Number 418 - 28th June 2008


Jason Byrne was born in Fribourg Switzerland but has spent most of his life in the USA. From the age of 6, when he first became fascinated with magic, Jason was destined to become a world-class performer. Jason started his show business career by becoming a regular performer at local Dinner Theatres, Wizardz (The Comedy and Magic Club), and the Magic Castle. His style and approach impressed television producer Gary Ouellette, and this resulted in appearances on NBC’s Worlds Greatest Magic and Fox’s Magic on the Edge. Jason was awarded the Golden Lions Head Award presented by magic legends Siegfried and Roy. Then, for two years in succession, he was voted Stage Magician of the Year by The Academy of Magical Arts. Around the world Jason has performed at the Lido in Paris, the Wintergarten in Berlin and the Shinagawa Prince Hotel in Tokyo. He is no stranger to Las Vegas having appeared in such Revue Shows as Splash at the Riviera and Folies Bergeres at the Tropicana. He is currently performing twice nightly in ‘V’- The Ultimate Variety Show at Planet Hollywood. Jason will be appearing at the British Ring Eastbourne convention in September. Not only is Eastbourne Jason’s debut at a British Ring Convention, it is his first ever UK appearance. Read Bob Hayden's latest Convention Updates: Click Here. John Archer and Mel Mellers have just been added to the line up too... 28.6.08


Magic to Get Girls By... (The Edinburgh Fringe approaches... See What's On for full listings). Unlucky-in-love magicians Kevin McMahon and Alan Hudson are on a mission to get girlfriends – by dazzling them with jaw-dropping tricks. The shy pair have even prepared a new stage show to impress the ladies, which they hope will see them trying out their sleight-of-hand techniques somewhere other than The Magic Circle. In Magic To Get Girls By, Kevin and Alan demonstrate how comedy and magic can be used by single guys as an alternative to cheesy chat-up lines. Kevin, 28, of Edinburgh, said: “We’re both nice blokes but we find it really difficult to talk to women. We agreed it was much easier to approach the fairer sex with a few tricks up our sleeves, so we decided to do a stage show about it – and hopefully pick up girlfriends while we’re at it!” Kevin has had a fair amount of female attention before – as he starred in Channel 4’s hit series, Faking It. The show’s team turned him from a geeky physician to a top-class magician in just four weeks; enabling him to fool magic legend Paul Daniels into believing that he was a pro. Since then, he has quit his job as a scientist to become one of the most sought-after magicians in the UK. Alan, 32, from Hull, has been a magician since he was just 10 years old and has performed his fresh and exciting brand of trickery all over the world. He said: “It gets lonely when you’re on the road performing all the time, so it would be great if we could meet a couple of nice girls through doing the show.” The one-hour show will be premiered at this year’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe from 17th- 25th August at Zoo Venues. Show from 9-10pm. Tickets £8 from the Fringe Box Office. 28.6.08


Death Defying Acts. "City done proud in latest Houdini act. Forget David Blaine and Derren Brown. If you're looking for memorable stunts and illusions, Harry Houdini is your man. Or rather he was 80 years ago, as documented in new movie Death Defying Acts." Click Here. Trailer, Click Here. 28.6.08


Texas based close-up magician Norman Beck will be presenting two lectures in Scotland at the start of July. Rather than tell what the lecture is, Mr Beck would like to point out what the lecture is not: "It is not a dealer lecture. It is not a lecture you need to buy the notes to get value from it. It is not a lecture of magic theory. It is not a lecture of variations of other people’s tricks. It is not a lecture of finger flinging." Paul Wilson says that Norman is “…smart, funny and cunning” and that “…Norm is a well-kept secret, miss him at your peril” while Marc DeSousa says, “Norman Beck will fool you very badly… His lecture is an absolute delight.” The first of Norman’s lectures is being held in the Function Room of Suzy Q’s Pool Club, 58 Stock Street, Paisley, PA2 6NL (Map), on Sunday 6th July. The lecture will be starting at 2pm and the cost is £10 per person. For more info email Peter McLanachan PDF flyer: Click Here. Aberdeen Magic Society will be hosting the second lecture, on Tuesday 8th July at The Sportsmans Club, Queens Road, Aberdeen. The lecture is scheduled to start at 8pm and the cost is £5 for Aberdeen Magic Society members and £10 for non-members. More details via: 28.6.08


Blackpool Magicians' Club Lecture and Auction - Monday 7th July. Derek Lever will present a lecture from 3pm to 4.30pm. This lecture is included in the door charge of £3.00. The Lecture and Jumbo Auction will take place at the Blackpool Magicians' Theatre Club, Rear No.1, Sherbourne Road, North Shore, Blackpool, FY1 2PW (Map). Auction viewing from 6pm, auction commences at 7pm sharp. Food (toasties and hot pies!) and licensed bar available all afternoon and evening. Visit the Magic Shop and Museum. Auctioneers: Derek Lever and Mike Shepherd. All enquiries in respect of this auction should be directed to Derek Lever, 32 Pilling Lane, Preesall, Poulton-Le-Fylde, Lancashire, FY6 0EU Phone/Fax: 01253 810113 email 28.6.08


Chavtastic! Magicseen issue 21 for July 2008 is out now. Editor Mark Leveridge emails "Our cover star is Michael J. Fitch (aka The Chav from Channel 4's Freaky Magic TV show) and we discover that there's more to him than a bit of bling! We also chat to full time close up pro Chris Priest, discover the good work that Christopher Howell is doing through his Project Illusions, find out what has turned top illusionist Russ Stevens into a DVD producer and retailer, go 'underground' with the creative Cameron Francis and take a privileged look behind the scenes at John Gaughan's classy workshops. Issue 21 also has a big feature called Beyond Compere which gives you our potted guide to being a good show MC with great advice and help from top workers Noel Britten, John Lenahan, David Hemingway, Steve Keys, Tony Stevens and Mark Worgan. Added to all this is the usual round up of product reviews, news, letters and other articles full of fact and fiction - we just don't tell you which is which!" it's another excellent issue. To subscribe or buy a paper or instant download copy now visit 28.6.08


Private Passions - Derren Brown. On Sunday 6th July at 12 noon on BBC Radio Three Michael Berkeley's guest on Private Passions is Derren Brown. A passionate music-lover, Derren listens every day to Bach, especially the Goldberg Variations and the Cello Suites, and many of his choices have a spiritual nature, including Tallis's 40-part motet Spem in alium' and Elgar's oratorio The Dream of Gerontius. 28.6.08


David Blaine Spoof Reaps Riches for Groundlings Improv Troupe. "On the strength of its 18 million-views-and-counting YouTube spoof The Street Magic of David Blaine, the Groundlings have partnered with Sony Pictures Television to produce 50 more short videos." Click Here to read the full story and to watch a video which contains strong language that some MagicWeek readers may find offensive (personally I laughed my socks off). More in the L A Times, Click Here. 28.6.08


The Happy Birthday Waistcoat is being launched at the beginning of July at the annual convention of the Magic Circle of Germany, in Neuss. The original "Colour Change Waistcoat" was launched just under two years ago and instantly became a best seller - this latest edition has already sparked a lot of interest and with the addition of LED lights, a new dimension has been added! Here's the effect: "A plain white waistcoat buttoned at the front and showing out from underneath an open jacket (the waistcoat may also be worn and performed without a jacket) becomes emblazoned with a beautifully illustrated, black and white birthday (or celebration) cake. After more byplay the cake on the waistcoat becomes coloured in an array of bright colours – the waistcoat itself is now a multi-coloured display – time to celebrate! Furthermore the candles on the cake light up (real LED lights), and after everyone in the audience has sung 'Happy Birthday' the birthday person can blow out the candles! Throughout the performance nothing is ever added or taken away." Pre-orders are now being taken with a projected dispatch date of July 15th 2008 with free worldwide shipping. Visit 28.6.08


Lee Florida entertained at the Gala Coral British Poker Tour last weekend in Bristol. It's the second year in a row that Lee has performed at this event and last year's was filmed for ITV3 in Bournemouth. Video: 28.6.08


In the bar on the bus! Kieron Johnson, Chris Green and Mark Bennett were in Weston Super-Mare on June 7th to help out with Paul Zenon's 'On the Bus' tour, and were happy to invite Paul and his crew back to Illusions Bar to relax after a great show. Gazzo will be visiting Illusions on July 2nd (they hope to get him behind the bar!) and on the 10th July James Brown will be performing. Paul Zenon can be seen at 10.30am on Thursday 3rd July on CITV's Skillz show: "This week, England international footballer Sue Smith has some wicked football tips for our Street Skillz challengers, we hang out at a playground in Norfolk to work out how to do the Worm, and magician Paul Zenon shows us some cool tricks." 28.6.08


The Order of the Magi is holding a Giant Auction on Tuesday 8th July at The Irish World Heritage Centre, Queens Road, Manchester M8 8UF (Map) commencing at 7.30pm prompt, with viewing from 6.30pm. Many lots have already been issued however if you have items for submission contact Ian Ball without delay: Ian Ball MMC Entertainments Officer 01457 835990, email Details are on Door charge £3.00. 28.6.08 magic downloads presents: Any Card At Any Number, The Holy Grail Of Card Tricks - "The deck is out at the start. A number is named. A card is named. The magician does not touch the deck. The spectator deals the cards to the chosen number. The named card is at that number. You can use any deck and set it up in seconds. A great method to perform this fantastic effect!" Instant DVD download available now at 28.6.08


The Ipswich Magical Society are proud to be hosting a lecture by the one and only Ali Bongo on Monday July 7th 2008. "This promises to be one of the best we have ever hosted. Tickets will be just £5 – perhaps this will be the best value for money lecture you have ever attended?" Guests are welcome, but contact the secretary first: 28.6.08


Sabina Kellner  workshop. There's a special “Care & Share” Balloon Funday on Wednesday 9th July when Austria's Sabina Kellner presents her only UK date, a hands-on lecture/workshop, in Banstead, Surrey. The day will be split into two sessions and will run from 10am to 6pm. It will cater for all levels; you can either come for the whole day or either session to meet one of Europe’s top twisters: Sabina has taught at all the top balloon conventions the world over, and has won many prizes for her amazing work. For more details of the day, and to book online visit:


Alex Lodge is resident magician/illusionist onboard the Crown Princess for July and August, cruising in the waters of Finland, Sweden and Russia. 28.6.08


Magic T-shirts! Burning Card Magic have added a range of t-shirts to their website. Visit: 28.6.08


Herbert's Freaks. "A master of oddball characters. Gregory Gibson knows a thing or two about sideshows. The author and book dealer's grand-uncle was Houdini's ghostwriter. His father, a traveling salesman, often gathered magicians in his living room..." Click Here. To order from Click Here. 28.6.08


Loewe TV launch is magic. Last week Loewe launched their new Connect TV range and engaged nine magicians to 'connect' with their customers, via nine stores, nationwide. Chris Dinwoodie (Woody) put the team together, which consisted of, in Bolton: Philip Partridge, Chesterfield: Alex Cahill, Glasgow: Chris Dinwoodie, Glasgow: David Deanie, Leeds: Rob James, London: Andrew Murray, Norwich: Tim Shoesmith, Sussex: David Willmott, 28.6.08


Paul Bell (ex-Magic Wand Shop owner) is used to entertaining the great and the good at society weddings and corporate events up and down the country however next week Paul will be taking his trademark palm and tarot card readings that include a touch of mentalism, to the Henley Regatta. "The reactions I get from people are amazing and I get a real buzz from providing such an unusual yet life affirming form of entertainment. Having an authentic palm or tarot card reading must rank as one of the 'must do' things in people's lives, up there with sky-diving and swimming with dolphins! Those of us 'in the trade' can become quite blasé about such things as tarot cards which we use day-in, day-out. I think it's very important to keep in mind that for most folk having even a short tarot card or palm reading will be the most exciting thing that happens to them that week!" 28.6.08


Please note: Friday 12 noon deadline for all news submissions. News submitted after 12 noon Friday will be held over for the following week. 28.6.08


"Abracadabra! Magicians need cash to appear" Click Here • "Sooty presenter buys rights to launch new TV format" Click Here • "Barry to dazzle Kilkenny audiences with his magical prowess" Click Here • "Variety show to be just magic with Mark" Click Here • "Interview: Paul Daniels" Click Here • Your UK magic news is always welcomed - see you next week, Duncan. 28.6.08