Words and photos: Carol Altmann
[dropcap style=”font-size: 60px; color: #DC943C;”] A [/dropcap]s an experienced paediatrician, Dr Nick Thies is already considered somewhat of a magic man in medicine, but he also – quite literally – has a number of tricks up his sleeve.
“Here you go,” he says, flipping three playing cards between his fingers, and launching into a quick trick where red cards mysteriously turn into blue cards and blue cards transform into red cards and within seconds, despite how hard you concentrate, you are completely bamboozled.
Nick then makes a coin disappear from his fist and reappear out of his shirt collar, before showing me how he can balance a drinking glass on the razor-thin edge of a card.
It is all mysterious, magical and good old-fashioned fun and will be part of of the Warrnambool Theatre Company Variety Show next Friday and Saturday (Nov 6-7) at Warrnambool’s Mozart Hall.
“I did my first real show at Fifteen Minutes of Fame at Crossley about two years ago and, because of that, Heather Goddard (WTC president) asked me if I would be part of the first revue, which I did, and so here I am again,” Nick explains.
[dropcap style=”font-size: 60px; color: #DC943C;”] A [/dropcap] love of magic, however, began for Nick when he was a teenage scout and his scoutmaster, a Mr Rids Van De Zee, happened to also be a magician (and with a name like that, how could he not be?)
“He would put on magic shows for us kids and I was fascinated by those and tried to learn a few tricks,” Nick says.
Then, about 10 years ago, Nick’s youngest daughter, Lucinda, introduced him to a friend from the UK who had come to Australia to surf and ended up staying and, eventually, working as a professional magician.
Nick again picked up a few fun tricks that he could use with his young patients to keep their mind off their medical issues.
“I always have a little trick in my pocket because it really helps to develop an understanding with children, and it’s a bit of fun,” he says.
The WTC Variety Review will see Nick debut a series of new tricks, based on the famous escape artist Houdini, for which he was still rehearsing.
“That could end rather awkwardly,” I joke.
“Hmmm, I am pretty confident, but we’ll see,” Nick laughs.
[box]The review on Nov 6 and 7 features a 1930s theme and includes pianist Gavin Franklin, balladeer Joseph Buller, singer Belinda Bell, Bernie Opperman on accordion, a barber-shop quartet, female singing trio and even a drag queen. MC is John McGuiness. Tickets are $25/$20 and include a complimentary drink and canapes. Available from Collins Booksellers, 159 Liebig St, W’bool.[/box]
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