Number 268 - 13th August 2005


The Blackpool Magicians Convention (24th, 25th, 26th February, 2006) release their full line up of talent next week... but here's a teaser, already booked: Billy McComb, Joe Pasquale, Ken Dodd, Mick Miller and Johnny Casson (ensuring that there will be lots of laughter in the Opera House) together with Martin A. Nash who will pay his first visit to Blackpool, and sensational mentalist and FISM award winner Aaron Crow (photo). Over 600 registrations have already been sold via the Priority Registration Form which is available on the website: 13.8.05


Ducktastic opens in three weeks. From the team that brought you The Play What I Wrote (Sean Foley and Hamish McColl, aka The Right Size) comes the World premiere of their new comedy - the magic spectacular Ducktastic. "As always with their work, the plot is not straightforward, but it is inspired by the Las Vegas illusionists Siegfried and Roy, only on a more modest scale, using ducks instead of Siberian tigers. In Ducktastic, world famous illusionist Christopher Ursula Sassoon teams up with Roy de La Rue, a pet shop proprietor from Portsmouth, to form Sassoon and Roy and put on a new West End show. Directed by Kenneth Branagh, produced by David Pugh, magic team headed by Simon Drake, illusions by Paul Cooke's ESW Ltd. "Illusions include some standards as well as some completely new original material. Most of our work at ESW is for television (Monkey Magic, Magick, Top 10 Magic Tricks, etc.), so this theatre based project has been hugely challenging and fun" said Paul. Theatre Royal, Newcastle, 2nd - 17th September, Box Office: 0870 905 5060. Albery Theatre, London, 17th October onwards, Box Office: (opens September 12th) 0870 950 0920 13.8.05


Peter Lamont will be speaking at the Edinburgh International Book Festival to mark the publication of his latest book The First Psychic: The Peculiar Mystery of a Notorious Victorian Wizard. The book was featured in the Daily Mail this week. Dr Lamont's talk, on the controversial life and unexplained miracles of the world's first and greatest psychic, will take place on the 18th August at 8.30pm. Synopsis: He was simply the greatest psychic of all time. He was also the first - before him, the word 'psychic' did not even exist. The feats he performed were so extraordinary that Victorian scientists had to invent the term in order to explain them. The man who became the world's first psychic was Daniel Dunglas Home. Now almost entirely forgotten, Home was a household name in Victorian Britain, a man of inexplicable ability who divided opinion wherever he went. Hated by Dickens and defended by Thackeray, denounced by Faraday yet mysterious to Darwin, insulted by Tolstoy but patronised by the Emperor of France and the Csar of Russia. The astonishing feats he performed, and the bizarre personal life that attracted so much controversy, are little known today outside the esoteric world of psychical research. He rarely appears in the biographies of the many great Victorians who knew him as few could openly admit to such a controversial acquaintance. This book will finally introduce one of the most remarkable and enigmatic figures in history, and the strange and seemingly inexplicable events that occurred in his presence. To order The First Psychic from Click Here. 13.8.05


Movie Magic. Recently John Derris, James Fortune and Peter Scarlett presented close-up magic for an audience attending a special screening at The National Film Theatre in London of The Escape Artist made by Francis Ford Coppola in 1982. Judged by organiser John Fisher to be one of the most interesting magic themed films ever made, it was presented as part of The Magic Circle Centenary Celebrations and portrayed a young boys attempt to avenge the death of his father - The World's Greatest Escape Artist. The programme also included archive clips of magical performances from the past including Channing Pollock, Chan Canasta, Fred Kaps, Robert Harbin, Steve Martin (as The Great Flydini), David Nixon, Paul Daniels, Hans Moretti and others, plus the levitation sequence by Woody Allen featuring Goldie Hawn from Everyone Says I Love You. 13.8.05


The Mogul, the Magician, and the Island... "Chicago investor and real estate developer John Melk is sparring with magician David Copperfield over a private island in the Bahamas, in a protracted dispute that has entangled rock star Lenny Kravitz, among others. Mr. Melk, an early backer of Waste Management Inc. and Blockbuster Inc., claims Mr. Copperfield pulled one of his famous disappearing acts, setting up a shell company and secretly bankrolling its $45.5-million purchase of Mr. Melk's Musha Cay after Mr. Melk refused to sell it to him. Mr. Copperfield says Mr. Melk is suffering from seller's remorse after giving up Musha's undeveloped sister island, Rudder Cut Cay, as part of the sale. The magician asserts in court pleadings that Mr. Melk, 67, was desperate for cash after several business reversals and a divorce, and that he is attempting to keep the islands and $10 million in cash that was part of the deal." To read the full story by Kate Ryan in Chicago Business Click Here. 13.8.05


Mallorcan Magic. Andy Charlton and Jean Jackson were thrilled to be included in a Central TV feature about Mallorca. They were filmed performing magic and reading Tarot cards in Hooties, the bar that they own and run in Palma Nova. For information about this magical bar visit (Photo: Andy and Jean, with Central TV reporters Neil Bradford and Tom Parmenter.) 13.8.05


Registrations for Kidology UK 2005, the weekday convention for children's entertainers, are already approaching 200. Last year, registrations had to be capped at 200, but, this year, because of larger premises, considerably more registrations can be taken. The convention takes place on Monday, 5th September in Wolverhampton. The cost is 30.00 (inclusive of buffet lunch) and this year's headline lecturer is Patrick Page. Full details from Albion Magic 0121 532 4509 or from their website: 13.8.05


Graham Lee has three more Balloon Jam/Workshop days lined up, sponsored by Qualatex. For details see What's On or email 13.8.05


Secrets of Street Magicians Finally Revealed is being repeated today. "A masked magician reveals how street performers create tricks and illusions without the use of elaborate sets. Tricks featured include passing a cigarette through a quarter, the Three Card Monty, and making hands on a wristwatch move without touching it." 1.30pm on Five, see TV Magic. 13.8.05


Simon Lovell can be heard on Monday's Radio Magic at 8pm, and previous programmes can now be heard on the station's website via the "Listen Again" links at the bottom of the page. 13.8.05


Next week we'll be reviewing Making Money From Magic by Drew McAdam (available exclusively from We've heard good things about Doug Segal's show, currently on at The Magic Cavern, London. See What's On for details Tony Curtis has a magical UK car number plate for sale, email for details Congratulations to Malcolm and Sarah Norton (Top Secret Magic) on the arrival of baby Phoebe Rose Norton on Sunday August 7th Surrey Society of Magicians documentary in the pipeline, Click Here "Say the Magic Word" Click Here "Children's camp puts focus on hocus-pocus" Click Here "Illusions are his favorite form of self-expression" Click Here "Carnahan Is Smokin' Aces" Click Here That's it for this week, your UK magic news and reviews are always welcomed. See you next week, Duncan. 13.8.05