Number 224 - 9th October 2004


MAGIC, a brand new six part series from the BBC, premières next Saturday at 8.10pm on BBC2 - and promises to be the definitive guide to the history of magic. Beginning in the temples of the pharaohs, through the witch hunts of the 16th century, via Sideshows, Vaudeville and Houdini to the arrival of TV super star illusionists like David Blaine and David Copperfield - prepare to be astounded and astonished, as this landmark series explains why magic has played a central role in our social and cultural history.


All the glitz and spectacle you'd expect are here – but so too is analysis of why the magicians' favourite tricks have captivated audiences throughout the ages. Each show is themed around a particular type of illusion and combines modern performances with archive footage, historical reconstructions and interviews with some of the world's greatest magicians, many of whom perform new illusions specifically created for the series.


Photo: "Robert Gallup performs an escape that he designed specially for this programme and that has never been seen before. High above the banks of the Thames he's strait-jacketed inside a Blaine like Perspex box. But this is no feat of endurance – the floor of the box has been fitted with a hair trigger and unless Robert Gallup escapes he'll fall onto blazing spears!" (Image from episode 2 - "Dangerous Magic" © BBC, 2004)


Every week MagicWeek will bring you an in-depth look at the following week's programme, in our TV Magic section. 9.10.04


Sweden's award winning card expert Lennart Green and Argentina's award winning stage magician Mirko have just been added to the International Magic Convention line up (Friday November 26th to Sunday 28th). Already booked: Mickey Silver (USA), Flip (Holland), Nikolai & Nina (Russia), Vito Lupo (USA), David Williamson (USA), Ray Grismer (USA), Piet Forton (Switzerland), Leo Ward (New Zealand), Yunke (Spain), Nic Einhorn (UK), Paul Zerdin (UK) and Noel Britten (UK). Plus magic lectures and dealers from all around the world. It's going to be a goody... For more information and to register, Click Here.


Shooting at Siegfried & Roy Home. "Police in Las Vegas are saying that a gunman recently opened fire on the home of former Las Vegas Strip entertainers Siegfried Fischbacher and Roy Horn." To read the full story from CBS Click Here. 9.10.04


A brand new Magi-CD featuring the work of Chan Canasta is about to be launched by Martin Breese. Produced in a similar fashion to the Piddington Magi-CD, and written by David Britland, it draws on live material from various Chan Canasta shows. Just over an hour long and presented by a professional voice over artiste it comes with a printed booklet written by David Britland that contains previously unreleased material. Martin emailed that he is delighted with this project and that he rates it as one of his finest audio productions to date. Due out in the next couple of weeks. Priced at £30. 9.10.04


Ian Meiers is presenting a Charity Magic Show in aid of Save the Children at Lock 17, Camden, London (home to Jongleurs) on Tuesday 9th November. Featuring Michael Vincent, Terry Seabrooke, Rob Cox, Martin Cox and Andy Clockwise together with eight other performers. The first half of the evening features close-up magic with the magicians performing their routines to small groups and the second half will be a stage show. Venue: Lock 17 (where Jongleurs is held), Middle Yard, Camden Lock, Chalk Farm Road, London NW1 8AB. For full directions, details on parking and how to get there by train visit and select Lock 17. Doors open 6.30pm, show starts 7.30pm ends 10.30pm. Price: £20, with all proceeds going to Save the Children. Food and drink: Available for purchase at the venue. Over 18's Only. For online ticket sales visit then select Lock 17 from the venue list. You'll then see the event name "Magic at the Lock", select this and book your tickets. There's a small booking fee. Or telephone 08700 600 100 and ask for the "Magic at the Lock" held at Lock 17. There's also a small booking fee. Or book direct from Ian Meiers: 07786 925261. 9.10.04


One of the undoubted highlights at last month's British Ring Convention in Eastbourne was Eugene Burger's lecture on the Sunday. This week Roger Woods reviews it: "Eugene is firmly of the opinion that most people throw magic away saying 'fear of the fall makes magic trivial.'" How very true. To read the full review Click Here. 9.10.04


The Magic Circle Centenary Celebrations - Sold Out! Reserved places for The Magic Circle Centenary Celebrations in July 2005 have sold out ten months before the opening day on 20th July 2005. There is now a waiting list. Anyone interested in joining that list should complete and return the registration form (see: but send no money. Nearer the opening date any available places will be allocated in the order that 'waiting list' applications were received in. 9.10.04


The Ipswich Magical Society's Annual Convention, now in its 17th year, will take place on Sunday, November 7th, at Needham Market Community centre, Needham Market. Click Here for details. Andy Nyman will be lecturing and performing in the gala show. During the day there will be additional lectures, an hour of close-up magic and magic dealers including Studio 9, The Card Collection, Aquarius, Camtryx, Andy Nyman, Alakazam and Kaymar. The close-up sessions feature Mike Rose (currently a finalist in the 2004 Magic Circle Close-up Magician of the Year Competition) and Matt Edwards (winner of the 2004 Magini Shield close-up competition). Visit for more information or email Simon Shaw telephone 01394 270838. 9.10.04


British Ring IBM Close-up Competition winner Mel Harvey has a busy time ahead. In October he tours his One Man Theatre Show and in November he's back cruising in the Mediterranean. Then, after his usual busy Christmas period, he'll be off to carry out engagements in Bega, New South Wales, Australia. Mel writes "So far, four local papers have taken up the competition story with others in the pipe line. I would like to say a public thank you to all my friends in magic who are very supportive particularly Mark Worgan who had to sit through several rehearsals at his school of magic in Sussex." Visit: Photo by Peter Ryder: 9.10.04


Congratulations! Paul Hallas married Sharon Lee Gardner on September 18th at The Angel Garden Tea Rooms in Blandon, Pennsylvania, USA. Best man was Marty Grams of Martini's Magic Co. (who also did the catering at the reception) and Paul later provided the cabaret himself! Paul's "Small But Deadly" book will be reprinted again in December by H & R Books in Humble, Texas and his new email address is 9.10.04


The John Derris lecture K.I.S.S. (Keep it Simple Stupid) opened the new club lecture season in Copenhagen at the recent convention of the Danish Magic Circle. Now in its second successful year the lecture has been featured at magic clubs throughout Britain and Ireland and invitations have been extended to present the lecture in the USA and Switzerland. The lecture, which asserts the value of selling the magician's personality combined with simple but highly visual magic, has attracted high praise from magicians everywhere. The philosophy is based on John Derris's 30 years business experience in the advertising industry which led to a successful corporate magic career. For more lecture information telephone John Derris 020 8467 7856 or email 9.10.04


"For the past two years Owen Lean has become an infamous figure on Dublin's Grafton street amazing people with his own unique brand of street magic. Throughout those two years Owen has performed both traditional style street magic and is possibly the only street entertainer in the world to make a full time living out of 'Hit and Run' style street magic. In this e-book Owen will share the secrets he has learned during his years of performance and teach you how to make your own professional 'Hit & Run' magic act." Available as a download from priced £5.99. 9.10.04


Following on from the success of the West Lancs Magic Convention held on October 3rd plans are already underway for next year's event. Richard Saunders (photo), one of Canada's top close-up magicians, has just been booked and will be presenting the main lecture at the 2nd West Lancs Magic Convention on Sunday 24th April 2005. Next year expect more lecturers, a full evening show and a "West Lancs Cabaret Magician of the Year" competition. Email or telephone Roy Critchley on 07901 990 220 for details. Dealers should also contact Roy as soon as possible to book space. 9.10.04


Hofzinser's Carte Blanche - Limited Edition has just been released by Paul Gordon. "This easy to do trick is more a beautiful story than just a plain trick. Using the (true) premise of 'Experiment No.6' from the Dover edition of Hofzinser's Card Conjuring, the following happens: After some pretty preamble, you show a stack of photographs (lovely sepia/antique looking) of Johann Nepomuk Hofzinser (the grandfather of modern card magic) holding a blank jumbo card. A card is chosen from a deck of cards. Then: When the photographs are magically displayed, the jumbo blank card visually (yes, visually) transforms into the chosen card! Lovely story, great magic, unusual premise - ideal for strolling or table magic. You even have the possibility of giving the final photo to your spectator as a souvenir; with your contact details on reverse!" For more information and to order Click Here. 9.10.04


"Do you ever wonder where the magic's gone? Yearn for your life to be a little less Corrie and a little more Angela Carter? Ponder over why you find Derren Brown strangely attractive? OK, maybe that last one’s just me, but I know I’m not alone in loving magic. Admit it, you do too. It’s even entered our language. When something is better than good, it’s magic. And increasingly, people are seeking out the real deal." Writes Zoe Strachan in The Scotsman. 9.10.04


'Talents & Productions' agency emailed: "I just want to let you know that we have just created an artistic agency in Monte-Carlo, Monaco. Our agency's goal is to discover and promote talented international artists and shows essentially in the circus and magic fields. Our clients are productions companies, cities, towns, cabaret venues, circuses and companies and also individuals who are looking for artists to animate their events, marriages, birthdays and so on. Do not hesitate to let everyone knows that we exist and to consult our Internet website" We are happy to pass on their details, visit: 9.10.04


If you emailed Richard Leigh last week (see last week's news "Summer Season 2005") and haven't had a reply Richard asks that you make contact again as he lost a few emails due to a computer glitch: 9.10.04


A new Yahoo Group for Stage Hypnotists and Mentalists has just been set up by Jonathan Royle. The group is called "Hypnotorious" and to join people should email sending their name and email address and their area of interest. They will then be added to the group and access details will be sent out. Jonathan is also offering MagicWeek readers (for the next 14 days only) the 10 volume video or DVD set "There's No Such Thing As Hypnosis" which usually sells for £497 for just £177 post free anywhere in the world. This offer includes two free Audio CD's and a CD ROM. For details email or visit 9.10.04


Magic, the chilling tale of an unhinged ventriloquist who falls under the spell of his dummy is being repeated on BBC1 on Monday, starring Anthony Hopkins, see TV Magic • Here's an unusual one: Click Here and Click Here to make sure it's real, and Click Here to read all about eBay! • Anthony Pearson reviews Spooky Magic at the Grill Room this week, Click Here • UK Stage Hypnotists and Mentalists who use Suggestion/Hypnosis in their acts are currently unable to get Insurance Cover for their acts. Jonathan Royle emails that Mr. John Moppet of Stoneylynk Insurance Services is working on this. Email for more details • "The nation's favourite magic-man Derren Brown was in Edinburgh this week filming material for his new series." Click Here • Production has begun in New Orleans, Louisiana, on "The World's Greatest Kid Magician" (working title), a Disney Channel Original Movie, Click Here • "Illusionist faces animal cruelty charge. A Niagara Falls-based illusionist who uses lions and tigers in his performances across the province has been charged with animal cruelty after one of his lions died of neglect, the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals said today in a news release." Click Here • That's it for this week, your UK magic news is always welcomed. See you next week, Duncan. 9.10.04