Number 85 - 9th February 2002


David Blaine appears in South Park next Saturday ("The Super Best Friends" South Park show number 68, series 5, 16th February) on Sky One. Kenny, Cartman and Kyle join David Blaine's magic workshop which is really just a front for his cult group (the Blaine-tologists)... Only Stan is wise to what's happening and seeks the help of Jesus... Meanwhile Cartman and Kyle go recruiting more members, and Jesus attempts to match Blaine's magic. The Blaine-tologists travel to Washington DC where they plan to commit mass suicide to get the government to give their organization tax-exempt status (clever)... Blaine brings the Lincoln Memorial statue to life, and, well, you'll just have to watch it to find out what happens next... TV Magic 9.2.02


Dominic Wood presents a new version of the classic Disembodied Princess illusion (specially designed by Paul Kieve) on Wednesday, February 13th, at 7.45am on BBC2's The Animal Magic Show. 9.2.02


Con Art, an exhibition exploring art's roots in conjuring, artifice and deception opens at the Site Gallery, Sheffield, on Saturday February 16th. Examining one of the basic principles found in magic, the exhibition high-lights the fact that both art and magic require a willing viewer to participate in both illusion and deception.

This idea of viewer/audience complicity underlines the approaches taken by the contemporary artists in the exhibition, leading to "double readings" and "false appearances" that establish a game very close to magic, sleight of hand or transformation. Photography, film and video (which comprises most of the work in the exhibition) have a long standing reputation for being able to distort reality. Amidst mysterious levitations, smoke-and-mirror vanishings, and close-up chicanery emerges the notion of art as a kind of perceptual sleight of hand which sets in motion a willful play of confidences between viewer and spectacle.

Con Art brings together rare video works by artists including Louise Bourgeois, Arturo Brachetti , Allen Ruppersberg and Jeff Sheridan as well as newly commissioned and existing works. The exhibition will be accompanied by a 72 page catalogue with texts by Vanni Bossi, Edwin A Dawes, Andrew Hubbard, Olu Oguibe, Raffaele De Ritis, Jeff Sheridan and Helen Varola. The curator who initiated the idea is Helen Varola, based in New York. Catalogue to be available via Cornerhouse publications at

Site Gallery, 1 Brown Street, Sheffield S1 2BS. "ConArt" 16th February - 6th April 2002, opening times: Tuesday - Friday 11.00am - 6.00pm, Saturday 11am - 5.30pm. Telephone: 0114 281 2077

There are two additional events: Talks & Tricks Conference on Thursday 21st March, chaired by artist Susan Hiller, with contributors: Jonathan Allen, Paul Kieve, Marisa Carnesky, Edwin A. Dawes, Dr Mervyn Heard, Fay Presto. Extending the debate around magic and art's shared imaginations and strategies, this one day event will explore ideas of illusion and deception, and examine the notion that art can be interpreted as a hi-brow confidence trick, in which a willing audience is deceived by artists who confer value onto hollow objects. There will also be an evening of magic hosted by live art group Forced Entertainment on Saturday 6th April.


Big Breakfast presenter Mike McClean is off to the States soon to record his very own "Squeaky Street Magic." Originally from Manchester, Mike has quickly established himself as one of the country's top television presenters. During the last few months he has been presenting the outside broadcasts on The Big Breakfast and due to the increase in audience figures is now presenting the main show from "the house" with co-presenter Amanda Byron on Fridays. Mike started out by performing magic and can also be seen at this year's Blackpool Magic Convention. 9.2.02


Ever fancied a trip to Las Vegas? Mandy Davis reports on the magic she saw during her recent visit in her article Las Vegas Vibes (Photo: Top funny man Mac King.) 9.2.02


Stage for Age (the celebrity committee of Help the Aged) are hosting a Night of Magic on Thursday 14th February at The Magic Circle, London. It's a chance to mingle with celebrities including Liz Smith, Claire Rayner, Carmen Silvera, Diana Moran and Brian Murphy and to witness close-up magic and stage magic performed by members of The Magic Circle. The evening will include a trip around the Museum to see magic exhibits ranging from items that once belonged to Houdini through to Tommy Cooper. Carmen Silvera, Chairman of Stage for Age and John Wade (photo), Member of The Inner Magic Circle, will host the evening. Tickets are 65 per person which includes all of the above plus a wine reception and a fork buffet. A raffle will be drawn at the end of the night. The evening starts at 6.30pm and concludes at 10pm. Visit the website for a booking form: Help the Aged 9.2.02


Scotts of Stow have wooden-framed green baize card tables in stock (order number: W15053) featuring flush folding legs and measuring 30" x 30" x 26" high. At 73.85 including delivery. Telephone: 0870 600 4444. 9.2.02


Some International News: The countdown to the 2002 South African Magic Championships has officially begun. Hosted by the College of Magic, the event will be housed at the GrandWest Casino & Entertainment World from March 21st to 24th 2002. Magical performers can enter in various categories: manipulation, comedy, card magic or grand illusion. While the Convention is only open to registered delegates, the rest of Cape Town will be treated to public performances by Tommy Wonder from Holland, and the dynamic Australian duo, Tim Ellis and Sue-Anne Webster. For more information please visit 9.2.02


Another piece of international news that I wanted to report this week (from old buddy Steve Marshall in Japan) was the closing of the Tokyo Wizardz magic dinner theatre on January 14th. A real shame as it was a great venue with excellent stage facilities and starred a number of top international silent magicians over the years. 9.2.02


There are more dates in from illusionists Safire this week - do try and see them if they are appearing near you: What's On We're off to see Monsters Inc this weekend with our three year old daughter (can't wait!) That's it for this week, your magic news, reviews, articles and comments are always welcomed, see you next week, Duncan. 9.2.02