Last Week: Number 329 - 14th October 2006


The Prestige opens in the UK on November 10th. From acclaimed filmmaker Christopher Nolan (Memento, Batman Begins), comes a mysterious story of two magicians whose intense rivalry leads them on a life-long battle for supremacy full of obsession, deceit and jealousy with dangerous and deadly consequences. From the time that they first met as young magicians on the rise, Robert Angier (Hugh Jackman) and Alfred Borden (Christian Bale) were competitors. However, their friendly competition evolves into a bitter rivalry making them fierce enemies-for-life and consequently jeopardizing the lives of everyone around them. Full of twists and turns, The Prestige is set against the backdrop of turn-of-the-century London, the exceptional cast includes two-time Oscar winner Michael Caine, Scarlett Johansson and David Bowie. Movie trailer and "behind the scenes" on Other magic movies in the pipeline include: "Magicians" (in production), "The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay" (in development), "Carter Beats the Devil" (in development), "Death Defying Acts" (in production) and "The Illusionist" (released in the US earlier this year, no UK release date yet). 14.10.06


Show me the money! There are still a few places left for entrants in the International Magic Close-up Competition in London on 25th November 2006. Part of The International Magic Convention, the winner receives The Kevin Reay Trophy and £1000 cash, with second and third cash prizes too. This is one of the most prestigious magic competitions in the world, and a great showcase, seen by many overseas convention organisers. For a list of previous winners Click Here. Last year's competition featured Rick Merrill, Martin Eisle and Helder Guimeraraes who all went on to be placed at FISM, with Rick Merrill winning the Grand Prix. With such world class performers entering it is always one of the most eagerly awaited events at the convention. Tickets are still available for the whole weekend of events, or single day tickets are available if you just want to see the competition, Click Here. To enter, or for more details, contact Martin MacMillan 14.10.06


Paul Daniels plays Scrooge in a stage version of Charles Dickens' immortal A Christmas Story at the Marina Theatre, Lowestoft. The family production is running from December 11th-16th, with three 1.30pm mid-week matinees, and a 2.30pm Saturday show. Tickets: £7.50 - £16.50 depending on the show. Concessions available. 14.10.06


Marc Oberon lectures at Doncaster Magic Club, Regent Hotel, on October 25th. This is a special one off night. Visiting magicians are welcome for a small door charge of £5.00. Contact Magix Paul (President) in advance on 07710 933185 to book. On Monday December 4th Monday the club will be holding an auction from 7pm (11pm finish). Anyone wishing to register items for sale should also contact the Secretary, Magix Paul, on 07710 933185. 14.10.06


Kovari Magic have a new website featuring Kovari's magic range. As a performing magician Kovari has many television appearances to his credit including; "The Sooty Show", "Five Magic Minutes", "Rainbow", "Illusions", "Jim'll Fix It", "Won't Change Places" and "The Freddie Starr Show" and has also acted as magical advisor for films, television and theatrical productions. His original magic creations are supplied to magicians all over the world and are manufactured in his own workshop. The new site features online ordering. Visit today!. 14.10.06


Max Maven - Nothing. "Max Maven traveled from Hollywood to Lake Tahoe. He brought Nothing but a nice suit. On the way from the airport to the studio, he stopped at a supermarket for less than ten minutes and spent less than ten dollars. Once in his room, he spent less than half an hour preparing, and proceeded to go on stage and do a 50-minute performance of mentalism. Featuring Eugene Burger, Brandon Combs, Gene Matsuura, Stephen Minch, Jan Rose and Michael Weber. A two-DVD set (with as much content as most three-DVD sets). Running time: 3 hours 50 minutes, plus bonus material." Available for immediate delivery from (see under "Just In") at £58.00 post paid. 14.10.06


Blackpool Magicians Convention, latest news: Only 20 VIP Registration Tickets remain out of the 500 allocated. Registrations are at record levels this year with over 60% of all Gold Card Registrations already being sold! To obtain your free book "Sensational Secrets" (price £25.00) you must register by the 31st December, 2006. The Blackpool dates are 23rd, 24th, 25th February, 2007. Contact "Happy" Arthur Casson on 01253 393688 or visit 14.10.06


Simple and Direct Mentalism by Looch - Out Now! "From the mind of one of mentalism's rising stars comes an important book of practical, simple and direct mentalism. Why should you be interested in this book? Because it features powerful, entertaining close-up mentalism that has been sharpened to a razor's edge by constant use in the real world. Looch only performs direct, uncluttered effects that are guaranteed to astound an audience. Overcoming one of the problems with a lot of mentalism material, Looch has devised clever ways of retaining the element of surprise in his work, which elevates the material, even standard plots, to new levels of astonishment." Find out all about this new publication from 14.10.06


Chester Guild of Magicians 50th Anniversary. To celebrate their anniversary Stephen Cooil has booked the function room at the Ramada Hotel, Christleton, Chester, on November 3rd, for an evening of magic and celebration starring spectacular award winning illusionists Safire, and close-up award winner David Jones. Tickets, which include a three course dinner, are £30.00 each from Treasurer Phil Fairclough on 0151 355 8340. 14.10.06


John van der Put has just finished working as the magic advisor for Punchdrunk on their new show 'Faust', a co-production between them and the National Theatre. John created some magic for a couple of scenes, including a version of "Any Drink Called For". The show has sold out already, but they've just announced they're extending the run until December so more tickets are available. It's previewing this week, and opens officially today, Saturday 14th. 14.10.06


Manchester Circle of Magicians Jumbo Auction takes place on Tuesday 24th October, 2006 at 6.30 pm at Salford Masonic Hall, Hemsley House, 41 The Crescent, Salford M5 4PE (Map). Hundreds of items have already been entered and it promises to be the biggest ever. The British Magical Society have chosen this Auction to sell valuable artefacts from their museum and they include a number of rare collectables manufactured by Jos. Bland. The star Auctioneers are Derek Lever and Mike Shepherd. Members attend free of charge. Non-members £3.00 door charge or join the club for just £10.00 per year. Full details from Derek Lever, 32 Pilling Lane, Preesall, Poulton-Le-Fylde, Lancs. FY6 OEU Phone/Fax: 01253 810113 14.10.06


Freaky! 12.30pm today, Saturday 14th October, on Channel 4. "Dave, Mike, Nige and Phil, four freaky geezas with mayhem in mind, bring viewers a mix of interactive magic, surrealism and comedy that will shock, amuse, bemuse and humour the audience. Joining them are a selection of the weirdest performance artists and astonishing freaks, and twins with a fine line in surreal trickery. It's all the product of several dark, overactive and twisted minds." See TV Magic. 14.10.06


Derby Magic Circle Auction and Table Top Sale. Derby Magic Circle are holding an auction and table top sale of magic on Sunday November 5th from 9.30am at the Breadsall Memorial Hall, Brookside Road, Breadsall, Derby DE21 5LF. Entry is £3.00 or to book a table £10.00. For further details contact Simon Goodfellow (Secretary) 01335 345126 The table top sale starts at 9.30am and the auction at1pm. Dealers will be in attendance and food will be available. 14.10.06


Manchester Circle of Magicians Christmas Party. Derek Lever writes: Manchester Circle of Magicians have booked star TV Comedian Johnny Casson plus Terry Seabrooke and Arthur Casson for their annual Christmas Party on Tuesday 12th December, 2006. The night includes a Buffet Supper and tickets are £15.00 each available from Derek Lever, 32 Pilling Lane, Preesall, Poulton-Le-Fylde, Lancs. FY6 OEU Phone/Fax: 01253 810113 14.10.06


Sylvester Oscar Scary’s House of Illusion. Rodney James Piper and Wayne Goodman treated all the magicians who have worked for them at Sylvester Oscar Scary’s House of Illusion throughout this Summer in Spain to an end of season treat. They were taken to Barcelona to a secret restaurant where they had a "talk about tricks" lunch with Joshua Jay. Joshua gave an informal lecture over lunch and talked about his travels in magic. In the photo Dangerous Ryan, David Taylor, Glenn Bonnar, Joshua Jay, Matt Edwards, Wayne Goodman and Rodney James Piper. House of Illusion will be holding auditions in the New Year for Summer '07. 14.10.06


Andy Nyman will be attending the Hollywood Film Festival in LA on October 20th for the movie 'Played' and will also be a guest at the Cardiff Film Festival where they are showing two of his movies, 'Shut Up & Shoot Me' and 'Are You Ready For Love'. Andy will be doing a Question & Answer session after all screenings and would be happy to meet magicians.  The 'Bear trap scene' in Severance has been shortlisted as the Scariest scene of the year in Total Film and it is now down to the votes... Visit to vote for Andy! See the 'Get Nyman' lecture at The Magic Circle in London on November 13th (members only). 14.10.06


Mr Zodiac retires from office. Mr Zodiac (Freddie Firth) has stepped down as Honorary Editor of The Zodiac Magical Society's magazine 'The Zodiac' after 40 years, and from the council after serving on it for all sixty years of the society's life so far. Freddie also served a record 34 years as President during that time. The photo shows retiring President Jean Purdy presenting Freddie with a memento and certificate to mark this remarkable achievement. The new President of The Zodiac Magical Society is Richard Pinner. His father, Peter Pinner, held this office from 1991-2001. This is the first time the society has had a second generation member becoming President. 14.10.06


Prestidigital meets Charlie Frye! Following the Eastbourne Convention the Prestidigital cameras and crew caught up with the amazing Charlie Frye, to film an interview before he headed back to Las Vegas. Look out for it on the next DVD issue of Prestidigital, where he talks about routining, eccentricks, influences and more; including an excellent bill switch for good measure. For more information visit 14.10.06


Welcome to Wonderland - IV. "Witness the impossible as three top magical illusionists from around the world take to the stage." Producer Gary Scott takes on the role of his alter-ego "Alucard Van Horn" (billed as a "magical fright fest") and guest magicians Michael Jay and Tony Spallino fly in from the States. Also starring the mind trickery of Wayne Clancy, and compere David Fung. Saturday 21st October, Doors open 6:30pm, Showtime: 7pm. Venue: Allum Hall, 2 Allum Lane, Elstree, Hertfordshire WD6 3PJ (Map). Tickets are £10.00 each and include refreshments. Visit: 14.10.06


Building once held opera house. "A Christmas open house in Colon Village Dec. 2 is expected to go on as planned despite Thursday's fire that devastated a landmark building in the center of town. 'It's a tragedy,' said Greg Bordner, president of the Colon Chamber of Commerce and Abbott Magic Company. 'The building is destroyed. It doesn't really matter at this point what started the fire. The building's gone." To read the full story in Sturgis Journal, Click Here. 14.10.06


Oz Pearlman lecture update. Oz Pearlman has now obtained a work permit and is flying into the UK again this weekend. Tony Griffith emails: "His lecture for the Bath Circle next Friday 20th was cancelled when it was known he had returned to the US. However, I have decided to host his lecture at my home here in Bristol on Friday next 20th. Starting time will be 8pm admission £10 per person. Seating is limited to 15 people only. If a seat is not booked they will not be able to attend." Telephone Tony Griffith on 01275 837017 to book. 14.10.06


Close-up magicians and street magicians wanted! Stuart Watkins has been asked by a major client to provide magicians for promotional work; i.e. street magic/close-up to be performed outside their premises to encourage passers-by to call in and sign up for memberships etc. They will need to work between the hours of 4pm-10pm (with breaks) in the following locations: Cardiff, Glasgow, Dundee, Sunderland, Stockport and Teeside on October 21st and Glasgow, Dundee and Birmingham on October 28th. Call Stuart Watkins on 07763 285078 or email for more details and rates. 14.10.06


Children's Entertainers: Heidi's Costumes is holding an open house week from October 16th - 20th from 9.30am - 4pm and will have for sale a selection of costumes and accessories at 100 Woodmere Avenue, Watford, Hertfordshire WD24 7LW. Contact Heidi for details telephone: 01923 254609 14.10.06


In 2003, Brian Caswell, (creator of Trilogy and Cataclysm), made an hour long documentary following four performers. The idea was not to concentrate on household names, but on four full-time professional magicians, showing the wide variety of work they do, their other interests and their thoughts on magic. The documentary will be screened at the Magical Mayhem club on Thursday November 2nd. Brian will follow this with a lecture on the original magic created especially for the film and will also discuss some of his new creations. Brian's newest effects can be seen at 14.10.06


Congratulations to Christopher Williams - awarded Plymouth Magic Circle Close-up Magician of the Year on Thursday 12th October. Christopher presented two of his own signature effects. Christopher reports that his first book 'A Collection of Card Magic' is selling well. 14.10.06


Val Andrews 1926-2006. Sad to report that magician and prolific writer Val Andrews died following a heart attack on October 12th. 14.10.06


Mike Stokes of Playtime Balloons has been asked to present another Balloon Workshop for the British Ring at next year's Convention in Southport, following his success this year • "Illusionist Stephen's debut show will be 'edgy'" Click Here • That's it for this week, your UK magic news is always welcomed. See you next week, Duncan. 14.10.06