Number 372 - 11th August 2007


Al Schneider and Francis Menotti are the first names announced to appear at this year's International Magic Convention in London (23rd - 25th November 2007). Both will be lecturing and performing during the weekend. Al Schneider is best known as the man who, in 1960, came up with the original Matrix concept - an idea that has since spawned countless variations. Al Schneider is widely regarded as one of the foremost thinkers on the art of close-up magic and has been a regular contributor to Genii magazine, with thought provoking essays on the subject. Examples of Al's work can be seen at Francis Menotti (photo) is one the new generation of American performers who truly see magic as a performance art, blending skilled sleight of hand with a wry sense of humour. A sense of humour seen nowhere better than in his "Off Colour Books of Mentalism" the wonderful spoof of Max Maven's Colour Books of Mentalism. His lecture on creativity lead Rick Maue to state "If the future of magic lies in the hands of people like Francis Menotti, our art form is not only safe, it is also flourishing." The Convention will once again be held at the excellent Novotel/Shaw Theatre complex near Euston Station, London. A full range of options are available from one day to complete weekend registrations via 11.8.07


Gaetan Bloom, Lennart Green, Bill Malone, Michael Vincent, Boris Wild and Rocco are all appearing at the intimate Arts Centre Theatre, with perfect tiered seating for close-up magic, in Southport at this year's British Ring Convention. For all the latest convention news Click Here. 11.8.07


Loch Ness Magic Challenge, reported by Jan Culshaw: Nineteen magicians from 5 Scottish magical societies took part in the first ever Loch Ness Magic Challenge last Saturday, performing nonstop for nearly 4 hours around Fort Augustus. Aberdeen Magical Society, Edinburgh Magic Circle, Glasgow Magic Circle, Perth Magic Circle and the Scottish Conjurers Association all sent teams to compete for the Challenge Trophy and prize money of £3000. The winners were decided by public vote, and all the teams were well supported, with over 1800 votes being cast. Despite a very windy outdoor environment a huge amount of excellent and entertaining magic made the day an outstanding success. All the performers entered into the spirit of the occasion, and no words can convey the thanks owed to them all for making it a real day to remember and savour. The result was an outstanding victory for Edinburgh Magic Circle, who took first place and the Challenge Trophy, along with £1500 in prize money. Second and third, after a recount, were Perth Magic Circle and Glasgow Magic Circle, earning prize money of £1000 and £500 respectively. All the participants were winners, though, for the way in which they approached the event. A huge range of audience-pulling and vote-gaining tactics were displayed and the whole event was a lesson in how to win and entertain an audience. A fabulous day. Photo L to R: Gary James, Congo (aka Max Marshall) and Ricky McLeod. 11.8.07


The Workeroo! James Brown's Workeroo is now available directly from his website "This incredible utility will allow you to vanish, produce, switch and holdout. So far the reviews have been awesome. Gary Jones calls it the best thing to happen in magic for decades. You can see Chris Williams' review and others on The Magic Café. Perfect for Close-up, Parlour or Stage the Workeroo will make amateurs look like first class magi. If you want to do real magic then this is for you." To see a video and to order visit: 11.8.07


The Merchant of Magic are proud to announce the release of Christopher Williams' new book The Thought of Cards Across Project. "Three different handlings that take the routine to the next level. All have been tried and tested for working professionals. Each handling has been improved and streamlined through years of performing the effects, and they can all be done with borrowed decks, shuffled decks, without switches or gimmicks!" The book also includes John Carey's version and finally reveals Gary Jones's personal method 11.8.07


Illusions Magic Bar are looking for unwanted magic props, illusions, magic memorabilia and posters for the bar which will open in 4 weeks. "Anybody who donates will be credited; items will be preserved and on show. We are particularly looking for a Zig Zag illusion." If you are in the Bristol area (or Southport) and can help please email 11.8.07


Alan Rorrison's Fingers of Fury twin DVD set, Vol 1 Weapons of Choice, Vol 2 Death by Cards is released by Big Blind Media on Wednesday August 15th. We were sent a pre-release set which are featured under Magic DVDs complete with video clip today. 11.8.07


The Riser Deck "Created over a decade ago, the Riser Deck has long been one of magic’s best kept secrets. Previously shared with only a handful of fellow professionals, Mark Elsdon has finally decided to release his show-stopping effect to the general magic community. At the climax of an Ambitious Card routine, the performer offers to repeat the effect ‘one last time, under test conditions.’ The deck is replaced in the case to prevent any possible manipulation by the performer, and the signed selection is held by the spectator. Read carefully now, this is exactly what happens: the spectator himself pushes his own signed card into the cased deck, anywhere he wants – in the middle, near the bottom, wherever. The deck and card can be fully shown face-up if desired as the spectator pushes his selection flush into the deck. The case is closed and given a little shake. The case is re-opened and completely fairly the top card is removed – it is the signed selection! " Visit: for the full low-down (scroll down). 11.8.07


Sean Alexander & Vanessa (Illusionists Mist) will be supporting Billy Pearce in his Summer Family Show at The Britannia Pier Theatre, Great Yarmouth on Saturday 18th August at 7.30pm. Tickets are £14.00, concessions £12.00, children free, Box office: 01493 842209. 11.8.07


James More - through to live Bournemouth final. Following on from last week we can report that James More made it through to the Final in the Search for a Star 2007 talent competition last week. The final takes place on Sunday 26th August at the Carrington House Hotel, Knyveton Road, Bournemouth, Dorset BH1 3QQ (Map). See James on YouTube Click Here. (For more information visit - 10% off on all shop sales that weekend too!). 4.8.07


Masuda's WOW! Wayne Dobson has Masuda's WOW! in stock - visit the Newsletter page for details: 11.8.07


Harrison Richards, The Perceptionist will be performing at this year's Northern Green Gathering Festival. The festival is an annual four day camping event held at Ackworth, near Pontefract in West Yorkshire. It is focused around sustainable living and green campaigns. Harrison will be performing on 'Sunny Jim's Solar-Powered Cabaret Stage' throughout the day today (Saturday, 11th August). More information: 11.8.07


It may look like Del Boy but this is actually Mel Boy (aka Mel Harvey), van packed and all ready for this year's British Ring Convention in Southport (12th - 16th September). This year Mel tells us he has some "very cushty magic gear both new and second hand, plus some great stage jackets that the real Del-Boy would be proud to wear - on his karaoke nights! This year Mel's Magic Co. has an exclusive children's trick 'Cat and Mouse' which plays well for that difficult age group, the under fives." Mel has also been booked to emcee the stage competition on the Wednesday evening - the first time the competition has had an emcee for 25 years. 11.8.07


Manchester Circle of Magicians Triumph at the Fringe. The Manchester Circle of Magicians have won the award for the best show in the Other Events section of the prestigious Buxton Festival Fringe with a show of close-up magic. The evening was compared by Neil Fletcher, and the audience was wowed by the magic of Phil Tilston, Harry Robson, Philip Partridge, Peter Robson, Gary Williams, Andy Dean and Ian Hallsworth. For information about the Manchester Circle of Magicians visit 11.8.07


The Enemies of Reason. "Professor Richard Dawkins explores how organised faith and primitive religious values blight our lives. But the fault line runs deeper even than religion. There are two ways of looking at the world - through faith and superstition, or through the rigours of logic, observation and evidence - in other words, through reason." With guest Derren Brown. Monday 13th August, Channel 4 at 8pm. "The gullible age" Click Here. See TV Magic. 11.8.07


Burning Card Magic have given their site a make-over resulting in faster loading pages, and an easier to use interface. "We have launched our monthly Special Offer and for a limited time we will be running a Give-away Offer! This month's Special Offer is on Kevin Parker products with savings of over £5.00 on each product! And our Give-away Offer is…. For every order of £30.00 or over we will give you a free Ghost Gaff Deck worth £12.50. Both offers are until the stock runs out, so act quickly. Visit for more details and for the latest magic products at a great price." 11.8.07


The Sleight Favourite. "The magician edged up to Anthea Turner's table and asked her to lend him a ring. The ex-GMTV star looked at him suspiciously but then, with a bit of encouragement, slipped a band from a dainty finger and presented it to him. Quick as a flash, Gary James clapped his hands together and, to Anthea's dismay, the ring disappeared. Then, the Edinburgh magician glanced at his shoe and his audience gave a collective gasp; there was the prized ring, tied to his shoelace - and he hadn't even bent down." To read the full story by Joanna Valley in The Scotsman Click Here. 11.8.07


New DVD release for Kidology. Practical Magic are releasing a new DVD at the Kidology Convention on September 4th in Wolverhampton. Entitled 'Dog Arm Puppet Routine', it comprises a 10 minute performance, followed by 10 minutes of explanation, with handling tips and extra material. The price is just £9.50. The Dog Arm Puppet has been one of Practical Magic's most popular lines over the past 8 years. Now here is your chance to see all the handling! If you can't attend Kidology (and you should - see below) then contact Practical Magic telephone 01691 690789. Kidology registrations have increased dramatically in the past couple of weeks. There are brand new lectures from Poz and Ali Bongo, as well as a lecture from an up-and-coming star from Croatia: Jozo Bozo. 12 dealers and buffet lunch included. A whole day aimed at the children's entertainer for £35.00. Full details on Practical Magic's website: The convention has sold out in the last three years. Make sure that you don't miss out this year! 11.8.07


Who's fooling who... Noel Qualter emails: "Last night I was checking to see if anybody had plagiarised content from my website by looking on and I found 8 sites that have stolen either the design or the copy. Unbelievably there are guys who have stolen content from me and friends of mine which shows amazing cheek. I suggest that all magicians with a website check the copyscape site and if you are guilty of web plagiarism you should be ashamed of yourself." 11.8.07


Next month Mesika Magic will be releasing a Loops DVD featuring Finn Jon (the inventor of the Loop) and Yigal • "Me, a mind-reader? I should have had my head examined" Click Here • "Master of magic is out to astound" Click Here • "Nameless psychic ability" Click Here • "Lafayette magician tackles Boulder Fringe" Click Here • That's it for another week, see you next week, Duncan. 11.8.07