to the Haunted Cellar to be shocked by a series of unexpected happenings. Over pre-dinner drinks and during dinner itself, guests were entertained at their tables by extraordinarily accomplished close-up magicians.

The highlight of the evening was a one-hour stage show. This started with Earl, a dead-pan singer-guitarist, with wonderfully entertaining songs and presentation. Simon Drake himself then descended ‘from above’ onto the stage to present his magic show, accompanied by a ‘zombie’ and two attractive lady assistants. The magical illusions were simply extraordinary. Simon invited Master Pavior, Ian Lumsden, onto the stage and then proceeded to cut off his hand with a hacksaw. Needless to say, this was eventually restored and the Master was returned to the audience still in robust health. The Paviors’ Beadle, Jonathan Perkins, was then ‘dragged’ by Simon from the audience, forced to lie on a bench, and then had his head cut off. Again, his head was magically restored, and had been face-painted like a clown while it had been separated.

The evening proved to be an unusual occasion in fascinating surroundings. A truly ‘magical’ event.

The Photographic Archive contains some images taken on the evening, they can be viewed by clicking here