Number 451 - 14th February 2009


An Evening with Stars from The Magic Circle. Friends of the Royal Free Hospital (charity no 266632) Present 'An Evening with Stars from The Magic Circle' in the Peter Samuel Hall, Royal Free Hospital, Hampstead, London NW3 2QG (Map) on Thursday 14th May at 7.30pm. See stars of The Magic Circle on stage before your very eyes! Watch leading members perform magic right under your nose! In memory of Chris Pratt, former Vice President and Secretary of The Magic Circle. Tickets £15, to include a glass of wine in aid of Radiotherapy services at the Royal Free Hospital advancing the treatment of brain and other tumours. Parking available in the South Car Park. Tickets available from: The Friends’ Office, Royal Free Hospital, Pond Street, London NW3 2QG Telephone: 020 7830 2091 or email: To download a PDF booking form, Click Here. 14.2.09


Beat the Wand! Andrew James and Magic Sam Proudly Present... Beat the Wand! A new, fun, late-night event that will take place at the Blackpool Convention immediately following the Saturday Night Intercontinental Stage Show between 11pm and 1am.


Here's the outline: "By kind permission of Derek Lever, Andrew James and Magic Sam Proudly Present... Beat the Wand! A competition that anybody, with any sort of act may enter using magic, juggling, mentalism, comedy.. anything, as long as you have a five minute act. The three judges will be randomly picked from the audience and changed regularly throughout the evening. Ten contestants will compete. Each contestant has to attempt to entertain the audience for five minutes without being voted off. Each judge will be given a giant wand. When a judge becomes bored or has had enough of the act, they will raise their wand in the air. As soon as there are three wands in the air the act is stopped. Once the acts reach three minutes, a bell will ring, signalling that they “Beat the Wand” and they will be allowed to complete their act. Finalists will then return to the stage and a winner will be decided by ‘Clap-o-Meter’. The event will be overseen by the comperes, Magic Sam and Andrew James to ensure that none of the audience are being over zealous or biased with their eliminations! Entrants should bear in mind that the stage is very small and they will only have ninety seconds to enter and exit. To alleviate the Saturday night ‘Ruskin Rush’, Beat the Wand is taking place straight after the Saturday Night Intercontinental Stage Show from 11pm to 1am in the Theatre Bar, Winter Gardens (the rear room of the Galleon Bar).


What’s the big prize? Honour and the glory of being able to say that you were the one who “Beat the Wand”. As if that wasn't enough, there will also be a trophy, an “I Beat the Wand” t-shirt, and a gold ticket for next year's convention! Beat the Wand will give convention attendees the opportunity to get up on stage and perform for a substantial, appreciative and energetic audience. We want to encourage new talent - throw caution to the wind and get up there and give it all you've got! We want old and young, amateur and pro on that stage, side by side, giving it all they’ve got. The emphasis will be on entertaining an audience. So a Dippy Duck routine might beat a 38 coin matrix, or a five minute, one balloon routine might beat billiard balls. Or not! We’ll have to wait and see. Beat the Wand will be a raw, fun, down to earth, ego-free evening with a real emphasis on entertaining an audience."

If you would like to be a part of this brand new convention event, email a little info about yourself, together with a YouTube link if possible, to the Beat the Wand organisers, Andrew James and Magic Sam at


How to Create Kids' Magic - and Triple Your Income! is the title of an outstanding new book aimed at anyone who entertains children. Written by John Breeds and published by Practical Magic, it is being released at the Blackpool Convention later this week exclusively on the Practical Magic stand. The book is A4 sized, with approximately 200 pages, profusely illustrated throughout. With introductions by Terry Herbert and David Kaye (Silly Billy). Whilst the book contains some outstanding routines, there are whole sections on the business side of entertaining children. Areas covered include Selling Yourself, Publicity and Advertising, Audience Control and Staging, Funny Tricks and Non-Elimination Games. "If you follow the advice that John Breeds has given to you in this book, you cannot help but triple your income. I only wish I had had this information when I turned fully professional 33 years ago." Terry Herbert. The UK price is £27.50 plus £3.50 p&p. For more information visit: 14.2.09


Chris Cox is appearing in 'Frank Skinner's Credit Crunch Cabaret' on Monday 16th February at the Lyric Theatre, Shaftesbury Avenue, London W1D 7ES (Map) Tube: Piccadilly Circus. Box Office: 0844 412 4661 14.2.09


The Order of The Magi (Manchester) have just produced a Centenary Brochure. This 28 page full-colour publication contains a history of the society, famous magicians and their link to Manchester, members' achievements, optical illusions, puzzles, origami, details of the centenary shows and even something for children to colour in. There are also greetings and advertisements. It is believed this will become a collectors’ item in years to come. All members of The Magi will be receiving one free this week. Copies are also available to non-members at £2.00 each (post free) from: Geoffrey Newton, 6 Newcombe Court, Sale, Manchester M33 6RU (cheques payable to The Order of The Magi). Why not send an order off on behalf of your club members and be part of this celebration. 14.2.09


The Photo Monkeys. Ian and Elisa have been involved in the entertainment industry for over 8 years. They know that good promotional material is paramount to receiving good quality work. By using their service you can guarantee that you will receive exceptional eye catching images that will sell your stage personality and ultimately reflect the professionalism of your act. Visit 14.2.09


What a caper! Paul Gordon's Card Capers in 2008 was a great success, and the next special day on Sunday May 10th is nearly sold out, so Paul has decided to take the event on the road. On Sunday 13th September, Card Capers will appear at The Cubbington Social Club in Leamington Spa. It will be a full day of card magic tuition, with workshop sessions and more. Visit for details. 14.2.09


A brand new issue of Magicseen is now out, as the UK's top full colour independent magazine heads into its fifth year! Issue 25, for March 2009, is unique in that it has two front covers! Most copies will have top man Pete Firman, one of the UK's most popular entertainers, on the cover as the magazine catches up with him 4 years after he was first featured along with Ali Cook on the cover of issue 1. But there will be a small number of this issue which will have Andrew Normansell on the cover - same contents, just a different face on the outside. These special copies will be available from the Mark Leveridge Magic stand at the Blackpool Convention, and have been prepared to coincide with the release of Andrew's new book, "The Man Who Would Be King", which is also being released by Magicseen Publications at the Blackpool Convention. These editions of the magazine are bound to become collectors’ items as only a limited number have been produced, so if you want to get your hands on this special edition of issue 25, make sure to visit editor Mark Leveridge at Blackpool! For more information about issue 25, which now has a new sleek and glossy format, visit 14.2.09


Paul Kieve - at the Southbank Centre. "Paul Kieve taught Daniel Radcliffe how to perform magic tricks, and worked as the magic consultant on the film Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. In his brilliant new book Hocus Pocus, a boy called Paul is visited by famous magicians of the past and learns about their amazing illusions and often grim deaths. Paul reads from the book and performs a number of illusions, and you can meet him in person after the show. Suitable for children aged eight and over." Purcell Room, Southbank Centre, London SE1 8XX (Map) on Monday 16th February at 11.30am. More info: 14.2.09


Time For A Change? Lee Alex has returned to Istanbul, following a very successful UK lecture tour, that took in  Portsmouth, Birmingham, Newcastle, Surrey, and Bradford, where the Bradford Magic Circle hosted their first inter-society meeting, sharing the evening with members from Harrogate and Leeds. Unfortunately the snow halted his London and Nottingham dates. Patrick Cross, President of the British Magical Society wrote: "This was a most stimulating evening, beautifully presented, and thoroughly enjoyable. Thank you very much both for the lecture, and your kind gift of a copy of your book for our library." Jeff McBride just received a copy of the lecture notes and in a words described them as "Gorgeous!" Lex Schoppi  wrote: "Lee Alex refreshes the old systems and this book will be a revolution. An absolute 'must have' for costume change performer and serious stage magicians." Time for a Change? will be available exclusively from the Magic Box stand at the Blackpool Convention. The notes (in the form of a 190 page book!) are normally only available to those who attend Lee's lecture, Magic Box have some stock that didn't arrive in time for the tour. 14.2.09


Marco Pusterla will be presenting six "Magical Storytelling" sessions at Corby's Library, Northamptonshire, on Thursday 19th February, starting at 11am. The shows will be part of Corby's Borough Council Literacy Festival, "Play on Words", an event spanning a whole month with events for children and adults. Marco Pusterla, the publisher of Christian Chelman's book Hauntiques, rarely performs at public events, being busy working private parties and corporate events and providing magical consultancies in Europe 14.2.09


Those Blackpool Bloggers are Back! And this time 3 have become 4. Matt Parro, Stuart Harley, Geoff Hunt and new addition to the blogging team Max Curd, will be blogging all the latest news, as it's happening, live from the Blackpool Magic Convention - if you can’t make the convention this year than at least you’ll be able to see what you’ve been missing! 14.2.09


Ring in Pepper-Pot. After many requests from owners of the DVD set Menu of Miracles by James Prince, RSVPMagic are delighted to announce the exclusive release of his 'Ring in Pepper-Pot' routine. The prop is hand-gimmicked, 100% effective and for a limited time comes with a free copy of "Menu of Miracles - Vol.1" (worth £17.99 / $34.99!) "This is straight out of James' working act and is a wonderful piece of visual magic for all close-up workers. The prop is superbly made and will last forever", says Russ Stevens. Watch the trailer and amazing reactions, on 14.2.09


An Evening with Roni Shacnaey. Simon Shaw emails: "I am pleased (absolutely delighted in fact) to let you all know that Roni will be lecturing and performing at the Ipswich Magical Society on Monday March 2nd 2009. Roni's style of bizarre magic-cum-mentalism is unique and a joy to watch. Visiting magicians will be welcome, although there will be a fee on the door." For more details visit: 14.2.09


The Notebook - Blackpool Launch. "The Notebook contains descriptions and explanations of eighty one card tricks performed in the latter half of the eighteenth century by some of the greatest magicians of the age. Unlike other books from the time, The Notebook was written by a knowledgeable magician author. Because of this The Notebook includes details of the subtleties, outs and timing used; and importantly, the tricks are those used by the performers themselves, rather than the ones included in the books they sold to the public. This means that a large number of items feel surprisingly modern and would work alongside magic created in the twenty-first century, despite the fact they are over two hundred years old. Some of the material could even be published today and pass for current creations!" The Notebook is written and published by Will Houstoun, and Will will be on the Monster Creations stand all weekend. Will invites you to drop by to have a look at a copy at some point. 14.2.09


Surefire is a 2 hour DVD starring Mark Southworth (the creator of Shoet) featuring 11 routines from his working act. "Some of these routines could have easily been marketed as separate DVD products, but we really wanted to give our customers value for money, and make this one of their favourite DVDs. Of particular interest to all workers will be 'Blockbuster' which is the perfect routine for corporate magicians and mix and mingle performers. Come to our stand at the Blackpool Convention, where Mark will be demonstrating all of the material and will be able to answer any questions." Said Russ Stevens at RSVPMagic. You can see a trailer online at 14.2.09


Zane's Magic Shop will have a large stand in The Arena at the Blackpool Magicians' Convention (Friday 21st - Sunday 23rd February) offering lots of new tricks and DVDs, and really look forward to meeting customers, old and new! 14.2.09 Graphic designer and magician James Howells emails: "Are you a magician with a trick or DVD to sell? I have had an interest in magic and graphic design for 15 years and have combined both passions, I have set up a website offering my graphic design services to magicians with a trick to sell, with the intention of designing their DVD cover or packaging for their product." Visit for more info. 14.2.09


Martin Lewis, President of the Associated Conjurers of East Sussex, won the prestigious Tom Hooper Close-up award against fierce competition. Working on an entirely new routine, Martin had spent 6 weeks preparing for this and showed off many new card and coin routines to the audience of magicians and lay people in Lewes on Wednesday 10th February. Speaking after the competition, Martin said he was delighted with his win especially as Tom Hooper was a local Brighton magician whom he thought had been one of the best around. “Tom even won the close-up competition the year before his death when using crutches and was a very talented man who is sorely missed by all who knew him” Reported by Nicky Moon, Secretary, ACES Magic Society 14.2.09


Mark Shortland lectures at the Bexleyheath Society of Magicians on Wednesday 18th February. Visiting magicians welcome. Contact Secretary Dave Andrews on 020 8853 1733 or email for more details and to register your attendance. 14.2.09


MasterClass - The First Four Years. Although Magicseen Magazine is primarily a features publication rather than a tricks magazine, it does have two or three routines in every issue in the Masterclass section. In the first four years of publication, 61 contributions have appeared and these have now been collected together and are offered as a stand-alone publication either as a book or download. Contributors include: Max Maven, Boris Wild, David Stone, Aldo Colombini, Wayne Dobson, Jay Sankey, Mathieu Bich, Marc Paul, Trevor Lewis, Joshua Jay and so many more, and they have provided a varied and interesting selection of material. Comb bound printed copies of “Masterclass – The First Four Years” will be available at Blackpool from the Mark Leveridge Magic stand or you can order direct from 14.2.09


Illusioncraft - New releases for Blackpool! Illusioncraft is pleased to announce at long last “Magic Smoke From Anywhere” version 2 is now ready - allowing the performer to produce puffs of smoke from anywhere, safely and without any harmful or corrosive chemicals. Illusioncraft’s very own Flash Money, first used by Keith Barry, will also be launched, together with "a few more goodies that you will have to wait to see" we're told. Flash Money stocks will be very limited, and Illusioncraft will only have 30 Magic Smoke units ready for Blackpool. Email Adam for further info: Be sure to visit them in The Arena! 14.2.09


Anthony Owen will be on the stand at the Blackpool Convention demonstrating several effects from the new range of DVDs reviewed by Nicholas Einhorn this week, Click Here. Anthony tells us he will also have a limited number of copies of the new Magic Interview Series CD on 'The Secrets of TV Magic'. Geoffrey Durham said this week about this CD: "Anthony is stimulating, exhilarating and motivating. But, above all, he is right!" 14.2.09


This year marks the 90th anniversary of The Cambridge Pentacle Club. "Our major celebration takes place on Saturday 9th May 2009, and during that day we're hoping to show as much of the club's history as possible. So, we're searching for past members and past memories. If you have anything to share about The Pentacle Club, please send it to us (even if you can't make the convention). All hard-copy material and photographs will be scanned and returned to you. Just include your name and the date you were associated with the Club, and we'll do the rest. For details and information on our special day of magic, contract Alan Maskell (Secretary) on or visit:" Ian A Thomson. 14.2.09


Andrew Normansell The Man Who Would Be King. Following the huge international success of Wayne Dobson's book WD40, published by Magicseen Publications a couple of years ago, they are pleased to announce that a book featuring the magical thoughts and routines of professional entertainer Andrew Normansell called "The Man Who Would Be King" will be released on Friday 20th February at the Blackpool Convention: "Readers of Magicseen will be familiar with Andrew as there have been a couple of features on him and he has also appeared a few times answering questions in the Close Up Clinic. Now Andrew reveals the secrets of his commercial success by recounting his life story so far, gives readers excellent food for thought in a section called Devil's Advocate in which he passes opinion on all manner of magical themes, and finally he also gives full details of 28 of his pet routines for close-up, stand-up and mentalism. Everything Andrew does is geared to commercial performance and his methods are delightfully straightforward." Available at Blackpool from the Mark Leveridge Magic stand or directly from 14.2.09


Night with Anne Robinson wasn't magic says Bromham conjuror. "Magician Jack Stephens said he wishes he could make Anne Robinson disappear after bearing the brunt of her remarks on The Weakest Link last week. Mr Stephens, 55, who lives in Bromham, came a respectable third in the running for the £3,300 prize money but was the last contestant to take the dreaded walk of shame. He only realised he had a chance of appearing on the hit BBC show after his daughter Susie, 20, secretly sent off for the application form..." To read the full story in the Bromham website, Click Here. 14.2.09


An Evening of Fine Wine, Dining and Conjuring at Brown’s. standnotamazed presents... An Evening of Fine Wine, Dining and Conjuring at Brown’s, St Martin’s Lane, London, at 7pm on Friday 27th February. "A rare opportunity to see contemporary magician John van der Put close-up and live in the heart of the west end. The current UK International Brotherhood of Magician’s Close Up Champion and ‘Heston Blumenthal’s Magician’ (METRO), don’t miss your chance to see his award-winning sleight of hand for yourself! Followed by coffee and cabaret starring... Piff the Magic Dragon (Finalist of the Hackney Empire New Act of the Year 2009), Maya Politaki (featuring The Spikes and The Rings), Richard Pinner ("Marvellous skills he has enormous charm and humour" The Stage). To book call Sarah on 020 7395 6092 or email 14.2.09


Illusionist Guy Barrett will be performing at the Pavilion Theatre, Worthing in "Zippos Circus" from the 17th - 22nd February. Guy, Lisa and their dancers will join an international cast, presenting several illusions throughout the show. 14.2.09


Marc Lemezma's Card Magic. From the publishers: "Even the most baffling card tricks rely on some simple mathematical principles and sleight of hand. This book will reveal the tricks behind the dazzle, providing easy instructions for anyone wanting to impress with cards. This beautifully presented book guides the reader through the fascinating history behind card tricks, then moves on to the concept of 'forcing' cards, the more baffling (and impressive!) card tricks, how to amaze your audience by sleight of hand, and even features the most famous card trick in the world, 'Find the Lady'. Finally, the book also discusses the tricks based around the increasingly popular gambling card games (such as Texas Hold 'Em Poker). For both novices and performers alike, 'Card Magic' provides a fantastic grounding in the basics and principles of card magic." To pre-order from Click Here. 14.2.09


Potter & Potter Auctions is pleased to announce it's next public auction, A selection of rare magicana from the collection of Jay Marshall. This sale will include what is perhaps some of the best material from the late great collector/magician's legendary holdings. Most of the items will be offered at no reserve. The auction will include genuinely rare and historically significant ephemera, books, apparatus, scrapbooks, posters and memorabilia. Magicians represented in the sale include: Houdini, Howard Thurston, Harry Kellar, Charles Bertram, Alexander, Adelaide & Leon Herrmann, T. Nelson Downs, The Great Lafayette, Dai Vernon, John Henry Anderson, Arnold DeBierre and more. The auction is scheduled for Sunday, April 26th, 2009 at the Hyatt Regency Woodfield Hotel, Schaumburg, Illinois. All attendees of the Magic Collectors' Weekend convention (scheduled for April 23-25, also at the Hyatt Regency Woodfield - visit for details) will receive a complimentary auction catalog - a $25 value - with their registration for the convention. Further information and details will be posted at as they become available. 14.2.09


The Super Scottish Magic Auction that was to have been held on April 19th has had to change its date (to be announced) to avoid clashing with another event. Adrian Harris emails: "The S.C.A. has announced that as part of their 85th Anniversary they are having lectures and dealers with a dinner and cabaret on Saturday 18th in Glasgow so in order not to clash with this, the decision was made to change the date of the sale." For more information email 14.2.09


Mark Raffles emails: "Re my forthcoming date at the De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill on Sea on February 14th. Unfortunately a health problem has cropped up and I have had to have a pacemaker fitted. Everything is OK and I will be back to work shortly but not in time for Bexhill." 14.2.09


Congratulations to Edward Hilsum, winner of 'Tonbridge Has Talent' on Friday 6th February, a talent competition held at Tonbridge School in the style of 'Britain's Got Talent' with five judges giving comments on the acts. There were 19 acts altogether with lots of variety including singers, dancers, comedians and jugglers. The event was organised by Weald School and all proceeds went to charity. See Edward on YouTube Click Here (Readers may remember how impressed we were with Edward's act at the Eastbourne Convention last year). 14.2.09


"Vegas magician, family see their income disappear" Click Here • "Magician's fundraiser in memory of Barbara" Click Here • "Magicians at Downing Street…" Click Here • "Presto! A professional stereotype vanishes!" Click Here • "Fairground attraction: See the amazing headless woman!" Click Here • That's it! Your magic news is always welcomed - see you next week, Duncan. 14.2.09