Number 292 - 28th January 2006


2006 Laurence Olivier Award nominations announced. In the Best Entertainment category two out of three nominations feature magic. The nominations are: 'Blue Man Group' at the New London, 'Ducktastic' at the Albery, and 'Derren Brown - Something Wicked This Way Comes' at the Cambridge. More information Click Here. Poster: Derren's 2005 show at the Cambridge, which was extended for two weeks. Something Wicked is on tour again from March 21st - see What's On for dates (book early!). Derren Brown's website has been awarded "Best TV Website" by Yahoo, Click Here and Click Here28.1.06


It's The Real Hustle... The Real Hustle features real-life scams and cons staged by magic men R Paul Wilson and Alexis Conran (photo). "A team of hustlers try out some notorious scams on members of the public, filmed with hidden cameras and intercut with actual interviews from fraud protection experts, police and scam victims. Talking heads provide advice on how to avoid being scammed and police contributors talk about how damaging fraud can be to both businesses and individuals. Scams include: 'Three Disc Monte' 'Jewellery Shop' and 'Proposition Bar Bets.'" Series starts at 10.30pm on Thursday 9th February. Objective Productions for BBC 3. See TV Magic28.1.06


The world premiere of "The Illusionist" starring Edward Norton and Paul Giamatti took place at the Sundance Film Festival last Sunday. The film, set in 1900 Vienna, deals with the story of Eisenheim the Illusionist. James Freedman was magic consultant during the production. Director Neil Burger writes, "Starting in pre-production, James became a major collaborator; brainstorming, designing and refining everything from small sleight of hand tricks to major narrative set pieces. He worked with Edward Norton preparing him for his stage performances and acted as a hand double in numerous situations. His contribution was enormous." Pictured James Freedman (centre) with Edward Norton (Eisenheim) and Aaron Johnson (Young Eisenheim). A UK release date has not yet been announced. 28.1.06


Wayne Dobson presents his Unclamped lecture on Tuesday 7th February at 7.45pm at the Associated Wizards of the South, Woolston Conservative Club, 74 St Annes Road, Woolston, Southampton. The lecture features material taken from his newly released "Unclamped - Live in London" DVD. Visiting magicians are welcome (5.00 charge, call 07739 407147 to book). The AWS meet twice a month, so if you are based in the area this would be the perfect opportunity to find out more about the club. Contact Secretary Phil Wedgbrow on 07739 407147 to reserve a place. 28.1.06


Playtime Balloons are advertising with MagicWeek. Founded in the early 70's the company is now run by Mike and Marjorie Stokes. "We take most major credit cards and have added various modelling accessories to our stock list. As Mike is a working entertainer known as 'The Balloon Man' he is always happy to offer help and advice to would-be modellers. Looking to the future we hope to continue to expand Playtime, taking in more conventions and Dealer Dems at magic societies. Playtime Balloons has over the last 30+ years earned the reputation of being, apart from Qualatex themselves, the only UK company to stock a complete range of modelling balloons. In addition we also stock many accessories, which are listed on this site." Visit today! 28.1.06


Simon Coronel appears as a guest artiste at The Magic Cavern on Sunday 12th and Sunday 19th February 2006 at 3pm. Simon was the very first guest magician at The Magic Cavern in 2003. The Magic Cavern has added some extra dates: February 15th and 16th and April 5th, 6th, 12th and 13th all at 3pm, see What's On. 28.1.06


Illusionist Andrew Green returns to his roots on Saturday 4th February when he hosts Preston Magic Circles' Night of Magic at the Thwaites Empire Theatre, Blackburn. Along with a line up of magicians from the club, Andrew will be performing a section taken from his illusion show. He will be accompanied by 15 dancers from the local professional dance studio. Tickets are available from the box office on 01254 680137. 28.1.06


Merlins of Wakefield have a new 16 page Preview Catalogue out for February/March - and it's free! Just send your name and address to Merlins, 15 The Springs, Wakefield WF1 1QE or email They are also producing a "Premail" every first and third Monday of the month starting on Monday February 6th. This will be an email containing new items and special offers. Again just send your name and email address to Also visit 28.1.06 are offering a free Acrobat PDF format eManuscript with all purchases over $7.95... "Accurately predict the winner of Super Bowl XL! That's right, just place your sealed prediction in full view at the beginning of the big game and when it's opened by anyone at the end your prediction inside names the winning team! No Switches. No Double-Sided Envelopes. No Swami Gimmicks. No Billet Knives. In fact, you never have to touch the prediction envelope again! So you can just sit back, relax and enjoy the game. The entire effect is virtually self-working." Visit for details. 28.1.06


James More had an excellent two page spread in the Weekender Magazine (inside the Bournemouth Daily Echo) last weekend. The piece focused on his recent competition wins and future plans. "I always wanted to run away with the circus, then when I was seven or eight, I won a talent show at my school. I was into everything - plate spinning, juggling, puppetry and ventriloquism... but it was the magic that provoked the best response." 28.1.06


The stage version of The Lord of the Rings starts previewing on February 2nd at the 2,200 seat Princess of Wales Theatre, Toronto, Canada, with the opening night set for March 23rd. The show features a number of magic effects designed by Paul Kieve who has been involved with the development of the project for two years. The creative team includes India's Bolllywood composer A R Rahman, 'Billy Elliot' choreographer Peter Darling and director Matthew Warchus. The $28 million Canadian musical is the largest stage production ever to open outside Las Vegas, and has taken advance ticket sales of over 14 million Canadian dollars! A London production is planned for early in 2007. 28.1.06


Tony Griffith will be presenting his Creative Magic Lecture for the Guild of Magicians Nottingham on Thursday 2nd February 2006. For further details contact Andrew Morrison on 0115 9605844. His next Teach-in day is on March 5th, see What's On. Tony will also be presenting his Magic of Science show in Canterbury for the Kent Science Festival on February 15th and 16th. Further details from Tony on 01275 837017 28.1.06


Alec Powell Lecture. "Blackpool Magicians Club were privileged to witness the premiere of Alec Powell's new lecture this week. It is not often a Lecturer opens with no trousers on but it set the pace for what was to follow. Alec was absolutely hilarious as he romped through a few tricks and recounted his life story as the room rocked with laughter. His good friend Wayne Mattox showed some of his beautiful props whilst the audience took a breather and then it was back to non stop laughter as Alec showed off Milo's hat to bring a wonderful night's entertainment to a close. Highly recommended to all magic clubs who believe laughter an essential ingredient in their programme." Derek Lever.  28.1.06


Brother and sister magic act High Jinx (Michael and Siobhan Jordan) from Huddersfield will perform at a fund raising concert for the family of murder victim PC Sharon Beshenivsky. They will join well known names, including Emmerdale actor Chris Chittel, former Eastenders actor Dean Gaffney and Brookside actor Michael Starky in a Variety Show on 12th February at St Georges Hall in Bradford. Tickets for the show, which cost between 8.00 and 50.00, can be ordered via the Box Office on 01274 432000. 28.1.06


Glastonbury Abbey, Somerset. On Saturday 21st January 2006 Collin Richardson, assisted by Ray Notley and Geoff Pescud, made Glastonbury Abbey disappear before the eyes of the general public! "The illusion was performed in bright sunlight, and the equipment needed to be sufficiently portable as vehicles were prohibited from the actual sacred ground." In the near future a DVD will be released to magicians on two discs. One will contain a recording of the effect (for the public) and the other detailed instructions on the building and performance of the illusion. For further information contact 28.1.06


Blackpool Convention latest news: Only 400 seats remain for the Sunday Gala Show and these will only be released to Gold Card purchasers. You can book via your credit with no surcharge now. 28.1.06


Creative Education Project. Felix Pepler, Creative Partnerships Coventry, emails: "I am looking for a magic practitioner (contemporary/street) who would be interested in exploring the use of magic within education, particularly around helping teachers to use magic to defuse behaviour problems and as a tool to help engage pupils in their learning. The project will work with teachers in a school for children with behavioural difficulties. As yet the length and scope of the project has not been defined. However, as the project is unique and may have significant potential impact locally and further afield it may warrant significant investment for the right magical practitioner. We are looking for someone who is prepared and able to work in Coventry." For more information contact: Felix Pepler, Creative Advisor, Creative Partnerships Coventry, telephone: 01562 700400 email: 28.1.06


Mike Danata's Magic Studio, offer: "Purchase Terry Herbert' fantastic DVD 'Children's Magic the Herbert Way' which contains many fantastic routines, including his wonderful 'Silver Sceptre' routine and receive absolutely free a George Blake Silver Sceptre! (normally priced at 10.99!) The DVD is 26.00 post paid. Offer runs for 7 days." Telephone: 01202 391666 28.1.06


Presenters wanted: "Video Unlimited are seeking young presenters aged 16 to 25 for a new educational magic DVD. To apply please send a VHS/DVD of yourself performing a trick to camera. Then present yourself informing us what you enjoy doing in life. Presentation piece should last up to two minutes." Send applications to: Video Unlimited, 135 Martin Way, Morden, Surrey SM4 4AR Email 28.1.06


The Peekaboo Paradox. "The strange secrets of humor, fear and a guy who makes big money making little people laugh... The Great Zucchini arrived early, as he is apt to do, and began to make demands, as is his custom. He was too warm, so he wanted the thermostat adjusted. It was. He declared the basement family room adequate for his needs, but there was a problem with the room next door. Something had to be done about it. The room next door was emblematic of the extraordinary life and times of the Great Zucchini, Washington's No. 1 preschool entertainer. The homeowners, Allison and Donald Cox Jr., are in their late thirties, with two young children -- Lauren, who is 5, and Donald III, who goes by Trey, and whose third birthday was being celebrated that day." To read the full story by Gene Weingarten in the Washington Post Click Here. 28.1.06


Alex Elmsley is remembered by John Derris, Click Here. 28.1.06


David Blaine offers an exploration of the mysteries and history of the ancient art of magic in "Mysterious Stranger" - available from Click Here "Building an illusion" Click Here "Fame & Fortune: Magician Penn Jillette" Click Here "Magician Copperfield's secret is to get personal" Click Here Etienne Pradier lectures at Winchester Magical Society on Thursday February 2nd at 8pm. Visitors are welcome; contact John Harris for details 02380 562381 David Crofts has set a new record, confirmed by Guinness World Records, for the fastest coin roll with a single coin at 43 rolls per minute That's it for this week, your UK magic news is always welcomed, see you next week, Duncan. 28.1.06