Number 446 - 10th January 2009


Variety Live at the Grand. Variety Live at the Grand boasts a truly international line-up of talent. The show is being premiered in Blackpool, with future plans to transfer to a major hotel and casino in Las Vegas. The world class line-up includes Jeff Hobson and his unique brand of comedy laced with a touch of magic, from Cirque du Soleil the artistry and athleticism of Wolfgang on the German Wheel, the incredible Mazeppa Cossacks from the Ukraine, the endearing physical comedy of Rob Torres, the international award-winning Vaudevillian Charlie Frye & Co., new singing star Ben Stone, and the ‘man with the fastest hands on earth’ and one of the greatest entertainers currently appearing in Las Vegas, Wally Eastwood. With music from the superb 9-piece 'Variety Live Orchestra' - under the direction of Musical Director, Ian MacGregor.


Variety Live at the Grand is a fabulous show for the whole family and a rare opportunity to enjoy so many world class Las Vegas performers in one show! Produced and Directed by West End and Las Vegas Producer Paul Stone. Thursday 19th February and Friday 20th February at 7.30pm, and at 2pm and 7pm on Saturday 21st February. Tickets: Adults £17.00, Children £8.00. Box Office: 01253 290190 or visit The Grand Theatre Box Office, 33 Church Street, Blackpool or visit 10.1.09


The Northern Magic Circle’s Spring Parade Convention - updates. This year the first 50 registrants will receive a specially compiled Gregory Wilson DVD featuring performances and explanations. Artistes/lecturers booked to date include: Gregory Wilson (USA), John Archer, Alana (Germany), Dynamo, James Brown, Russ Brown, John Palfryman, Amethyst, Michael Jordan and Steve Naylor. A full weekend pass costs £50.00 and a single day registration costs £30.00. Southport, April 4th and 5th, visit for more information. 10.1.09


The Southern England Magic Convention - Saturday 31st January, Lakeside Leisure Complex, Surrey. Here's a reminder of what's planned. The line-up is headed by "Magic Babe" Ning - a star in Singapore, making her British début, together with JC Sum (also from Singapore), James More (with an all-new act), El Loco, Roy Charles, Magic Singh (first appearance at a British Magic Convention), Mike Danata, Mel Mellers, James Fortune and Sensual Magic (a "mystery" act for Gala Show). JC Sum will lecture and launch his new book "Urban Illusions", and The Twins together with Mark Parker will present a joint talk on the creation and performance of illusions. Mark is also launching a new illusion book. Also lecturing, renowned quick-change artist Lee Alex from Turkey, Mel Mellers with a lecture full of surprises, Graham Lee on Balloon Modelling and Paul Gordon on Card Magic. Plus, competitions, a dealers hall, and party afterwards. Full registrations are just £28.00. For full details visit - registrations are also available from in Bournemouth. 10.1.09


Geoffrey Durham presents his 'Magic, Laughter and applause' lecture at The House of Magic (UK) on Monday, February 16th. Geoffrey will explore tricks that always appeal to audiences, whatever their age or background. He will show why some tricks fall flat, no matter how skilfully they are achieved, and how to make them work. He will also explain how to get maximum laughter and applause from all your performances. The lecture promises to be a sell-out. For further details contact Stu at The House of Magic (UK) on 01384 373209. 10.1.09


Magic-In-Mind An Evening of Mental Marvels with Spyros Melaris. 7.30pm on Saturday 17th January at Queenswood School Theatre, Shepherd's Way, Brookmans Park, Hatfield, Hertfordshire AL9 6NS (Map). Tickets £15.00. To book call 01707 602579 or email All proceeds to Queenswood School Pond Project. 10.1.09


The Mentalist - coming soon to Five. The Mentalist stars Golden Globe Award nominee Simon Baker as Patrick Jane, an independent consultant with the California Bureau of Investigation (CBI), who has a remarkable track record for solving serious crimes by using his razor sharp skills of observation. Within the Bureau, Jane is notorious for his blatant lack of protocol and his semi-celebrity past as a psychic medium, whose paranormal abilities he now admits he feigned. Jane's role in cracking a series of tough high-profile cases is greatly valued by his fellow agents. However, no-nonsense Senior Agent Teresa Lisbon openly resists having Jane in her unit and alternates between reluctantly acknowledging Jane's usefulness and blasting him for his theatrics, narcissism and dangerous lack of boundaries. Lisbon's team includes agents Kimball Cho, Wayne Rigsby and rookie member Grace Van Pelt, who all think Jane's a loose cannon but admire his charm and knack for clearing cases. At the 35th People's Choice Awards, honoring the best in popular culture for 2008 (held last week at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles), The Mentalist won the 'Favorite New TV Drama' award. "The Mentalist - Simon Baker stars as Patrick Jane" YouTube, Click Here. 10.1.09


Martyn James is coming to a venue near you! Appearing in the all singing, all dancing extravaganza "In Town Tonight" performing his illusion show, alongside top vocalists and the award winning Palma Nova Puppets. More dates have just been added to this six week tour. For details visit 10.1.09


House of Illusion Auditions. Last year, Rodney James Piper's House of Illusion magical dinner show in Salou, Spain, enjoyed audiences totalling twenty five thousand over the Summer. they are now recruiting for Summer 2009. All types of magicians and mystery entertainers are needed to join the team for the season. Auditions: Manchester 24th January, London 25th January and Blackpool 23rd February. To apply email of phone 08712 181011 or +34977380940. 10.1.09


Going, going, gone... Just 3 weekend registrations remain for The Session 2009 next weekend. David Acer (Canada), John Guastaferro (USA), Ray Kosby (USA), Jon Allen, (UK) John Van der Put (UK), Ben Earl (UK), Rodney James Piper (Spain), Noel Qualter (UK), John Archer (UK), Will Houstoun (UK), Craig Petty (UK), Mark Elsdon (UK) and Thom Peterson (USA) are ready to go, offering an amazing line up for the first unmissable magic event of the year! 10.1.09


Close Up Success. News from Beat the credit crunch! Close Up Success course now available as single issues, for the first time, price just £20.00 each. "I have been just amazed by the sheer quantity of information and advice in Close-up Success. Chris and Phil really know what they are talking about in the field of international close-up and they've given it all away here. If I'd had them behind me when I started, I might well have chosen a different path. It's a gold-mine of experience and skill." Geoffrey Durham. "Awesome... Just about the most intelligent piece I've ever read... The duo has gone right to the performance jugular and will save years to someone who would have to do all of this work, study, and research on their own. The methods discussed for making your magic real world is so well organized that it makes the course worth the price alone." Bob Sheets. Visit for details of each individual course. 10.1.09


Trade Show Success. Just launched! Visit for details. 10.1.09


Liam Montier's Gafftastic - Mindblowing Card Magic with Gaff Cards! "Gafftastic is a collection of mind frying, easy card magic using special gaff cards. All of the required gaff cards come free with the DVD. That's 13 cool gaffs printed by the USPCC! Presented by Liam Montier (the magical equivalent of popping candy), Gafftastic is a seriously exciting proposition, crammed to the gills with reputation making routines! But it doesn't end there. Included free on the DVD is a PDF of Liam's smash hit 'Cherry Cola Queen' booklet. (Simply pop the DVD into your PC, right click on the DVD-Drive and click 'Explore'). Cherry Cola Queen features 17 routines over 48 pages, and originally retailed for £10.00!" Visit for more info and to watch a trailer. 10.1.09


The Open Prediction Project. "In 1949 magician Paul Curry proposed an effect with playing cards that seemed impossible. Despite the best efforts of the top magicians of his day, the effect became known as The Curry Unsolved Card Problem. For almost 60 years, mentalists and magicians have wracked their brains, trying to find the perfect solution for Curry’s challenge, now known as The Open Prediction. The Open Prediction Project is the largest collection of its kind in existence. It is a compilation of 51 unique and creative solutions to the Open Prediction problem. Performers such as Marc Paul, Michael Weber, Barrie Richardson, Patrick Redford, Mick Ayres and Hector Chadwick have offered their solutions for this 200+page e-book; and these are just a few in a long list of creative and innovative contributors from around the globe..." Click Here to find out more. 10.1.09


Chris Priest lectures at Bolton Magicians Club on Wednesday 14th January. The venue is the Doffcocker inn, Chorley Old Road, Bolton BL1 5QE (Map) and the start time 8.30pm. Chris will be presenting the same lecture that he recently presented at The Magic Circle, so it should be a busy night. Visit to see their 2009 programme. 10.1.09


John Archer, the current Magic Circle Stage Magician of the Year, is giving a lecture to the York Society of Magicians on Wednesday, February 11th at The Four Alls Inn, Malton Road, York YO32 9TW (Map), starting at 7.30pm. "Come along to be entertained, mystified and mesmerised, all at a cost of £5.00 for non members." For details contact Rex Stott, Secretary, 01937 589727, 10.1.09


Piff the Magic Dragon has made it through to the finals of this year's Hackney Empire New Act of the Year! Saturday, January 17th. Tickets can be booked via: 10.1.09


Mr 'E' Enterprises have an number of new items in stock from the 'Paul Hallas Packet Trick Treasures' range - visit for details. 10.1.09


Cambridge Pentacle Club, 90th Anniversary. The latest issue of Abra focuses on the Cambridge Pentacle Club and its 90th anniversary. This issue includes tricks from club members, articles on the club's history and its future, and the first announcement of the Pentacle Club's special 90th Anniversary events on Saturday 9th May 2009 at Girton College in Cambridge. For more information email Alan Maskell at: To subscribe to Abra, Click Here. 10.1.09


Thom Peterson lectures at the Home Counties Magical Society on Thursday 15th January. Non members are welcome (£8.00 charge). Doors open at 7.30pm for a n 8pm start. Woodley Baptist Church Hall, Hurricane Way, Woodley, Reading RG5 4UX (Map). Contact Dan Hudson, Programme Secretary, or 0118 93 10 981 for more details 10.1.09


Alex Lodge & Haylee Louise have just returned from a successful engagement aboard NCL's Norwegian Jade, where the duo presented their illusion show. 10.1.09


Magic Car Boot Sale. Sunday, 8th February, at 43 Union Street West Bromwich B70 6BP (Map). From 9.30am, admission £4.00. 25 stalls, thousands of pre-used bargains plus hot breakfasts plus magic dealers including Practical Magic, World Magic Shop, Albion Magic, Merlins, Zane, Keith Bennett (starting a major clear out of books, DVDs and magic at greatly reduced prices), E-Magic Tricks, plus Magic Books by Post with many Supreme Magic books at special discounts together with their usual range. If there are any particular books you need call MBBP in advance and they will bring them to the sale. Contact Alec Powell 07831 115448 for more details if needed. 10.1.09


Illusion Hotline - Who Owns The Rights. Here's a useful website link for anyone performing illusions: It features a list of illusions, together with their authorised creators and builders. It always amazes me how many illusionists are happy to knowingly buy and perform pirated illusions... "look at me - I'm a thief, and I don't give a dam" - the inventor loses out on royalties, the authorised builder loses business to a cowboy, and the performer loses the respect of his or her peers. 10.1.09


The Avonlea Hotel, Blackpool offer single, double and family rooms for the Blackpool Convention in February. 5 minutes from the Winter Gardens, Licensed Bar. Contact Dave (a magician) or Gail: 01253 626740 10.1.09


Keep up-to-date with the always fascinating adventures of Richard Wiseman, via his new blog: • "Heart up his sleeve" Click Here • "First Panto at new Spa is a box office hit" Click Here • Please note: we have a strict 12 noon Friday deadline for all news submissions. Many thanks for your news, always welcome - see you next week, Duncan. 10.1.09