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Norfolk Tourism Awards

Master illusionist set wow Norwich audience with the power of his mind

PUBLISHED: 16:57 19 March 2018 | UPDATED: 17:01 19 March 2018

Mindreader Alex McAleer at The Theatre Royal in Norwich.
Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Mindreader Alex McAleer at The Theatre Royal in Norwich. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Archant Norfolk 2018

He has wowed audiences around the world with his incredible skill of reading people’s mind and now Alex McAleer is looking forward to returning home to perform at Norwich Theatre Royal.

Mindreader Alex McAleer at The Theatre Royal in Norwich.
Picture: ANTONY KELLYMindreader Alex McAleer at The Theatre Royal in Norwich. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

The 32-year-old master illusionist is one of the stars of Champions of Magic which is heading to Norwich on April 1, and yesterday he paid an early visit to the theatre to give a taste of what he had in store for audiences.

“In Champions of Magic there are five illusionists, four acts. We all have our own particular style or speciality. I’m the mind reader and my style is quite fun. I’m not trying to scare people or anything like that, I like to have fun with the audience,” said Mr McAleer.

“In the first half I tell someone a word they are thinking of, I tell someone else someone they are thinking of, and usually I play a little card game with them, then there’s a little betting game where I stand to lose a substantial amount of money or a cuddly toy - usually it works!

“In the second half I challenge everyone to try and guess a word that I’m thinking of, so it’s a good opportunity for everyone in the room to take part, but there is a little twist in what happens in the end - but I won’t give away what that is!”

Mindreader Alex McAleer at The Theatre Royal in Norwich. Pictured performing a trick on Heather and John Board from Drayton.
Picture: ANTONY KELLYMindreader Alex McAleer at The Theatre Royal in Norwich. Pictured performing a trick on Heather and John Board from Drayton. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Mr McAleer, who grew up near Ipswich but now lives in Norwich with his partner, circus performer Daisy Black, and eight-year-old son Jack, said he was first inspired by magic as a child.

“I’m an only child so I had lots of hobbies to amuse myself and one of the things I had was a Paul Daniels Magic Kit. I never really took it seriously, it wasn’t until I was about 14 that I started to get into a particular genre of magic called mentalism which is the style of mind reading and psychological tricks, and at the same sort of time Derren Brown appeared on TV and I bought a book about mnemonics and memory tricks and the book encouraged you to show off your skills to your friends.”

From here his passion and skill developed, and he has gone on to read minds around the world, including touring the UK and America with Champions of Magic, wowing TV audiences on NBC and ABC in America as well as on Good Morning Britain, and performing solo shows at the Fringe World Festival in Australia. When asked if he had any top tips for budding mind readers wanting to follow in his footsteps, he simply said: “People watch. That’s what I do.”

Champions of Magic is at Norwich Theatre Royal on April 1 at 7.30pm. To book, visit www.theatreroyalnorwich.co.uk or call 01603 630000.

Mindreader Alex McAleer at The Theatre Royal in Norwich. Pictured performing a trick on Heather and John Board from Drayton.
Picture: ANTONY KELLYMindreader Alex McAleer at The Theatre Royal in Norwich. Pictured performing a trick on Heather and John Board from Drayton. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

”I’m just very good at hangman!”

Theatre-goers Heather and John Board, from Drayton, were among those to enjoy a preview of Mr McAleer’s impressive mind reading.

Mr McAleer asked Mrs Board, a 67-year-old retired teacher, to think of a short word and write it down, answer a few short questions, and repeat in her head the word she had written.

Mindreader Alex McAleer at The Theatre Royal in Norwich. Pictured performing a trick on Heather and John Board from Drayton.
Picture: ANTONY KELLYMindreader Alex McAleer at The Theatre Royal in Norwich. Pictured performing a trick on Heather and John Board from Drayton. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

He then put pen to paper to write the same the word, and amazingly when the pieces of paper were revealed they both said the word home.

”I’m just very good at hangman!” Mr McAleer joked.

Mrs Board said: “It was amazing. I was very sceptical but I was very surprised.

“I did not give any clues away as far as I know.”

Mindreader Alex McAleer at The Theatre Royal in Norwich. Pictured performing a trick on Heather and John Board from Drayton.
Picture: ANTONY KELLYMindreader Alex McAleer at The Theatre Royal in Norwich. Pictured performing a trick on Heather and John Board from Drayton. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Her husband, a 72-year-old retired health service manager, added: “It was marvellous, really impressive and it was absolutely 100pc genuine.”

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