Number 423 - 2nd August 2008


Britain has Got Talent! 24 close-up magicians competed for the People's Choice Award for Close-Up Magic (and a $10,000 prize) last week at the joint IBM SAM Convention held in Louisville, Kentucky, USA. Six made it through to the judged final and then it was left down to the audience to decide... Marc Oberon won, enjoying two standing ovations along the way with his original magic - that in his hands is real magic. I am sure readers will be as delighted as I was on hearing this news. Marc is a 24/7 magic guy and his love of the art, combined with a personal quest for excellence, has really paid off. I first saw Marc perform this routine at the British Ring Eastbourne Convention in 2006 and thought it the magical highlight of the convention. Brilliant stuff - well done Marc! Many congratulations also to Stage Competition winner, manipulator An Ha-Lim, from South Korea. This year's British Ring Eastbourne Convention is now just weeks away... and everyone I speak to about it is going! Click Here for the full day-to-day programme of events (thanks Bob). 2.8.08


South Tyneside International Magic Festival: 13th-15th March 2009. Details have just been released for next year's event. Booked to date: David Williamson (USA), Rick Maue (photo - USA), Banachek (USA), Steve Axtell (USA), Don Driver (USA), Bob Sheets (USA), Russ Stevens (UK), Jasper (UK), and Paul Dabek (UK). Find out more! Visit 2.8.08


Richard Leigh presents the 500th performance of The Magic Cavern at the Barons Court Theatre on Sunday 31st August at 3pm. Richard would like to thank the many artistes who have performed at the venue over the years. Richard Leigh (Producer) and Ron Phillips (Artistic Director of Barons Court Theatre) invite close-up magicians to audition on Wednesday 13th August, from 1pm, for the next season of shows. Email for further details and available audition times. The Magic Cavern, Barons Court Theatre, 28A Comeragh Road, London W14 9HR. 2.8.08


Electric Empire presents ‘Magic Night’ at Soho Revue Bar, Friday 5th September: "Magic Night returns in September and gets technical with Video Magic. This show is full of clever celluloid trickery where live performed magic will be beamed straight onto a TV screen. Lee Hathaway will be presenting an amazing sleight of hand card routine, Adam Bloom will also be beaming in on video with a magic trick he has created with some very glamorous assistants, Bob Percy will be presenting his ‘stab the object’, but he will be blindfolded and the object hidden in the audience. Be afraid! Barry and Stuart the dark twins of magic will also be projecting a dark and wonderful trick onto the big screen alongside their nightmarish world of sorcery, illusion, strange feats and comedy sketches. Laughs will be provided by the hilarious Tiffany Stevenson. Christian Lee, a rising star in the magic world, will be hosting, Christian is one of the few magicians who genuinely crosses the divide between comedy and magic. Also featuring: Neil Henry, our ever popular and incredibly talented close up magician." Doors open 7pm, Show starts at 8pm, Tickets £10.00, Concessions £7.00 Soho Revue Bar, 11 Walkers Court, Soho, London W1 2.8.08


A special surprise event is being planned as part of the line up at this year's International Magic Convention (November 28th-30th at the Shaw Theatre, London). Two years ago the surprise event was a Question and Answer session with Derren Brown, that included video footage from his then unseen new series. This year you're not going to know exactly what the surprise is until it starts on the Sunday! "There are a number of reasons why we are keeping the exact nature of the event as a surprise," says Noel Britten, event co-ordinator for the Convention, "but undoubtedly one of them is that there seem very few genuine surprises at Conventions nowadays, which seems strange when 'surprise' is our business. Stan Allen at Magic Live did not announce what any of the events were going to be before they happened. This produced a certain level of anticipation and the excitement was palpable as the event unfolded in front of you, if the performer or happening warranted it. I think this will undoubtedly warrant it!" Guesses as to what the event may be, can be emailed to under the heading "Surprise Event". The first person to guess correctly will have their full registration cost reimbursed at the Convention. Multiple entries are allowed, so let the guessing begin! More Convention details on 2.8.08


Chris Priest and Andrew Murray - Leicester Magic Circle lectures. The Leicester Magic Circle present a night of magic with British Close-up Champion Chris Priest on Monday August 18th and an evening with multi award winning Gold Star member of the Inner Magic Circle Andrew Murray on September 1st. 7.30pm, visiting magicians welcome (£5.00 door charge, no need to book). Venue: Ramada Hotel, 71-73 Grandby Street, Leicester LE1 6ES (Map). For more information contact: LMC secretary Barry Martin or visit 2.8.08


San Francisco magicians Jay Alexander, Big Al Catraz, RJ Owens and Fred Anderson will be performing in All-Star Magic and Comedy at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. The show runs to August 25th at The Zoo – Southside venue. Jay Alexander will be in the show from August 6th-11th. See What's On for Fringe listings. 2.8.08


Merlins of Wakefield have just acquired the UK rights for a range of Outlaw Magic effects from the USA. These are mentalism based effects with the emphasis on "non-magical" looking items. The owner, Rick says "I specialise in the production of hand-crafted effects for those that perform in the field of mentalism. Whether for the professional or hobbyist, I design my products to fit most needs. I take great pride in the custom work done here at Outlaw and it is reflected in the wonderful feedback I receive from customers, including some of the top names in our field." As everything is hand-crafted they are generally only available in limited quantities, or on a made to order basis. Visit for details. 2.8.08


Kidology Convention - Tuesday 9th September 2008. This is the only UK convention specifically geared towards the children's entertainer. Last week we highlighted one of the lecturers, Tony Griffith, and this week it's the turn of Russ Brown (photo) with a lecture called 'Kids 'r' Russ'. The lecture will feature some of the routines, gags and games he has used in his act over the years including some of his latest material. Everything in his lecture is aimed at a modern audience and is fast and exciting. Russ was resident entertainer in Blackpool's famous Tower for over ten years - no mean feat! His approach to entertaining is unique, resulting in many TV appearances and excellent reviews in the national press. Kidology 2008, Wolverhampton, Tuesday September 9th: 4 lectures, 12 dealers, lunch included. Visit 2.8.08


Mark Mason: Decade 2 DVD set. Ten years ago Mark Mason released his first DVD set Real World Magic. No one could have guessed how popular this set would become, with thousands having been sold worldwide. Now it's time for a brand new two-disc set, entitled Decade - full of magical gems, right out of Mark's professional repertoire. Perfect for pre-dinner, corporate events and restaurants, Click Here. 2.8.08


BigBlindMedia presents The Underground Collective in ‘Welcome To The Firm’ "A DVD from Jamie Badman and Colin Miller – the people who brought you the smash hit Heirloom, (plus Panagram, Sensory Perception and The Underground Collection Books 1&2). This 90min extravaganza has it all - self workers, mentalism, brand new sleights, some eye popping card chicanery – it’s all there! These guys have a Stella reputation in the magic world – and ‘Welcome To The Firm’ will show you why!" Click Here to watch the trailer. "This is a great DVD that allows you to really experience the magic of the Underground Collective. Please stop punching me now." Andi Gladwin 2.8.08


The Order of the Magi (Manchester) celebrate their Centenary in March next year and the membership is now nearly up to 100. The Council of the society have decided that the 100th current member at the time of the celebrations will receive a special engraved shield bearing their logo, together with a chrome type tipped wand. These two gifts will be presented at the Centenary Dinner on the 21st March 2009 by President Geoffrey Newton (photo)... will this member be you? Application forms are available from Secretary Mike Sharples on 0161 287 7865 Geoffrey said “This is a very exciting year for The Magi as we approach our 100th birthday and full details of the current syllabus are on”. 2.8.08


Colin McLeod can be seen nightly at 7pm on August 2nd, 3rd, 5th, 6th and 7th at the Tea Tree, 13 Bread Street, Edinburgh. Click Here for details. 2.8.08


Jack Stephens is seen here performing to celebrity chef Gary Rhodes onboard the Oriana. Jack tells us that Gary is a real magic fan, and loved it! Van Buren & Co were performing in the ships theatre, Jack emails: " It is so important to us magicians that our colleagues keep magic alive. This is exactly what Van Buren & Co did in their superb illusion show onboard the luxury liner, Oriana. In fact it was more than just an illusion show. Of course, Andrew, a true gentleman of magic, performed some large scale items (just like his did used to – except no vanishing motorbike!). He also did some lovely effects such as vanishing radio, appearing water bowls, vanish of a large flower arrangement and then to all this he added some escapology (straightjacket and hand cuff escapes) as well as some excellent juggling, uni-cycling and superb 8 stand plate spinning. This was a variety show with a capital V and hats off to Andrew and his two lovely assistants for flying the flag of magic across the seas. 2.8.08


The Chuckle Brothers will shortly be launching a brand new adventure on DVD entitled 'Indiana Chuckle and the Kingdom of the Mythical Sulk' featuring the illusions, special effects and puppets of Safire, recorded live during their 2008 sell out tour. Meanwhile, a 2 disc box set 'Pirates of the River Rother' and 'Spooky Goings on 2' also featuring Safire, is currently available from Click Here. 2.8.08


Congratulations to popular Scottish magician Michael McMillan who was married on 18th July to Miss Margaret McMillan. The wedding ceremony was held in the lovely Our Lady of Perpetual Succour Roman Catholic Church in the Perthshire village of Auchterarder and was followed with a traditional Scottish Ceilidhi in the Crieff Hydro Hotel. Reported by Adrian Harris. 2.8.08


The Twins take to the high seas once again this month with their large illusion show onboard P&O's Oceana. "We have brought onboard John Gaughan's 'Flying' and Roy Shank's 'Bow Staff' - this is the first time 'Flying' as been performed on a ship!" said Gary. Illusion designer Mark Parker consulted on this production... "Mark has design a number of illusions for us including 'Acceleration' a lighting appearance of a Super Bike". Mark is currently designing some new illusions for The Twins for 2009. Visit and for more information 2.8.08


El Loco has just returned from cruising aboard Carnival's newest ship, The Splendor. Next, he is off to join Sir Richard Branson's barge, the M V Edwardian. 2.8.08


Lee Smith and Steve Dean performed close-up magic at a grand charity event last week. "A great day was had by all, the magic went down a storm and they helped raised in excess of £10,000 for charity." 2.8.08


Craig Petty lectures at the Bolton Magicians Club on Wednesday 6th August. The venue as usual is the Doffcocker Inn, Chorley Old Road, Bolton. The start time 8.30pm, and all magicians are welcome, though there is a small charge on the door for non-members. Craig has just returned from the IBM/SAM convention in Kentucky, where has launched two new exciting products, Split Happens and Mirage Coins. The lecture promises to be a good one. Steve Owen, Bolton Magicians Club. 2.8.08


Merlin Magical Society Auction. John Clayton emails: "The Merlin Magical Society are holding an auction on August 7th, at Potters Bar United Reformed Church, Tilbury Hall, Darkes Lane, Potters Bar, Hertfordshire EN6 1BZ (Map). Doors open at 7.30pm and the Auction will start at around 8pm. The entrance fee is £2 for non-members. The effects being sold are the property of Rex Taylor, who for those who don't know already, is terminally ill. There is a variety of effects being sold, some close-up items, children's magic and mentalism effects. Also a number of books. The more people we can get to attend the evening, the more chance we have of helping Rex sell his magic items." 2.8.08


"David Blaine promises to meet Gloucestershire youngster" Click Here • "Tommy’s big statue’s a step closer – just like that!" Click Here • "Criss Angel reveals details of his exploding building stunt" Click Here • "Criss Angel Survives Hotel Implosion, Thanks to the Magic of Television" Click Here • "Spoiler Alert: Criss Angel's 'Escape' Revealed" Click Here • When it comes to "live - no camera tricks TV" no one does it quite like Criss Angel. See you next week, Duncan. 2.8.08