Number 255 - 14th May 2005


Jay Marshall, the dean of the Society of American Magicians, died on Tuesday May 10th. He was 85. Well known to magicians around the world for his delightful performances with sidekick Lefty, and something of an institution in the States, he will be greatly missed by the worldwide magic community. "Magician-ventriloquist Jay Marshall dies at 85" Click Here. 14.5.05


The Glorious Deception: The Double Life of William Robinson, aka Chung Ling Soo, the "Marvelous Chinese Conjurer" by Jim Steinmeyer can now be pre-ordered from Jim Steinmeyer unveils the secrets behind the most enigmatic performer in the history of stage magic, Chung Ling Soo, the 'Marvelous Chinese Conjurer'. Soo's infamous and suspicious onstage death in London in 1918 mystified his fellow magicians: he was shot during a performance of 'Defying the Bullets,' in which he attempted to catch marked bullets on a porcelain plate. When Soo died, his deceptions began to unravel. It was discovered that he was not Chinese but a fifty-eight-year-old American named William Ellsworth Robinson, a former magicians' assistant and the husband of Olive Robinson. But even William Robinson was not who he appeared to be, for he had kept a second family with a mistress in a fashionable home near London. Written by the foremost chronicler of magic's history and culture. Due to the scandals surrounding Robinson's death, this is the first time his full story has been told. Hardback, 336 pages, with photos. To order from with a 10% discount Click Here. 14.5.05


The Mystic Ring Celebrates Fifty Years of Magic. Tickets are now on sale for their 50th anniversary show which will be suitable for the whole family, featuring club members, David Tomkins, Rex Cooper, Paul Spencer, Alan Martell, Geoff Sutton, S-T-R-E-A-K-Y (Reg Allen), Grant Brummer, Jim Bannan, Hearty The Clown and Steve Milroy. The show is produced and compered by Derek Hilton. Close-up magicians and clowns will entertain before the show starts and during the interval. The evening will also see the a brand new act from 14-year-old Steven Rowley and Charlotte (photo). The show takes place at the Little Theatre, High Street South, Dunstable LU6 3SF (Map) on Saturday 21st May. Doors open at 7pm, show starts 7.30pm. Prices: 7 adults, 5 children and OAPs. Box Office 07790 599531. Further information from 14.5.05


Scott Creasey, inventor of the BIP Book, presents his lecture on magic, mentalism and escapology at the Medway Magical Society on Tuesday May 17th and Jay Scott Berry lectures on June 21st. Non members 10, associate club members 5. 8pm start at the Gordon House Hotel, 91 High Street, Rochester, Kent ME1 1LX (Map). Two top lectures. For more information email David Lang 14.5.05


TV Magic Limited is delighted to announce that the star of Sky's Undercover Magic and multi-award winning comedy magician John Archer has joined the list of British television magicians whose products are now available exclusively from John's new book The Handy Lecture, his Comedy Workshop Guide, and tricks DoDeckaDeal and Chinese Choice, are all available from the 'magicians only' section. Visit: 14.5.05


The North Western Society of Magicians, based in Barrow in Furness, Cumbria, held their annual close-up competition on 4th May. Nine members competed for three trophies in this popular 'open to the public' event. There were two magic judges and one lay judge, who had a difficult job in marking as the competitors were all of a high standard. The winner was local street entertainer, juggler and coin magician Jay Rollins. The society is celebrating ninety years of magic in the Furness area this year and members have been out and about in an effort to raise the profile of the society, and magic in general. The annual dinner and cabaret on 5th November promises to be a special occasion this year, with a few surprises in store. For information email the Hon. Secretary Jacqui Little (in the photo: John Little 3rd place, Jay Rollins 1st place, Dave Simpson 2nd place.). Website: 14.5.05


Award winning magician Peter Roberts presents his 'Everything I use is nicked' (great title!) lecture at Bolton Magicians' Club at 8.30pm on Wednesday 18th May at the Cotton Tree, Prince Street, Bolton. Peter's Ring and Elastic Band routine and Cannon ball production are just two of the items that he'll be showing. Visiting magicians welcome; entrance fee 3.00. Further information: or telephone Jim Hodgkiss 01204 522651. 14.5.05


Magicians lined up to appear at the Magic Cavern, London, over the next few months include: Jonathan B, David Crofts, Paolo Ferrari, Chris Nicholson, Jon Allen (photo), Gary Scott, David Bodycombe and Paul Martin. Tickets via the 24 hours hotline 08700 600 100, or Barons Court Theatre Box Office on 020 8932 4747, or on the door (subject to availability). For more information visit: The Magic Cavern is now booking acts from August to December 2005 Email for details. 14.5.05


International News: Billboards, posters, newspaper advertisements, brochures and a television commercial all feature Malta's Vanni Pule` working his magic for HSBC. Vanni is a household name on the island, having appeared as a magician regularly for the past 35 years. 14.5.05


Ingmar Bergman's The Magician, from 1958, can be seen late night Saturday 21st May on Film Four. "Max Von Sydow plays Albert Vogler, a 19th century mental magician plying his trade in Sweden whose powers are called into question by rationalist Dr Vergus, who accuses him of blasphemy. Director Ingmar Bergman veers between light comedy and black horror in this award-winning psychological drama." See TV Magic for details. 14.5.05


Andy Nyman can be seen in 'Dead Babies' at 2am on Saturday 21st May, on Channel 4, as you've never seen him before. "William Marsh's film, based on Martin Amis's book, is set in a country house where a group of graduate friends gather for a hedonistic weekend of sex and drugs only to find an anarchist gang has infiltrated their fun with murderous intent." 14.5.05 are now taking pre-orders for the new Bob Ostin book due out at the end of this month. "The name Bob Ostin has long been synonymous with creative close-up magic, but until now the true depth and breadth of his original effects and methods has remained hidden. No longer! This landmark volume, The Magic of Bob Ostin, will ensure the author his deserved place in history as one of the preeminent creators of the 20th Century." For more information visit 14.5.05


Black Artefacts are up and running again following their recent move and have just released Psycho Deck, a 78 card Tarot deck that allows the reader to gain very useful information from the sitter. This information can be used in a variety of ways to give the impression of genuine psychic powers. "It is a great deck for anyone doing psychic readings or for those interested in presentations that are a bit different," said company boss Keith Hart. For more information visit: 14.5.05


Teardrop Relief is a charity established by a team of volunteers committed to helping Tsunami victims. All donations will be utilized on projects related to orphanages, and all the trustees are volunteers. "The main project on our wish list is to provide Sri Lanka with its very first Teardrop Fun Bus! An old London Route Master bus converted into a double-decker mobile play centre, staffed with a team of children's entertainers, will travel the island visiting different orphanages throughout the year. This unique interaction would provide a delightful, exciting and stimulating day for the children and their guardians. For the launch of our appeal, we will be taking one of the Buses that we have acquired to a unique event in the UK Sri Lankan Community, the festival of Cricket 2005, which will take place on Saturday 18th June 2005, in Chiswick. At this launch event we would really like to have some children's entertainers, face painters, balloon modellers, or any fun children's activities." If you think that you can help email Manisha Abayawardana for more information or visit 14.5.05


Jason Steele and Joanne can be seen performing nightly onboard Brittany Ferries new flagship, the Pont-Aven, sailing from Plymouth until May 22nd. 14.5.05


Jay Fortune is seen here coaching a local grammar school pupil who had been having difficulties at school, until he started to develop an interest in magic. "...the outcome is that he is very, very keen to have further magic lessons with me, but in return he must continue to work in and out of school. So through magic, this young chap who was on the brink of expulsion, is now on the way to being a magical chappy with high hopes!" emails Jay. Magic! 14.5.05


Jeff Burns, of Aberdeen based Fifth Dimension, proved he really could work magic when he won the coveted 'Ulster Cup' at the Aberdeen Magic Society's close-up magic competition on Tuesday, 11th May. Jeff competed with six others to win the award, and now holds two of the three annual Aberdeen Magical Society awards for 2005. "Winning this award has special meaning for me," said Jeff. "I gave up my secure job in the oil industry last year to pursue my dream of working full time as a magician and entertainer with Fifth Dimension, a company I set up with two fellow magicians." 14.5.05


Children's party planners Les Petits Pois are expanding and would like to hear from children's entertainers who would be interested in work. In the first instance email for more information 14.5.05


Hounds Head Magic Pub is a new magic forum aiming to be a relaxed, civilized place to discuss magic... a virtual magic pub where you can enjoy the atmosphere of 'sessioning' with friends, without having to get your round in! As well as the forum there is also an arcade and a magic video clips section 14.5.05


Deeper and Deeper - Secrets of Stage Hypnosis by Jonathan Chase is reviewed by Grant Boddington this week, Click Here Mark Elsdon lectures at the Down Town Magic Club, on Monday, May 16th. Venue: DownTown Diner, Park Street, Ashford, Kent Many congratulations to Nick and Jo Einhorn on the birth of baby Emily Natasha Einhorn on Thursday 12th May, now that's magic! A new-look version of Paul Gordon's Diary Trick has just been produced, including simplified handling, Click Here New Magic Society in Buckinghamshire, update: Sam 'X' emails to say that the a club (mentioned in MagicWeek a few weeks ago) is now being formed so for information, and to make it to the inaugural meeting, email: Insurance cover for hypnotists may shortly be available. For details join the Yahoo Newsgroup Hypnotorious, Click Here, and then visit the 'Files' section Peter Lamont's The Rise of the Indian Rope Trick: How a Spectacular Hoax Became History is now available in paperback, Click Here "Experiment goes hunting for haunting under the Royal Mile" Click Here Thanks for your news, see you next week, Duncan. 14.5.05