Number 256 - 21st May 2005


Derren Brown: The Gathering. Prepare for plenty of Derren Brown's brand of magic and mind games in this specially-made recording of a live show shot in a mystery location in front of an invited audience of magic experts and celebrity fans. This one-hour fusion of magic, suggestion, psychology and misdirection gives the cynics the chance to decide: is Derren a fraud... or should he be burnt at the stake? "I've always loved performing live and of course it gives people a chance to see that everything's fair. The audience will be made up of interested parties; some famous faces, some psychics, magicians, psychologists and so on. Part of the fun of it for me is having very little control over who I use on stage. The volunteers will all be randomly selected from the unprepared audience. It's not something I've done on TV before, although it is a taste of what I do on tour. Hopefully it will be a very memorable evening for all concerned." 10pm, Sunday, 29th May, Channel 4. See Derren live on stage tonight at the Congress Theatre, Eastbourne. 21.5.05


The Magic Cavern, London, is launching a series of Sunday Matinees from Sunday, June 19th. Presented by Richard Leigh with guest magicians every week. Show times are 2pm and 4pm. Tickets are £8.50 (online) or from the 24 hour booking line on 08700 600 100. Reservations can also be made via the Barons Court Theatre Box Office on 020 8932 4747 or bought on the day, on the door, subject to availability (£10.00, £9.00 concessions, Family ticket for four £30.00). For more information and dates visit 21.5.05


A new production of Theatre of Blood opens at the National Theatre on 19th May. It's an adaptation of the MGM movie starring with Vincent Price and is a collaboration between the NT and Improbable. Paul Kieve is the illusion consultant and he's developed a number of new, extra gory, illusions, specifically for the production. During the play several newspaper critics are murdered in various violent and bloody ways (payback time!). The play is in previews at the moment and the illusions have been getting a fantastic response. For more information visit: 21.5.05


Secret World of Magic has proved to be a great success for Ali Cook and Pete Firman, being enjoyed by both magicians and the public alike. The pair were recently interviewed on talking about their work and magic in general, Click Here. To read more about the show, including "Ali's diary", visit and click on the new Secret World of Magic link. 21.5.05


The first Close-up Magic Convention in Sussex, which had the 'Sold Out' boards out last Saturday, is reviewed by Martin Breese this week... "The day closed with close-up from Paul Gordon, Mark Mason, Stephen Tucker, Andrew Murray, Mark Worgan and Mark Shortland. The entire close up session was on time and all the performers had excellent material and professional skills. I don’t really want to single out any performer as all were good but new to me was Andrew Murray and his skill with cards and coins was something to be seen." Click Here to read the full review. 225 magicians attended, and a date has already been set for next year: Saturday 13th May 2006. Website: 21.5.05


14 year old magician Joshua Patient is putting together a magic variety show which will take place on August 26th and 27th. The show will feature comedy from Thomas Denton, magic from Joshua assisted by Jasmin Bailey, and dancers from The Action Factory. Venue: Framingham Earl High School, Norwich, Norfolk NR14 7QP (Map). Adults £5 Concessions £4. To book telephone 01508 494982. Joshua normally performs at children's parties and weddings, and also presents street magic at fetes. 21.5.05


Chris Dugdale and Phil Jay are seen here either side of Brian Adams at "Rock on the River" in London. The two created such a stir that they were invited backstage to entertain Bryan and his VIP guests. Bryan was so impressed he has now invited Phil and Chris to join him in Las Vegas later this year. 21.5.05


David Penn entertained last Wednesday night at a private party to celebrate Shaun Murphy winning the World Snooker Championships, and a quarter of a million pounds in prize money, in Sheffield earlier this month. Shaun has been invited to make a guest appearance on 'Freaky' series 2 which will be filmed this summer. 21.5.05


Michael Ammar lectures at the Watford Association of Magicians on Sunday May 29th at 6pm. Non-member magicians are welcome to attend at the Bricket Wood Social Club, Oak Avenue, St. Albans AL2 3LQ (Map). Admission £8.00. Telephone Frank Leonhardt 01923 888166 or visit for further information. 21.5.05


Philip Partridge was invited to perform at the House of Commons last Thursday to present his unique brand of comedy close-up magic. The Rt. Hon. The Lord Owen CH sponsored a reception on behalf of the Liverpool Culture Company in preparation for 'Liverpool European Capital of Culture 2008'. Celebrity guests included Sir Paul McCartney. 21.5.05


Gigantic Magic Auction at the Leeds Magical Association. On Tuesday 24th May. Doors open at 7pm for a 7.30pm start. Props and books in good condition will be accepted on the night. Free admission, all welcome. For details contact Franklin Arbisman, telephone 0113 2677190. Venue: Friends Meeting House, opposite Leeds University, Electronic Engineering Department. 21.5.05


Henery Evans from Argentina will lecture in the UK next year following the Blackpool Convention (from February 27th to March 10th). Any interested societies should email Colin Peters who is organising the tour. telephone 01306 883938. 21.5.05


Michael Ammar lectures at the Ipswich Magical Society on Friday May 27th. They still have a few spaces available, contact the secretary for details. 21.5.05


Sheffield Circle of Magicians are organising two evening lectures featuring world famous magicians. Michael Ammar on Wednesday May 25th at the Hilton Hotel, Victoria Quays, Sheffield, and Jay Scott Berry on Thursday 2nd June at the Three Cranes Hotel, 74 Queens Street, Sheffield. Tickets will be available on the door at 7pm for both evenings, priced £7.00 (refreshment will be available). For further information contact Dave Chambers (President of Sheffield Circle of Magicians) on 01302 537720 or 07740404948. 21.5.05


Escape artists across the globe will join together on October 29th for Worldwide Escape Artist's Relay. Each escapologist will perform before two or more witnesses within a timed period and then login the completion of their event, and the names of their witnesses, live on the internet. The escapes will be timed to follow the dateline as it moves westward from Australia to the USA. Over fifty escape artists will take part and the whole event has been submitted to the Guinness Book of World Records for consideration. British performers include David Straightjacket, Weasel Dandaw, Robin Fox, Roslyn Walker, Helen Held, Stuart Burrell and Kondini. For more information visit 21.5.05


Craig R Dickson AIMC, Past National President of The Society of American Magicians, and Joanne M Smigel, member Society of American Magicians will get married at Edinburgh Castle, on July 18th. Both having a Scottish heritage, the idea of going to Scotland and getting married at the castle was a dream come true. The wedding will be a traditional Scottish wedding, complete with Piper and Scottish attire, and will take place in St Margaret's Chapel, Edinburgh Castle. After the wedding they will return to London for the 100th Anniversary of the Magic Circle. The latest Harry Potter book will also be officially released, with a midnight reading by JK Rowling, at Edinburgh Castle that same weekend! 21.5.05


"Tom Hanks Teaming Up With Son Colin To Make Movie Magic" Click Here • Vizage are currently appearing in Hooked on Laughter in Bournemouth, Mike Danata reviews the show this week, Click Here • "Daniels back to his roots" Click Here • "Music Hall theatre could see good old days again" Click Here • The Magic Cavern is now booking acts from August to December 2005, email for information • Mike Danata's Magic Studio in Bournemouth will be open on Bank Holiday Monday May 30th, and have some extra special offers... Click Here and visit their news page for details • Romany 'Diva of Magic' emcees in the Cabaret tent at the WOMAD music festival in Reading from July 29th-31st • "Melwood Pictures and Exodus Film Group announced that they have optioned the rights to world-famous magician and illusionist Nicholas Night's CG-animated/live action feature film 'Pavlov's Dog.'" Click Here • That's it for this week. Your UK magic news is always welcomed, see you next week, Duncan. 21.5.05