Number 24 - 9th December 2000


Ron and Martin MacMillan presented the 29th International Gala of Magic on Sunday 3rd December at Her Majesty's Theatre in Piccadilly, London, to round off their annual three day convention. This was one of the strongest Magic Galas that I've ever seen, at home or abroad, and featured some truly "world-class" acts. Outstanding was Michael Menes who took the "mime going up the stairs behind a screen" routine to new heights. His "trampoline" and "escalator" pieces were simply stunning and you couldn't help but smile at the perfection of his deception... talk about illusion! The simplicity of his presentation was a real pleasure to watch. (And I can be as cynical as the rest of you when it comes to mime.) MC Noel Britten was excellent, getting the balance just right, in what can be the hardest job in any show. Very, very funny. 9.12.00


Japan's Kenji Minemura manipulated wine glasses and dinner plates, in an original act, that magicians loved. The ever-inventive Rudy Coby presented his "explosive" quick change at lightening speed, and his four legged man earlier on, in a separate spot. It was a shame that his act was split into two, as, for me, it diluted its impact. Rudy also lectured earlier in the day with a talk that focused more on the creation and performance of magic than anything else, top stuff. Johnny Lonn was on-form and got some big laughs throughout his chaotic routine. Davide Costi, Vladik Miagkostopov, Scott Penrose, Eric Buss, Tom Ogden and the Original Tiller Girls completed the line up and all gave strong performances. 9.12.00


Chris Power, cup-in-hand (cash in pocket), the 1,000 1st prize winner of the 17th Annual International Close-Up Competition, which was held at the convention on the Saturday. Chris fought off fierce competition from 12 International competitors. Roland Meister came second, and Etienne Pradier third. 9.12.00


Alex Elmsley appears on the last in the present series of The Jerry Atrick Show on December 17th at 11.35pm on Channel 5. 9.12.00


Paul Daniels appeared on ITV's Get Online on Tuesday in an interesting feature on internet auction sites. Talking about his magic collection he said "I've got two warehouses... and thought that it's time for somebody else to enjoy it." In the feature Paul was using ebay to sell a magic table. To visit ebay and see what's on offer Click Here 9.12.00


The Young Vic Theatre company's highly successful production of Arabian Nights played a season at the New Victory Theatre, 42nd Street, New York in September and October. The magical input of British magic consultant Paul Kieve (photo) was well reviewed by both the New York Times and New York Daily news - which described the illusions as "ingenious." The show continues on a world tour to Taiwan, Korea and Hong Kong, until early 2001. 9.12.00


A new casting system is being pioneered for British television soaps in which actors create their own screen characters (based on themselves) during workshop auditions. Scriptwriters and casting directors then look on and write the parts to fit the characters in front of them. The clever thing about this concept is that the actors will really fit their characters they are portraying, as the characters are indeed an extension of themselves. I'm not a fan of British soaps but the idea does make sense. Although it could be, and indeed has been, argued that the actors are no longer acting. The reason that I mention this news here is because the same ideas can be applied to the magician. Start with yourself (the real you) and let your performing character develop from there. 9.12.00


Last issue, following on from the Special Edition on Channing Pollock, I meant to include a complete list of award winners from the recent Magic Circle Awards Banquet, so here they are: The David Devant to Channing Pollock, The Maskelyne to Billy McComb, The Gold Medal to Derrick Speight, The Gold and Silver Wand to Richard Stupple, and The Carlton Comedy Award to Graham P. Jolley (photo). There's a lot of magic coming up on TV over the next few weeks - take a look at TV Magic for all the latest listings. I'll have a review of the new McBride Magic on Stage videos next week, together with a number of other new reviews. See you then, Duncan. 9.12.00