After selling their wine bar in London, one couple decided they were too young for retirement, spending their time instead travelling the world performing magic shows. They are on the island until October. ALIX NORMAN meets them
Within five minutes of meeting magical duo Evans Plus Evans, Mike Evans has correctly guessed a random number between one and 100, and the his wife Julie has turned my twenty euro note into a crisp fifty. It only took a couple of flicks of the wrist, but though I’m watching her hands like a hawk, I cannot fathom how it’s done. Now there’s a stunt I need to learn before the summer sales!
“Julie performed the same trick for last night’s audience,” laughs Mike, referring to the couple’s regular Tuesday evening performance at Kikkos Bar in Coral Bay, “and one guy immediately proposed!” Sadly for the avaricious spectator, Julie and Mike Evans have been married for 20 years, and happily spend “24 hours a day in each other’s company! In fact, the only time I ever try to kill Julie is when she’s inside the box,” Mike jokes, referring to one of their many routines in which Julie climbs into a box that wouldn’t hold a kitten, is speared 16 times and emerges clad in sequins!
Like their show, the couple are filled with boundless energy, and a quiet retirement in their forties just wasn’t for them: “When we sold our wine bar in London, I had a lot of time on my hands and needed something to do,” says Mike. “I thought magic might be the answer, and went along to the local magic club, then a magic convention. It was such great fun that I immediately rang Julie and asked her to come along – and she was hooked!”
Their people skills translate perfectly to the engaging – and often hilarious – stage act which takes them round the world. “There’s a real comedy emphasis to our show,” says Mike. “There’s a lot of fun involved, especially in the audience participation. It’s great to astound and amaze your audience, but even better to make them laugh, and if you’ve got both those aspects in your show, you’ve got a winner.”
And the couple have come up with a show that appeals worldwide: they’ve played all over the UK – including the House of Commons! – regularly get booked at resorts in Jamaica and Antigua and have even been known to perform underwater magic, 90 feet below the surface of the sea! But Cyprus, where they spend six months a year, is their first love.
“We’ve been coming here for the last 10 years, ever since we sold the business and decided to invest in property abroad,” says Julie. “I’d live here all the time if I could; I love the climate – even the summer, though Mike is less fond of the heat! Everything is local, the people are wonderful, and Kikkos Bar is an ideal location for our act – there’s a proper stage, everything is modernised and the owner has put a great deal of hard work into the place.”
As well as Kikkos Bar, the couple often perform at corporate events and hotels around the island, with a considerable amount of their time dedicated to philanthropy: “When we first moved to Cyprus we had to rehome a family of cats in our area,” says Julie. “We took them along to the Paphiakos Animal Shelter, and were so impressed by what they were doing that we offered to do a show in aid of the charity.” The duo regularly perform for free at fund-raising events, including Paphiakos and PARC (Peyia Animal Rescue Centre), and very recently did a show for the One Dream, One Wish children’s charity at Elea Golf Club. Wherever they’re performing, Evans plus Evans are a hit with adults and children alike: from Mike’s balloon-swallowing antics to Julie’s ‘Cyprus Has Talent’ number, the show always brings down the house.
“We are very lucky indeed to have such a great life,” says Julie. “We travel the world and we’re doing something we enjoy.” And it’s something – clearly evident in the screams of laughter and gasps of amazement that punctuate their show – that their audiences love. Speaking for myself, I won’t sleep for a week trying to work out how Mike predicted I would choose number 44. Pop along to Kikkos Bar on Tuesday evening and see if you can figure out how it’s done – I certainly can’t. I think it must be magic.
Evans Plus Evans will be performing at Kikkos Bar in Coral Bay every Tuesday at 9.30pm until mid-October. Entrance is free, but an early arrival is recommended as seats fill up very quickly. For further information call 99 173801 or visit www.evansplusevans.co.uk