Saturday October 13th 2007 – Peterborough Broadway Theatre
Well what do you do when your Mum wants to go out on a Saturday night? Not on the town though, as I for one couldn't keep up with the younger people, so I decided maybe a trip to the theatre was in mind. Now the tough choice was to choose an acceptable act for us both to enjoy, so when a few weeks before she excitedly informed me that there was a new programme she liked on the T.V I thought I'd watch as well.
The programme in question was Physic Private Eyes and as i watched these three mediums proceed to supposedly help solve some grizzly crimes I thought 'why not'. And the rest is how you say history; well, it was once I saw one of its stars was due at the local theatre in three weeks.
As I sat in the theatre awaiting the arrival of Tony Stockwell - and struggling with the lack of space for my legs - I was eagerly hoping it wouldn't disappoint my Mum who usually has a good winge if she's unimpressed. Ten minutes late, and with a few empty seats behind us to stick the early boot in, lo and behold, Tony finally arrives on stage to rapturous applause from the audience.
Tony strolls out onto the stage and, once he has acknowledged the greeting from the audience, begins by advertising his three books which were being sold by the main entrance. Personally I found this to be a little crude especially as it was the first thing he said, but when he ended by saying 'Please buy my book' (which was met with moderate laughter) I found it to be a mild form of begging.
He then went into explaining how the spirits work within the building and that sometimes. if the building itself has a previous history, it might not be easy to pick up the spirits. Especially if it was, say, an abattoir before, which was met with mild laughter.
He also explained that the audience itself helps to pick up spirits through their energy, and that if we were hostile it could prevent some coming through at all. He then asked that we create a good atmosphere by introducing ourselves to the people in front, behind and next to us.
This introduction went on for ten minutes and I found myself wondering whether he ever would get going. He was polite and very charming, which to be honest I expected. He went from saying 'the camera added ten pounds' to him, to all of a sudden, in mid-sentence, he began his readings, which shocked me into attention.
The first reading was someone coming through for his son or grandson in the audience. He was called 'Albert' and had served in the Infantry during the war. He was so vague that he didn't even mention which war. He then said the person in the audience had received his medals after his passing and that he had died from a heart attack at the age of 78. Several people put their hands up and when all but one was eliminated we were left with Mark. Tony then proceeded to rattle off with accuracy the names of Marks mother and wife with relative ease and his message was that his dad sent his love and thanks for his support during the latter years. Now this was either a plant or I was beginning to have faith in our host for the night.
The second reading was a 23 year old boy trying to get hold of his mum called 'Raynor' or 'Raine' who was in the audience. Then he asked if there were any takers. This was followed by an awkward silence as no one was claiming this person. Tony then decided to state this person had died through a tragic accident, still no takers. Just before he moved on, a woman who had just arrived shot her hand up. Her name was Gaynor and she revealed her son had passed when 23. Again apart from the name I was impressed. Tony then said her son was found dead on the landing, which she confirmed. He then replied that he wishes he had listened to her and stopped hanging around with the wrong crowd.
Two down and although they had been vague, they had been good. But like all good fairy tales it had to come to an end. The next person to come through was 'Julie' who Tony said had passed as a teenager. She was claimed by a neighbour, and Tony proceeded to tell her she had passed near call girls. Her neighbour denied this and to cover himself he said that the ambulance must have driven by that area then. But again the neighbour was adamant that this was not the case. In order to divert himself away he then decided to go back to being vague and proceeded to rattle off what is usually said by someone younger than the person in the reading by saying she was a mother figure and that she looks out for her.
The next three readings all followed the same pattern. State a thing, then when this is denied he moves on. Once he even did a 'Derek Acorah/Colin Fry' on them, by saying they must ask others when they leave. That led to the interval, and I for one was glad due to the cramp that was developing in my legs.
I then asked my mum for her opinion on the first half. She shocked me by saying she was seriously unimpressed and that he was too vague with his suggestions, and hadn't been terribly accurate. This was exactly what I had been thinking but coming from someone who was deeply into this it came as a shock.
The second half got under way and Tony had the spirit of a 19 year old called 'Aaron' who had been stabbed to death as he left a pub. As he looked about he saw there were no takers and then decided to reveal that sometimes someone with no one close to them in the audience often come to sit and watch...
I sadly brought attention to myself by sarcastically laughing out loud at this comment which made it apparent I thought there may be people here taken in by this vague idiot.
The next reading blew me away. A guy who was 'a bit of a loner' as Tony said, came through. He has committed suicide in a wooded area and was 32 at the time. As the hands were whittled down to one he then proceeded to explain his mental condition and feelings around the time which were confirmed with stunning detail, and confirmed his whole life history with the woman in question. (He was a friend of her son) Then before he went he stated that her dad 'Tony' had barged in and wanted to speak to her. Then again with stunning accuracy he rattled off her family tree in the spirit world and passed messages to people with her in accurate detail. I was astonished, and after the reading those around me decided to turn to me and give me the 'Hah! Told you he was good' look followed by a dirty look for doubting.
Unfortunately for Tony and his Stockwellettes around me, the last five readings were all mundane and inaccurate and sensing he had lost the audience when the last person (a 6 year old girl) wasn't claimed he decided to end it there. But revenge was sweet as I bellowed out a massive sarcastic laugh, this time for even the man himself to hear (and I was at the top tier!)
So when asking for a review from my mum, she replied that he was too vague and too self-obsessed, referring to the constant ear-pulling in awkward situations. I for one found it funny when her highlights of the evening was a two-finger salute on the camera from an old age pensioner before the show and the loud sarcastic laugh from yours truly.
I myself found his inaccuracies out-weighed the good, but unlike Colin Fry and Derek Acorah, his readings revealed more people coming through. Which sadly leads to us being showed his ineptness and incompetence more often than the other mediums. What got me was his five-minute discussion on why he sometimes gets misleading information due to the energy being disrupted by the building and our unwillingness to accept them. This lead to me thinking he was prepared with his excuses in advance therefore misleading us into thinking it wasn't his fault.
He was charming, and funny to some extent. but as a warning to others – hold on to that money! You can definitely spend it more wisely somewhere else!.
I'd like to thank Marcucas for his review of Tony Stockwell's performance, which I found very interesting, as I have only seen him on television. As so often happens with these 'mediums' I am amazed that they can give information to some people in, to quote Marcucas, "stunning detail", yet get almost everything else wrong for other readings. Such inconsistency in any other 'profession' would raise eyebrows, and prompt serious scepticism - even suspicion. Yet too many fans are taken in by the multitude of excuses that trip so lightly off the tongue, which is precisely how con men succeed!