Number 111 - 10th August 2002


Copperfield Exposed - The latest Masked Magician show to go out all over Japan exposed a crude demonstration of Splitting Image (photo), the visible laser cutting in half seen on Copperfield's last special, broadcast in the States last year, together with an equally crude variation of Copperfield's Flying (featuring the Masked Magician "flying" around the Tokyo Tower). The three hour show took the format of a "game show" with a panel of eight Japanese TV personalities witnessing each routine and then trying to work it all out, discussing the possibilities before being given the explanation.


The show also featured Japan's leading magicians exposing magic as well: The Napoleons and Princess Tenko. The Napoleons are Japan's answer to Penn & Teller and are well known throughout the country (perhaps past exposures by Penn & Teller "legitimised" things in the eyes of The Napoleons?). Princess Tenko, who constantly performs all over Japan, is also an established "star." These performers already enjoy considerable television coverage in Japan - quite why they chose to become involved in this show I don't know. What makes the whole thing even more bizarre is that every so often a trick was performed without explanation... it just didn't make sense in the middle of an "exposure" show - on one occasion Princess Tenko performed an item that the Masked Magician had exposed minutes earlier, but she performed it without exposure!


Exposed: Teleportation of a person (MM), Levitation (MM), crude version of Copperfield's "Flying" (MM), Water to Ice Cube (MM), Classic Shadow Cabinet (MM), Radio Vanish (MM), Silks in Tube Vanish (MM), Harbin's Zig-Zag (MM), two alternative Zig-Zags (MM), Flying Carpet (TN), a crude version of Franz Harary's "Slicer" (MM), Copperfield's "Splitting Image" (exposed through bad performance as opposed to offering an explanation - MM), ridiculous "violin quartet" vanish (PT), break-away box dove vanish (MM), Solid Through Solid illusion (TN), Two Girl Crusher (classic version - MM), Vanish of Tokyo Tower - in fact they didn't use the method that they later exposed as it simply wouldn't have worked... they'd got it wrong and the vanish was actually done in post production... but they did keep that a secret! What they explained was the method used in Lance Burton's Elephant illusion essentially (TN).


Ultimately all that was exposed I guess was the naivety of the performers themselves. Shame on them. 10.8.02


Here's more information re. Steve Cohen's up-coming Chamber Magic: A Demonstration of Modern Conjuring show. Straight from his sell-out run at New York's celebrated Waldorf-Astoria comes Gotham's hottest magician. The legendary Steve Cohen is bringing his exhilarating Chamber Magic show to London's Langham Hilton for a limited run... Cohen has enthralled, tantalized and teased New Yorkers for a staggering 18 months with Chamber Magic. Devotees include New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Michael J Fox, Martha Stewart, the Rockefellers, Carl Sagan and many more. Sophisticated, imaginative and mind-boggling, Chamber Magic pays homage to the salons of 19th century Europe, where wealthy patrons would hire magicians to entertain their guests. In the intimate and luxurious setting of the Langham Hilton's King's Room Cohen will baffle, mystify and stun his audiences. You can experience the magic of Steve Cohen at London's Langham Hilton from October 2nd to the 19th, Wednesday to Saturday nights inclusive, two shows per night: 8pm and 10pm. Tickets are 40 per head and seating is limited so reservations are essential - telephone 020 7973 7503 from August 15th. Visit for more information. The Langham Hilton is offering audience members the following magic deals: enjoy a two-course dinner with coffee in the renowned Memories Restaurant for the special price of 25 per person or give your evening a Russian flavour at the exotic Tzar's Bar where you can have a Russian vodka of your choice, and a zaskuski (Russian appetizer) for only 8.00 per person. 10.8.02


John Derris makes a rare appearance at The Wolverhampton Circle of Magicians on Wednesday 18th September when he will be giving a lecture/presentation entitled Odds and Sorcery, featuring close-up, mental and stage magic guaranteed to include something for everyone whatever their interest. The lecture takes place at The Connaught Hotel, Tettenhall Road, Wolverhampton and commences at 7.30pm. Tickets for non-members are available (they must be bona fide members of another magic society) at 5.00. Tickets and more information from Secretary J. Bryan Atherton, telephone: 01902 896593. 10.8.02


International News: Joaquin Ayala is one of the performers lined up to appear at the 14th International Magic Convention to be staged at the Europa Convention Center, Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain from September 19th to the 22nd. Also lecturing and performing England's Richard McDougall - the convention website has full details of all the performers and hotel information: Click Here 10.8.02


Etienne Pradier is off to the States next year to perform at The Magic Castle in LA and at the World Magic Seminar in Las Vegas. Etienne was recently booked to perform at a party for Prince Charles and Camilla Parker-Bowles at a Polo Match - that engagement lead on to another Royal engagement this time for the Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh, and other dignitaries. 10.8.02


Andrew Van Buren was invited to represent the World of Magic as part of the huge opening celebrations for the Commonwealth Games in Manchester. The Van Buren team presented an Illusion Spectacular to the crowds as they waited for the Commonwealth Baton arrival. Radio interviewers afterwards picked up on "Van Buren's Vanishing Motorbike & Rider." One radio presenter from BBC Manchester commented "We've seen the masked magician explain how these things are done with mirrors and smoke, hiding things as they slip away, but I was at the back and saw it with my own eyes, the lady and the motorbike just vanished!" 10.8.02


Street performing is about to be legalised in Tokyo, Japan for the very first time. Nine "judges" are deciding who will be awarded permits from the 650 performers who applied. Up until now street performers have had to deal with the police and even the Yakuza, making their chosen line of work very precarious. The project, named "Heaven Artist," will open up a dozen or so pitches, on designated days, and licenses will be issued in September and run for a year. Whether any provision will be made for visiting performers isn't clear. The only time that I've ever "passed the hat" in Japan was at the Daidogei World Cup Street Performers Festival in Shizuoka in '92 and '93 (photo) when the whole event was managed. 10.8.02


Paul Gordon lectures at The Winchester Magic Society on Thursday 5th September presenting an evening of "doable/usable" professional card magic taken from his books and live repertoire. The lecture features easy to "semi-advanced" entertaining and powerful card magic. Email Paul: or contact secretary Ian Kirk (023 8026 9872) for more information. Visit for lecture reviews and more UK dates. 10.8.02


Marc Salem's Mind Games is on in Edinburgh right now Click Here for booking details  A new feature on Martin Breese's website is the publication every week of a new trick, routine or effect by David Britland. Each trick stays online for just one week and is then replaced with a new item. Visit:  It Shouldn't Happen to a... TV Performer (repeat) tonight at 8pm on ITV reveals what happens when things go wrong - including some magic clips  I've just returned from a short trip to Japan, hence the Japanese news this week... I wasn't on the lookout for magic but did see a tape of the Masked Magician show reported above, the third one that has been produced for the Japanese market I think. Toys 'R' Us in Matsumoto had a good stock of Tenyo magic (photo) complete with video demonstrations and a number of shoppers were watching but there were no sales. What struck me was that all the tricks were being demonstrated on the video by "professional magicians" - it would have been far more convincing if the tricks had been performed by, say, a ten year old. I remember when I bought my first Svengali deck as an eight year old doubting that I'd really be able to duplicate the tricks that I'd just seen performed  Well, that's it for this week, we had a break from taking For Sale and Wanted ads but you are welcome to submit them again now. Your magic news is always welcomed, see you next week, Duncan. 10.8.02