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Wednesday 7th April BBC 1pm

SH Line Producer | 17:13 UK time, Wednesday, 7 April 2010

There was magic and music in the air on this week's See Hear... Memnos tried to learn the tricks of the trade from magician Johnny Fantastica.  But could he magic up a performance good enough to wow the very discerning pupils of ElmfieldPrimary School for Deaf children?  Though Johnny Fantastica, real name John Gapp, became interested in magic at school and has been practicing magic for years, he tells us he's still learning.   In 2008 he won a prize at the Society of the World Deaf Magician's Championship in the Merlin category which is aimed at the more mature magician.  He finds performing for a deaf audience more challenging, deaf people are much more visual, they look for the trick!    





We met the child prodigy who is taking the classical music world by storm.  He composes, conducts and plays the clarinet and does not let being partially sighted and deaf stand in the way of achieving his ambitions.   Seventeen year-old Lloyd Coleman is a musical star in the making.  His works have been highly commended in the BBC Proms Young Composer's competition and he's an accomplished clarinettist and a member of the National Youth Orchestra.  As a baby it became apparent that Lloyd's vision and hearing weren't as responsive as they could be.  He has nystagmus which means he has problems focussing his eyes, and he's also fully dependent on hearing aids.   Yet from a very young age he showed an interest in music, despite no family musical connections.  He was quickly enrolled in music lessons.  At the age of 14 he won a place at Chetham's School of Music in Manchester where he's continued to thrive.  Lloyd's determined to be known as for his music and not the hurdles he overcomes to make it. 



We also took a horticultural trip around the world when we visited the Eden Project in Cornwall and met a deaf gardener whose passion is for growing a particularly peculiar and smelly plant.  Developed on the site of a former clay pit, the Eden project is now a world-renowned conservation attraction.  Tim Grigg is a deaf horticulturist and has worked at Eden for the past eleven years.   He'd always wanted to be a horticulturist since he was a child when he was in his Dad's greenhouse pulling out all the little grasses not realising they were leeks.   Tim mainly deals with the care of tropical plants, looking after the titan arum in the Tropical biome.  The titan arum plant flowers on average every thousand days and only stays in flower for around 48 hours.  It's also known as the corpse flower as it produces a rotten smell similar to a dead rat or dead fish.  The Eden project will also be building and showing a garden at the prestigious Chelsea Flower Show in London in late May.  Their garden will be the biggest that Chelsea's ever seen, 3 times bigger than the standard show garden.  You'll be able to see the garden on the BBC's coverage of the Show, but Tim's titan arum is not expected to flower until 2011. 






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