Number 446 - 3rd January 2009


Time was running out... With just two weeks to go, five new performers have been added to the bill of The Session 2009! Sleight of hand expert Will Houstoun, rising star Craig Petty, and the versatile Mark Elsdon will all be presenting teaching workshops on the Saturday afternoon. And "The Amazing Guy" (aka the very funny Thom Peterson, photo) from the US will be performing on the Sunday night show which is compered by the legendary Rodney James Piper direct from the House of Illusion in Spain. All this, plus David Acer, Ray Kosby, John Guastaferro and more. With only a few tickets remaining, it is recommended that you secure your place at the convention right now! 3.1.09


Derren Brown: Evening of Wonders. A specially televised version of Derren Brown's most recent live show An Evening of Wonders recorded at the Garrick Theatre in London's West End at the end of his sold-out nationwide tour, will be shown on Channel 4, at 10pm on Tuesday 13th January. Derren goes on tour again later this year, with an all-new show. See What's On for tour dates. "We're scared sniff" Click Here. 3.1.09


Jay Fortune's Extraordinary Exhibition Magick & Mayhem. Will you laugh in the face of death?! Presented by Jay Fortune. Comedy magic for adults. Not for those of a nervous disposition. Tickets £14.00, (£12.00 Concessions) Group rate £10.00 each. Box Office 020 8932 4747 (11am - 7pm) or 08700 600 100 (24 hours with fee). Book Online via Barons Court Theatre, 'The Curtains Up', 28A Comeragh Road, London W14 9HR (Map). Just a two minute walk from either Barons Court or West Kensington Tube Stations. Full details: Performance Schedule: Thursday 8th January at 8pm, Friday 9th January at 8pm, and Saturday 10th January at 8pm. 3.1.09


Lee Alex will be in the UK later this month, presenting his quick change lecture/seminar Time For a Change? "The seminar offers a basic introduction into quick change, with revolutionary methods that can be replicated by magicians/artists who do not wish to make a complete quick change act. The seminar is interactive, featuring a show of costumes, followed by explanations of the costume changes using members of the audience. Finally the volunteers are taught the correct and fastest removal methods. This approach allows people to experience first-hand the art of quick change. The seminar includes a complete exposé of the Colour Change Waistcoat, with presentation tips and concludes with a question session. Various books and products related to the seminar will be available for purchase. See What's On for dates. 3.1.09


In Town Tonight. Following a successful theatre tour of In Town Tonight in 2008, the production is back for 2009, with a new show bringing together UK acts Palma Nova Puppets, Magic Circle Illusionist Martyn James, and vocalists, in this all singing, all dancing, extravaganza! Thursday 22nd January 2009 at 7pm at The Dovehouse Theatre, Kineton Green Road, Olton, Solihull. Tickets £8/£6 Box Office: 0121 706 7139 Thursday 5th February at 7pm at the Barrington Theatre, Penny's Walk, Ferndown, Dorset Tickets £6/£4 Box Office: 01202 894858. And Friday 20th March at 7.30pm at the Audley Theatre, Hall Street, Audley, Stoke-on-Trent, Tickets £6/£4 Box Office: 07867 721671 3.1.09


Magician Keith Fields is an ‘alien with extraordinary ability’ - that's the official opinion of the American Government, and we're not going to argue with them. Over the last few years Keith has been offered gigs in the USA. To do them required a visa and to get that he had to prove to the American Embassy that he was an ‘alien with extraordinary ability’ – their words, not his. Being a winner of The Magic Circle Close-up Competition, International Street Magician of the Year, author of several books on magic and performance techniques, an international lecturer and the inventor of a number of acclaimed magic tricks, went towards that goal. "I know the title of my visa sounds like a joke but they (the American Embassy) take it very seriously" said Keith. "We had to produce loads of evidence to back up my claim, but I have finally got the approval and will be moving to the USA in January. I already perform for several American cruise lines (Disney Cruises, Silver Seas, Oceania, and more) and I am in talks about some new and exciting projects for next year." Keith is already taking bookings to lecture and perform in the USA during 2009, and his diary is already beginning to fill. Contact Keith directly at for availability and more information, or visit 3.1.09


John Archer lectures at the North Wales Magic Circle on Tuesday January 8th at The Little Theatre, Vale Road, Rhyl. Be sure not to miss this excellent fun-filled lecture, by one of the UK's most talented, funny and brilliant magic thinkers (it says here!). Tickets available on the door. Visiting Magicians £7.00, Contact Mark Thorold for more information: 3.1.09


Christmas Stars. It was non-stop last month for The Twins as the duo had been working on no less than ten Pantomimes and Christmas Shows across the country, creating astonishing magical effects wherever they went! John Barrowman, Stefanie Powers, Cannon and Ball, Billy Pearce, Christopher Biggins and Mr Bean, amongst others, shared in the magic of The Twins. "Expect fabulous flying... Stefanie Powers flies above the stalls… a stunning spectacle!" Southern Echo. "...stunning visual effects that see Cinderella magically transported to the ball!" The Telegraph and Argus. "Dramatic special effects" The Stage. 3.1.09


Bonsall's Ace. Back in August, Dave Bonsall’s card skills were employed by Sky Sports during Sky’s coverage of the Ryder Cup. His hands were filmed performing various card effects to introduce all the televised hole-in-ones over the Ryder Cup’s history. A hole-in-one is also known as an ace, hence the playing card connection. Dave has now received the footage from Sky and it can be viewed on his website: Dave can also be seen on A Question of Sport on Friday 9th January at 7.30pm on BBC1, having a magic ‘showdown’ with the show’s Mystery Guest! 3.1.09


As advisor, John Styles contributed to several Christmas TV offerings over the holiday period. His magic, ventriloquism and puppetry skills were employed in A Christmas Carol, Oliver Twist, The Polar Express, The Old Curiosity Shop, Merlin, The 39 Steps, and the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane's stage production of Lionel Bart's musical Oliver! 3.1.09


Magician Almost Mugged. Close-up magician Mike Fairall was delighted to perform at the O2 Arena for the Stereophonics end of tour party at Christmas. Mike, who is friends with the band, was offered a driver to take him home, but decided to drive himself. Shortly after 2am as he was leaving the venue he was approached by two unwanted guests who asked for his case. "It was a very scary situation to be in," said Mike (who is taking his Black Belt in Karate later this year), but help was on hand as security stepped in and diffused the situation. Photo: Mike and band member Kelly Jones. 3.1.09


Congratulations to Colonel Custard, this year's winner of the Watford Association of Magicians' Kids Competition. In front of a packed audience the Colonel performed his own unique blend of magical madness. Colonel Custard can be seen throughout 2009 lecturing on children's entertainment. For more info visit 3.1.09


Thelma Levett, one of the best kept secrets in the balloon modelling world, has come on board to help Graham Lee promote Sempertex balloons in the UK at his 'Care & Share Balloon Fun Days and Magic Conventions. Thelma will be on the stand at the Blackpool Magic Convention displaying her latest designs. Visit the news page on the Balloon Chat forum: The first Care & Share Day this year takes place in Banstead, Surrey on Wednesday 21st January with a mystery guest lecturer from Holland. Visit: for details. 3.1.09


The Order of The Magi Centenary. Geoffrey Newton emails: "In March this year The Magi celebrates their Centenary with a number of events in the Manchester area. The Centenary Dinner with Guest of Honour Rt Hon Lord MacGregor of Pulham Market PC OBC MIMC sold out in only 5 weeks of going on sale. There is a waiting list for any returns. On the 11th March - the actual date when a number of magicians met in the Cities Hotel Deansgate Manchester one hundred years ago and formed a magic society – there will be a birthday party show at the Irish World Heritage Centre in Manchester. A gala show, a children’s show and a close up night are also planned." Visit for updates. 3.1.09


High Jinx are this year's special guest stars as Doreen France MBE and her troupe of dancers return to the Lawrence Batley Theatre, Huddersfield, in 'Doreen France & Friends' "The ever-popular annual extravaganza of dance, magic, comedy and music. With compère Peter Armitage, this show is guaranteed to provide enough glitz and glamour to lighten up the dullest of evenings." Friday 16th and Saturday 17th January, Main Stage: 7.15pm, Saturday Matinee 2.15pm, Tickets: £8.50, Click Here. 3.1.09


Manchurian Techniques - Hypnotism for Magicians and Mentalists. Two days of intensive hypnosis training open only to magicians and mentalists. Hosted by Anthony Jacquin author of Reality is Plastic - The Art of Impromptu Hypnosis. 17th and 18th January at the Derby Conference Centre, London Road, Derby, East Midlands. Click Here for full details. 3.1.09


Magic Hands! The November/December issue of Magic Hands! the International Newsletter for Deaf Magicians, is available now, via email, from Johnny Gapp: 3.1.09


"Duck! It's David Copperfield." Click Here • "A very special evening in memory of Katie Walker" Click Here • "Derren Brown: Backstage" Video 1 Video 2 • Derren Brown: The Specials, 4 DVD box set Click Here • "The Magic of Maths" Click Here • "Northallerton man puts magic back into Christmas" Click Here • "Do I want to be Criss Angel?" Click Here • Criss Angel and Holly Madison on Larry King Video 1, Video 2, Video 3 • There's a lot of magic on TV over the coming weeks, unfortunately including a new series of 'Magic's Biggest Secrets Finally Revealed' - see TV Magic. Your UK magic news is always welcome, see you next week, Duncan. 3.1.09