Number 168 - 13th September 2003


As week one drew to a close David Blaine must have been asking himself just what had he let himself in for this time... eggs, golf balls, lasers, bottles, fish, chips and drums beating at four in morning were all neatly rounded off on Friday when a remote controlled helicopter, complete with a freshly prepared burger, was sent up to hover outside his box providing the ultimate temptation. The British can be very cynical about such 'staged' events and it seems that both David Blaine and the production team hadn't foreseen the problems that a stunt like this could present. Night clubbers at two in the morning are best avoided, and Blaine's box is very much a sitting target. In reality 99% of the visitors just quietly go along and have a look but in previous stunts there was always more of an "I couldn't do that" factor... who could imagine themselves being buried alive, standing in the centre of a block of ice for three days or being perched precariously on top of a gigantic column for 36 hours? But sitting in a box? Well, yes, most people can imagine themselves sitting in a box! So although in real terms this is his hardest feat to date it just doesn't look that way and the media are still focusing on the problems in their coverage because reporting that "he's still in his box" isn't much of a story - yet. Perhaps as the days roll on the tide will turn. I hope so as Blaine's 'Street Magic' shows have done so much to revitalise and stimulate the public's perception of magic.


In the photo (above) final checks are being made by the technical team on Day 1 as the water pipe is fed into the casket. To see a larger version and the crowds that lined up along Tower Bridge on the opening night Click Here. We'll bring you some more exclusive photos in a couple of weeks. To read what the Evening Standard had to say by Day 4 Click Here. And to read what the BBC had to say by Day 7 Click Here. 13.9.03


Congratulations to Alan Shaxon, the new President of The Magic Circle. Alan took over from Michael Bailey whose successful five years in office ended on September 8th. Exciting times are ahead for the world's most famous magic society as it gears up to celebrate its centenary with four days of magic in July 2005. 13.9.03


Alistair Cook returns to Five in a one hour special entitled Psychic! on Sunday 14th at 8pm investigating the world of the paranormal. Then from Friday, September 19th, he hosts a new six-part series, Secrets of the Psychics: Revealed, at 8.30pm each week. Dr Richard Wiseman and Derren Brown will appear in the series which was devised by Andrew O'Connor of Objective Productions. Programme consultants are David Britland and Andy Nyman. Executive producer: Andrew O'Connor. Series producer: Anthony Owen. See TV Magic for details. 13.9.03


Geoffrey Durham is live on stage tonight (Saturday 13th) at the Greenwich Theatre, London. Telephone 020 8858 7755. From stunning close-up magic to the levitation of a member of the audience - a rare London date not to be missed! 13.9.03


Hypnotist Andrew Newton will be holding his first ever two day Hypnotic Masterclass in Manchester at the end of November. Readers are invited to email for a full information pack. Readers who register an interest and mention 'MagicWeek' will also receive a 200 discount. The weekend will be filmed, for later release, and registrations are limited to just 78. 13.9.03


The name Richard Robinson will be known to many MagicWeek readers as the man behind the excellent series of websites but on this newly produced DVD you'll see him in performance mode presenting The Magic Stick, a special wand that floats, levitates and sometimes misbehaves, whilst actually remaining under the magician's control at all times. Especially suitable for silent magicians the wand employs a number of trusted principles and can be presented as a complete routine in itself, or simply used for theatrical effect during any magic sequence. The DVD contains a performance video, PDF instructions on how to make the wand, clear 'walk through' performance video instructions, technical notes, MP3 files and more. Made with Richard's usual attention to detail it gets a solid recommendation. Available from 13.9.03


The Magicians of Basingstoke are holding their annual Dinner on Friday 28th November in Down Grange, Basingstoke, with cabaret from Peter McCahon. Contact Tony Russell for more information. Tickets are 16 each. 13.9.03


The Guild of Magicians Nottingham present their Annual Magic Gala Show on Sunday 14th September at the Bonington Theatre, Arnold, Nottingham. The show is aimed at the public but magicians are more than welcome. Acts include Bunny Neill, Clive Moore, Neil Haywood (photo), Brian Sefton and Kevin Burke. Tickets are available from the box office on 0115 9560733 at 5.00 each. The show starts at 7.30pm. The Society are also holding a Table Top Magic Sale on October 16th. For more information about any of the above events contact Freddie Wilkinson (President) on 0115 9614551 or Email 13.9.03


Mel Harvey, pictured here with Steve Dacri, has just returned from a week at the Orleans Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas (mentioned last week) where he was delighted to have been the first British magician to have performed at the Hotel, in Steve's show Extreme Close-up Magic. The show has now had its run extended. Here's a great website for anyone planning a trip: 13.9.03


Eugene Mattias is staging The Big Band & Variety Show at the Swan Theatre in High Wycombe on Sunday September 21st. Featuring escapologist Rodan who will attempt to escape from a water filled 45 gallon drum and Rowland Valentine who will be performing close-up magic in the foyer. Together with Brian Poole of the Tremeloes, comedian George Saunders, Marilyn Ford, The Ice Gems Cheer Leaders and James Gough's Big Band. Tickets are 15 - 20 and all profits are going to charity. 13.9.03


Wayne Dobson lectures at the Bexleyheath Society of Magicians on September 17th. For directions and further information call Mark Styles on 01689 818984. 13.9.03


Six Degrees of Penetration at 11pm on Wednesday 24th September on Sky One asks "How do you get from football star Tony Adams to magician David Copperfield in six sexual liaisons? Six Degrees reveals all - including the identity of the pivotal Master Swordsman." TV Magic. 13.9.03


Manon von Gerkan, David Blaine's girlfriend, came to the rescue in the early hours of Wednesday morning when yet another egg tried to make its way over to David Blaine's box. Security guards escorted the offending man away to the nearby car park (where the production offices are located) and Manon asked if she could give him a taste of his own medicine. "It's been so frustrating seeing David have all these things thrown at him, it was a great moment to finally fire one back." She said Merlins August Preview, packed full of magic, is still available and can be obtained for a 35p stamp from: Merlins, 15 The Springs, Wakefield, West Yorkshire WF1 1QE A car dealer emailed details of a number plate that they'd like to sell: "The registration number is MA51CAL when mounted on a vehicle it appears as MAGICAL or you could change the spacing and have it appear as MAGIC AL if your name happened to be AL! We are looking for offers above 7000." If number plates are up your street please email MagicWeek for contact details Your UK magic news is always welcomed, see you next week, Duncan. 13.9.03