Number 332 - 4th November 2006


Romany - Diva of Magic is The Magic Circle Stage Magician of the Year 2006/7. Romany captivated a packed Magic Circle theatre audience last Sunday from the moment she set foot on stage with an original and theatrical performance that mixed the glamour of a classic Folies Bergere showgirl with a dry and brilliantly timed wit. Her two volunteers from the audience became an integral part of the act when she fell head over heels for one of them (literally), as the magic unfolded. Meanwhile judges Jeremy Beadle, actor Melvyn Hayes and television producer John Kay Cooper fell under Romany's spell, voting her into a well deserved first place. Romany has performed in cabaret all over the world and her showmanship shone through in a tough competition that featured eight full-time professionals. Keith Fields was on form combining visual gags, verbal gags and some great magic (including the production of a goldfish bowl from a wallet!) and was awarded second place and James Freedman presented his skillful and cleverly crafted pickpocketing act, that also featured magic, to be placed third (DT). 4.11.06


Many congratulations to Megan Knowles-Bacon winner of J-Day Young Magicians Club stage competition on October 22nd (a part of The Magic Circle youth initiative programme). Megan's love of magic and dance proved a winning combination. Joshua Bartley was placed second, and David Loosely third. In the Close-up competition Patrick Milne was placed first, Daniel Brookes second and Louis Coakley third. (Photo by Mandy Davis). Visit for membership details. 4.11.06


The Commercial Close Up Forum is just a week away and there are still some places left for late registrants. Mark Leveridge, Nicholas Einhorn and Martin Sanderson will each perform a show, lecture, and take part in a Discussion Forum at the Floatel, Northwich, Cheshire on Sunday 12th November. All registrants will be divided into three small groups to ensure that everyone gets the most from these professionals, on how to work close-up commercially. The venue offers a comfortable environment for registrants to mix and 'session' - to register online visit 4.11.06


35th International Magic Convention, London, 24th – 26th November 2006. The programme of events with approximate times has just been released: Friday 24th November: 7pm Roger Crosthwaite - Tribute to Victor Farelli Lecture, with Michael Vincent, 8.30pm Will Houstoun Lecture. Saturday 25th November: Doors Open 10am for 23rd Annual Close-up Competition, 1.30pm David Regal, 3.30pm Mickey Silver, 4.45pm James Brown, 7.30pm Gala Show 1st Performance Gala Show (repeated Sunday). Sunday 26th November: Doors Open 10am for Dealers Hall, 11am Close-up Show, 1pm Luke Jermay Lecture, 3pm Jon Armstrong Lecture, 4.45pm Competition Awards followed by mini lectures from Ray Crowe and Mike Caveney, 7.30pm Gala Show 2nd Performance Gala (same show as Saturday). David Stone has also just been booked to perform (as opposed to lecture) time tbc. So, the talent line-up now looks like this: David Stone (France), David Regal (USA), Tony Chapek (photo - USA), Will Houstoun (UK), Lex & Alina (Germany), Tony Chapek (USA), David Sousa (Portugal), Mickey Silver (USA), Mike Caveney (USA), Jon Armstrong (USA), Luke Jermay (UK), Noel Britten (UK), T J (Germany), Tina Lenert (USA), Michael Vincent (UK), Roger Crosthwaite (UK), and James Brown (UK). What a superb line-up! Registration options for the weekend are flexible. For more information and to book visit 4.11.06


Barry and Stuart are nominated for a BAFTA! They have been short listed in the category of "Best Performance" for their television special "Tricks from the Bible" by BAFTA Scotland. This one hour special was shown on Channel 4 in June 2006 and featured the recreation of biblical miracles including turning staffs into snakes, robbing a Samson of his strength and casting the 10 plagues of Egypt. The awards are taking place on Sunday 12th November. Viewers in Scotland can watch the event on BBC1 on Monday 13th November at 10.35pm. Barry and Stuart feature in a new series of viral web commercials for Vauxhall Click Here, Here and Here! 4.11.06


Jay Scott Berry is recognised the world over for his innovative work as a performer and teacher of magic. He is also a theatrical producer and one of the creative forces behind the largest public magic festival ever held in the UK. Now in its 5th successful year, The Palace of Magic Festival was launched at the Royal Palace in Falkland but now makes Stirling Castle in Scotland its home. Each year, for one weekend, over 5000 people visit from all over to see some of the world's finest magicians performing in a truly magical setting. Jay's innovative range of magic products can be seen at 4.11.06 is a new site that will be of interest to quick change artistes worldwide. Sven Schoppenhauer, Sos Petrosyan and Lee Alex and have pooled their talents to produce a site that will feature up-to-date news, show listings and news of educational lectures and related performances. (Quick Change, the History of the Cinema and Chapeaugraphy are often the subject of educational lectures in Universities and other institutions.) Another important aim of the website is for Quick Change to be recognised as a separate art from magic. Quick Change artistes for example cannot easily compete in magic championships, or have to compete against illusionists. The art itself is in fact older than many branches of magic. It's early days for this new website, but it's looking very good. Visit 4.11.06


Wayne Dobson's Lucky Dip... "OK Wayne I am really beginning to hate you. Today somebody fooled the ‘*@^?’ out of me with 'Lucky Dip', I must have one! I am begging you to stop coming out with such brilliant, simple, elegant, powerful material. Please - it makes the rest of us look stupid!" Andy Nyman. Here's the effect: "You display a small bag that has about 15 coins inside. The spectator dips their hand inside the bag, and removes any coin (let us assume it is an English 10p). The spectator remembers the coin and replaces it in the bag. The spectator takes the bag and shakes it to mix the coins. You reach into the bag and remove a coin, and it is the same coin as the one the spectator selected. You offer to explain how you did it. The bag is emptied onto the table and every coin is the same, they are all 10p coins…… Easy! You now offer to repeat the effect, only this time the spectator signs the coin. They place all the coins into the bag and the give it a good shake. You then reach into the bag with your quite obviously empty hand and remove one coin. It is the signed coin! Sounds impossible, but its true! It is also 100% self working and instantly resets." Visit 4.11.06


Kerry Scorah, Romi and Dallas have just returned from York Race Course where they were specially chosen to entertain at the annual York Lesbian Arts Festival. Kerry and Dallas performed close-up magic and Romi was in high demand for her tarot readings. York Lesbian Arts Festival is a 4-day event attracting over 2000 people from all over the world. 4.11.06


Fred Robinson - for the first time ever on DVD! "Snap, Crackle and Pop! A Brief Interlude with Fred Robinson" available by return from (we'll be bringing you a review in a couple of weeks). Martin emailed that he would like to apologise to any customers who received duplicate emails last week, due to a technical mistake that has now been resolved. Also, Martin is looking for a copy of "Reel Magic by Lewis Ganson" (he owns the rights to this booklet and wants to put it out again, together with a locking reel that he has had made). Anyone who can lend or give Martin a copy will be rewarded with a reel, worth about £40.00. Please email Martin via his website if you can help. 4.11.06


Wayne Dobson lectures at The Modern Mystic League, Blackburn on Sunday, 5th November at 3pm Entry (magicians only) is £10.00 for non members, and the venue is St. Silas Parish Centre, Preston New Road, Blackburn, Lancashire. Contact Secretary, Brian Taylor (01257) 269465 for more details. Wayne also lectures at the Northamptonshire Magicians' Club on 7th November at The Quality Hotel, Ashley Way, Westone, Northampton at 8pm - arrive early to get a good seat, non members welcome, at £8 per head. 4.11.06


Prestidigital 3 is featured in Magic DVDs this week. A quarterly DVD magazine for magicians, I was really impressed with this disc. See Magic DVDs. 4.11.06


The North West Dealers Day. Geoffrey Newton emails: "The Order of The Magi is once again presenting The North West Dealers Day, on Saturday 11th November at the Irish World Heritage Centre in Queens Road Manchester from 10am to 4pm. All the regular dealers have booked stands for this event that The Magi have been hosting for four years now. This time there is an inter society lunchtime Close-Up Magic Competition with £150 in prize money. In the afternoon Keith Kay presents an entertaining audio visual look at the fascinating world of Optical Illusions – where seeing can be deceiving and things are not always what they appear to be. Keith is the author of one of the best selling books on this subject ‘Take a a Closer Look’ which will be available on the day. There is a £50 Dealer Voucher to be won in the raffle and the entrance fee remains at £5. Directions to the venue are on and signs are proposed to be located in the area early on the day. Snacks will be available during the event and there is the new Manchester Fort large retail park is next door. The NWDD is proving very popular, giving the opportunity to buy all your new props for Christmas Shows in a very social atmosphere." For more information email or telephone Geoffrey Newton on 0161 969 8222 or 07769 884109. 4.11.06 are pleased to be able to offer Steve Axtell's latest creation "Off the Meter!" - a visual noise meter that is secretly under the performers control at all times, that will go "off the meter" and explode when required! There's a video clip on the website showing the prop in action during a live performance by Steve Axtell. The first batch sold out immediately and expect new stock in 3-4 weeks and are now taking advance orders. 4.11.06


The Magic Circle Dealers' Day 10am - 5pm, Saturday 18th November, at the Royal National Hotel, Bedford Square, London WC1H 0DG (Map) Entrance £5.00 (£3.00 under 16s) members free. With over 40 dealers.


Leeds Magical Association Competition. On Tuesday 24th October, the Leeds Magical Association held a competition in memory of the late George Powell, a past President and long serving committee member. The theme of the competition was comedy magic with six entrants who entertained and enthralled the audience. The winner of the competition was Mike Coyne from Leeds and the runner-up was Michael Jordan of Huddersfield. The other competitors were Malcolm Bromwhich and Roxanne, Paul Kitchen, Steve Gore & Co (Stevie B) and Paul Cheeseborough. Judging the competition was Mrs Ann Powell and Dr Roland Brierley, a good friend of George’s. It was agreed the evening had been a great success and will now be held annually. Reported by Barbara Rabbetts. 4.11.06


Six foot long bolts of million-volt lightning are created for the first time on a New York stage by British scientists Richard Wiseman and Simon Singh as part of their show The Theatre of Science. With the audience seated just a few feet from the lethal sparks, there is no room for error. As a finale to the show, one of the performers enters a coffin-shaped cage and absorbs the full force of the strikes. The show also explores the remarkable anatomy of Delia Du Sol, one of the UK's top contortionists, as she performs live, demonstrating impossible body bends and squeezing into a tiny Perspex cube. Further highlights include mind-blowing optical illusions, a live lie detection polygraph demonstration, and a two minute explanation of the Big Bang. This sell-out show has been staged to rave reviews in London's West End and at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Theatre for the New City, 9th - 12th November, 4.11.06


Hot Rod Convertible - Available from "Imagine having just performed your best hot rod routine then, as a finale, the body of the hot rod changes to match the colour of gem that was selected by the spectator! No Buttons, No Chemicals, No Electricity or batteries used! Can be performed surrounded! May be performed in the Spectators hands!..." Visit to order. 4.11.06


Richard Leigh is casting actors for a production of 'Christmas Ghost Stories' by Crispin Dexter and Ronald Selwyn Phillips at The Magic Cavern as part of The Christmas season. Playing age 50 - 55, magical knowledge an advantage but not essential. Ghost Stories is a play with magical effects carefully interwoven into the storyline. Ghosts will walk through doors, decapitated heads will come alive, beasts will materialise... 20th December - 6th January 2007. Wednesday to Saturday performances at 9pm. Email CV, Biog and Photo to Closing date Thursday 9th November. 4.11.06


The Rough Guide to British Cult Comedy by Julian Hall. Synopsis: "The Rough Guide to British Cult Comedy" is the ultimate guide to live and television comedy in Britain from the 1980s to the present day. From Ben Elton to Alan Carr, this book profiles fifty of the most influential cult comedy icons and discovers how they became household names. Throughout the book, there are tips from comedians and industry insiders, with a mix of amusing anecdotes and practical suggestions for writing and performing your own live show and sitcom. The guide reviews the top cult comedy on TV and in the movies, with a detailed focus on what inspired them and what they in turn inspired. "Comedy Stories" looks at the highs and lows of performing live comedy with tales of the rowdiest hecklers and strangest audiences. The book comes complete with a round up of the best DVDs, books and comic websites available. Order from Click Here. 4.11.06


Houdini Lives! A Supernatural Romantic Thriller by Al Blanchard and Adam Steinfeld is now available as in paperback or as a download via "It's 1966, and world famous magician, escape artist, Harry Houdini, did not die 40 years ago as people thought. He's has been in hiding from his political enemies and is planning a dramatic comeback. Who are these enemies from the 1920's, and why are they still trying to kill him? Can Stanford, the young, hip, up-and-coming magician, and his sultry assistant, Solea, save his life? A magician creates a world of wonder and asks people to believe in that world. It is the highest form of entertainment. What is Houdini's secret identity? Will this be his final illusion? Ladies and Gentlemen, prepare for a tall tale of murder, mystery, romance, and political drama. Houdini lives or dies is only a matter of time." 4.11.06


Stephen Garcia on P&O's MV Oriana. Peter Everett reports seeing Stephen Garcia on P&Os MV Oriana. "These days Stephen does not perform large illusions but relies on sleight of hand and his good sense of comedy to entertain his audiences. His shows (each of 45 minutes duration) contained both silent routines performed to carefully chosen music and some very funny patter routines. All of his shows were very well received by the near capacity audiences." Peter Everett (Cheshire). 4.11.06


Film 2006 with Jonathan Ross reviews The Prestige on Monday 6th November at 11.15pm on BBC1 • "Shop local to have a great Christmas" Click Here • "See Sun street magic exclusive" Click Here • "House of Horror" Click Here • "12-year-old magician plays to the crowds" Click Here • "Bale reveals he is descended from a magician" Click Here • "The Magician Was a Spy? Ask Him Today!" Click Here • "Magician's escape cage vanishes" Click Here • Your UK magic news is always welcome, see you next week, Duncan. 4.11.06