Liam Rudden: Impossible illusions

From left, Jonathan Goodwin, Magical Bones and Chris Cox.  Picture: Ian Rutherford
From left, Jonathan Goodwin, Magical Bones and Chris Cox. Picture: Ian Rutherford
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A SINISTER looking scorpion, a quirky mindreader and a pack of cards transmuted into a block of glass - some days at the News are more surreal than others.

So it was on Monday, when three of the stars of Impossible dropped into the office to demonstrate their unique skills.

Jonathan Goodwin with Scorpion.  Picture Ian Rutherford

Jonathan Goodwin with Scorpion. Picture Ian Rutherford

In town to launch the national tour of what has been described as “the most dangerous show the UK has ever seen” were mentalist magician Chris Cox (he was The Geek in Killer Magic on BBC Three), Richard Essien, best known as street magician Magical Bones, and Jonathan Goodwin, knife thrower, precision archer, blindfold marksman and “scorpion eater”.

All three faced a room of sceptical media types expecting to be entertained... 20 minutes later, we were amazed as well, and just a little bit freaked out.

First up, Fringe favourite Cox sussed out a victim.

“Pick a card. Don’t let me see it. Show everyone else and put it in your pocket,” he instructed.

Cox then quizzed and questioned his chosen subject, observing every tic and blink, before pinpointing the very card he had chosen – the six of diamonds.

Then, choosing three more volunteers, the self-proclaimed “mind reader who can’t read minds” asked one to write down a fictional headline, one to write down the name of a celebrity and another to scribble down an item that celebrity might hold.

Promising to come back to the trio later, he introduced illusionist Magical Bones, whose amazing sleight of hand had everyone in awe.

A trick that took him 25 years to learn drew gasps of amazement, as did the lottery tickets and receipts that, with a flick of the wrist, turned into a wad of £20 notes.

The deck of playing cards, encased in three pairs of hands, that was transformed into a slab of glass was equally astonishing.

“Dangerman” Jonathan Goodwin might not do magic, but that didn’t prevent him proving a showstopper – popping a wriggling scorpion into his mouth.

Okay, the Emperor Scorpion might not be the most dangerous of creatures, but would you?

Tilting his head back, he allowed the shiny black arachnid to claw its way out of his open mouth. It was like something out of a horror film, or an I’m A Celebrity… Bushtucker Trial gone wrong.

Follow that Chris Cox – and he did. Lining up his three volunteers he proceeded, through a process of licking ears (yes you read that right), tasting thoughts (you don’t want to know how this is achieved) and observation, to nail the headline: Tram Extension Halted. The celebrity – he instantly knew it was a sportsman – was quickly identified as Andy Murray, and the object revealed to be a basketball. Random or what.

Impossible is at the Playhouse from 15-19 March. Get yourself along and prepare to be amazed.