Number 453 - 28th February 2009


Wow! This year's Blackpool Convention was really special. There were just so many talented magicians, in all departments, that many convention goers were rating it as the best Blackpool Convention ever. Highlights for me included the Saturday night $10,000 Intercontinental Stage Magic Championships, which featured outstanding performances from Kyoko (chic and charismatic), Dirk Losander (superb technique), Marc Oberon (stunning UV concepts), and eventual winner Han Seol-Hee (photo) whose speed, skill, dexterity and magical showmanship took CD manips to new heights. He possessed fantastic control, captivated the entire audience and was rewarded with a standing ovation and the first prize of $10,000.


In Sunday's International Gala Show Jerome Murat's magical Living Statue act, Tony Chapek's playful interactive television routine and Jeff McBride's superb Miser's Dream, Water Bowls and Card work, totally did it for me... and that was just in the first half! Korea's An Ha-Lim (cards) and France's Tony Frebourg (diabolos) respectively took the art of card manipulation, and the skills of the diaboloist on to a whole new level. It was a brilliant gala show. Convention Organiser Derek Lever, Assistant Organisers David Plant and Andrew Green, Registration Officer Arthur Casson, President Harry Robson, the super-efficient back stage and technical team, and the entire membership of the Blackpool Magicians' Club work tirelessly every year to stage what has become the world's largest magic convention. It is quite an achievement, and they deserve all the success that the convention enjoys. 125 magic dealers from all over the world exhibited! An added pleasure this year was seeing David Blaine, taking some time out from a busy schedule to enjoy the convention too. Despite being virtually mobbed on occasion by groups of camera-wielding magicians he took it all with humour and in his stride. David Blaine gave magic a much needed kick-start into the 21st Century some ten years ago, and 'street magic' (as we now know it) was born. Magic book author Peter Eldin reports on the whole convention this week, Click Here (many thanks Peter!). 28.2.09


René Lavand - live in London! The first name has been released for this year's MacMillan International Magic Convention (27th-29th November). As part of the Convention, living magic legend, René Lavand will performing in the Close Up Gala, lecturing and talking about his life in a special Q&A session. Also, as an extra event, he will be performing his whole one man show which many knowledgeable performers rate as one of the finest close-up theatrical pieces in the world today. Space will be very limited for this performance. To be placed on the list email to confirm your interest in what will become much sought-after tickets. The one man show will be the only event held outside The Mermaid Conference and Events Centre (Map), which is the new venue for the Convention. Having sold out the Gala Show for both nights in recent years, the Mermaid Theatre will be able to accommodate more convention goers, and has great facilities for the magic dealers too. The extra rooms will allow the dealers to trade on both Saturday and Sunday, and the break out room and bar area has stunning views over the River Thames. The bar area has a late licence and Conventioneers will be able to use these facilities into the early morning, after both Gala Shows on Saturday and Sunday nights. More names will be released over the coming months, but for true close-up aficionados, the booking of Rene Lavand alone will make this an unmissable Convention! 28.2.09


Robert Harbin Blue Plaque. The Magic Circle, with the full co-operation and support of One Housing Group of Camden, unveiled a Blue Plaque at 1 Camden Square, London NW1, the former home of Honorary Vice President of The Magic Circle, Robert Harbin on Monday 16th February. This unique celebration coincided with what would have been Robert Harbin’s 100th birthday. Robert Harbin was a renowned magician and illusionist, a prolific inventor, including the famous Zig Zag Lady, and a pioneer of Origami. The unveiling was performed by Michael Bailey and Alan Shaxon, past Presidents of the society. Following the unveiling a celebratory lunch took place at The Centre for the Magic Arts in Euston enjoyed by many famous magicians from around the world. Reported by Jack Delvin MIMC, Vice President of The Magic Circle. 28.2.09


The Inferno Night of Magic will take place at Middleton Hall stately home near Tamworth (Map) on Saturday April 11th. The idea is to recreate a magical event in the style of Victorian and Edwardian dinner parties - very stylish and atmospheric with people encouraged to get dressed up for the event. Magic Circle magician David Taylor will perform classic parlour magic and Anthony Jacquin will present a hypnosis routine. Young up and coming female bizarre magician Evanna will be performing a spooky magic routine to bring the evening to a close and Paul Bell will be hosting the night and doing a spot of mind-reading along the way. The evening runs from 7pm until midnight, and, as well as the magic performers, the night also features a two course silver service meal. Tickets are priced at a very reasonable £59.00 each. Visit for more information and to book. 28.2.09


Whitermorn Are Proud To Present A Total Business Day For Magicians on Thursday 28th May at the Suites Hotel, Prescot. John Lenahan will be giving a talk covering the business side of magic, as will Guinness World Record holder Richie Smith. Richie emails "In Addition to John's talk other points to be covered include: How you can charge two or three times your normal fee; How you can take a booking for free and at the end of the booking you make £180 to £240 and then go on to make a further £250 up to £1500 from the same booking over the next 7 to 10 days; How you can promote yourself through a professionally made DVD for a small amount of money without recording it yourself and go on to make a lot of cash on the sale of it; How you can have everyone at the event be in possession of your business card that hasn’t cost you a penny to have printed, and from the same business card also get paid anything from £150 to £300 or more on top of the fee you're getting... the list goes on..." For more information visit 28.2.09


Magic Night is back on Friday 13th March, in a new home at Madame JoJo's, 8-10 Brewer Street, London W1F O5P (Map). "Magic Nights original and off the wall Trickster Cabaret is back for 2009 at Madame JoJo's with some sorcerous heists and uber cool magic. In this show watch your bags, your jewellery and watches - they may disappear and re-appear elsewhere. We'll predict the news, turn birds into violins and steal your belongings! We will give them back, but only because we're nice like that. Lady Elvis will prove the King is still alive and bring some Vegas to Magic Night, whilst Matt Hennem will breakdance, moonwalk and contort around a seemingly levitating glass ball. The hilarious Piff will be conjuring some incredible Magic, but be warned, he's dressed as a dragon and he's angry, well just a bit irritated really. And Anil Desai will impersonate any character the audience care to throw at him over the night. So be prepared for a brain electrifying evening." Oliver Tabor, Piff the Magic Dragon, Matt Hennem, Lady Elvis, Anil Desai and MC Neil Henry, plus Sergio Barros (pre show close-up magic). Tickets £10/£7 concessions. Tickets can also be purchased via 08700 600 100. Friday 13th March, doors 7pm / showtime 7.45pm - 10pm. 28.2.09


The Cambridge Pentacle Club. Ian Thomson emails: The Cambridge Pentacle Club is celebrating its 90th anniversary on Saturday May 9th 2009. To help commemorate this, we put out a call to the magic community to let us know if anyone had any past experiences and memories of the club they'd like to share. The response has been amazing (including a member from the 1950's sending us old programmes and constitutions, and also getting back in touch with a prestigious member from the 1930's). So, we'd like to thank everyone who has responded so far, and say again that if anyone out there has any memories or memorabilia from The Pentacle Club, we'd like to hear from you. Plus we'd love to see you at the event on May 9th. Visit for details. 28.2.09


The Magic of Fred Robinson. "Peter Duffie’s The Magic of Fred Robinson is a wonderful book containing a gold-mine of ideas, subtleties and secrets from one of magic’s finest exponents and thinkers... More than that, it’s a great read and takes me back to the feeling I had when I first read Vernon’s Inner Secrets books." R Paul Wilson, writing in Genii. Fred Robinson was a private man but his skill at sleight-of-hand with cards and coins was legendary. He could be found at the Magic Circle on Monday evenings and many well-known names from around the world paid homage to Fred and travelled countless miles to witness his legendary skills for themselves. He was the editor of Pabular magazine and inspired contributions from the finest magicians of his time. The Magic of Fred Robinson documents and describes every effect that Fred performed. It has been written by Peter Duffie who has skilfully described all of Fred's sleights and effects in the greatest of detail. There are pages of detailed drawings and photographs; the book pays tribute to one of the greatest sleight-of-hand magicians the world has ever known. I know that Peter Duffie and publisher Martin Breese have put a tremendous amount of work in to this project, first suggested to them by David Britland. Available from your favourite magic dealer or directly from . 28.2.09


Lee Alex Masterclass - In preparation for his Quick Change masterclass with Jeff McBride in the USA, Lee Alex will be flying into the UK to host a very special Quick Change masterclass at a special location in London. The event will take place on the evening of Thursday 21st May and will last for 3-4 hours. Lee Alex is arguably one of the world's leading exponents on this highly secretive art-form and this will be a rare opportunity to gain a thorough insight into the foundations and techniques of Quick Change. You will be taken through all aspects of the art, which will include the opportunity to wear and study many of the costumes Lee uses in his own act, as well as one-to-one discussion with Lee himself. His recent lectures in the UK were met with great success. Numbers are strictly limited for this one-off event. For more information, or to register your interest, email 28.2.09


How To Create Kids' Magic and Triple Your Income! "This is not just another book on magic for children. It is a course about presentation which would cost hundreds of pounds if it were a correspondence course. No matter what stage you are at in presenting magic for children the advice in this book will apply to you. The first three chapters are worth the cost of the book and apply to all entertainers..." Peter Rann reviews How To Create Kids' Magic and Triple Your Income! by John Breeds this week, Click Here. 28.2.09


Thom Peterson “The Amazing Guy” (USA) lectures at 7.45pm on Thursday 19th March at The Petwood Hotel, Stixwould Road, Woodhall Spa, Lincolnshire LN10 6QG (Map). The lecture is being sponsored by Magic Books by Post and after the lecture Thom, Paul Cooke and Steve Short and friends will be in the bar for a more informal chat. Price: £10.00 (which includes a free book valued £20.00 from Magic Books by Post). Or £8.50 for MBBP Book Club Members (also includes free gift). Places are limited. Email Paul Cooke to reserve your place. 28.2.09


Iain Moran Lecture - Liverpool Magic Circle. Iain Moran lectures for The Liverpool Magic Circle at 7.30pm on Thursday March 5th at the Alder Sports Club, Alder Road, Liverpool L12 2BA (Map). There will be a small £6.00 door charge for non members. Not to be missed! For more info visit 28.2.09


Alan Rorrison's Sigillum Diaboli "A one-handed, insanely visual, cover free version of Roy Walton's Card Warp! Sigillum Diaboli is not only a trick title that'll win you a game of Scrabble, it is also the most visual twist on the classic Roy Walton Card Warp routine in existence! Imagine taking a selected card and having it signed. You then draw a mysterious sign onto the selection - the 'Sigillum Diaboli' or the Mark of the Devil - explaining how it will cause the playing card to reveal its 'true colours'. And indeed it does! Visually, and with the card held at the finger tips of a single hand, the card turns inside out, half face up, half face down! Almost instantly, the card completely turns face up, while again just held in one hand! But then comes the killer. Folding the card into quarters with the face being hidden, a mere shake visually turns the whole card face out!" Find out more and watch the trailer at 28.2.09


Paul Gordon has just released his first non-trick book entitled "The Real Secrets of Card Magic." Paul discusses character, patter, routining, dress, presentation, business skills and more. Paul also tells some funny true stories about performing and offers advice, thoughts, ideas and performing tips. Priced £20.00 from The "in person" version of the book (plus numerous tricks, sleights and moves) is Paul's one-day card magic convention/workshop. The May 10th day in Worthing is nearly sold out, but a second date (Sun 13th September) in Leamington Spa is now booking. Visit for details. 28.2.09


Vision. Alex Lodge is staging 'Vision' at the Basingstoke Haymarket Theatre on Thursday March 5th. "A magic and illusion spectacular with the Basingstoke Academy of Dancing. Plus special guests from the CBBC’s Sorcerer’s Apprentice. This is a real one-off for Basingstoke and a treat for the whole family. Come along and witness all the wonder and all the amazement as Alex transports you to the edge of his dreams in a vision." Tickets: Adults £15.00, children £10.00. Box Office: 01256 844244. The Haymarket, Wote Street, Basingstoke RG21 7NW (Map). 28.2.09


Jack Delvin presents his  "Easy Magic to Entertain" lecture at the South Lincs Magical Society at 8pm on Monday March 23rd at the Haywain Motel, Ulceby Cross, Nr Alford. There will be a door charge for non members of £5.00. Magical visitors welcome. For further details contact Burger Bill (Vice-President) on 01400 261323 or email 28.2.09


BB meets DB at BC! Burger Bill meets David Blaine at the Blackpool Convention. Burger Bill kindly sent in this shot taken with David Blaine last weekend. Many magicians enjoyed a similar 'photo opportunity' during the three day event, at which David Blaine proved to be an unscheduled main-attraction. 28.2.09


Jamie D Grant's 'Anything Is Possible Bottle' - back in stock. "These art pieces, that were featured by ‘Ripley's Believe It or Not’, are hand made by Vancouver magician Jamie D Grant and are guaranteed to use unaltered milk bottles and Bicycle Brand playing cards, sealed, and still wrapped in their original cellophane wrap. Whenever times get tough, look over your magical bottle and remind yourself that anything is possible!" Available from Wayne Dobson - see the 'Close up and Stand up' section: 28.2.09


Essex's favourite Magician Michael J Fitch has just scooped the biggest prize of his life, being placed first in the coveted Children's Entertainer International Championships at the Blackpool Convention last weekend. Michael, who lives in Marks Tey, beat many top acts in Saturday’s competition, in front of an audience of professional magicians. "I never dreamed that I would win a title that would allow me to travel the world as International Children’s Entertainer of the Year! But I promise to remain in Essex, as bookings for my shows continue to thrive." It’s been quite a start to the year for Michael, his one man show at the Mercury Theatre, Colchester was a sell out in January. Michael has entertained the Queen at Buckingham Palace and starred in channel 4’s Freaky, can next be seen on BBC's Sorcerer's Apprentice, later this year. "Magician's new £6,000 robot monkey" Click Here. 28.2.09


A true story for from Mandy Davis... Whilst walking through the dealer hall at Blackpool Mandy Farrell met up with an old friend from the US, Doug McKenzie. "Come and meet someone" he exclaimed and dragged her over to a guy in a hat. "Meet Mandy", Doug announced, "An awesome magician from the UK." Mandy shook the guy's hand... "Hi", she said. "Who are you?" There was a silence as Doug replied softly: "It's David..." "Oh yes" agreed Mandy, before adding "David who?" :) 28.2.09


Jonathan Lucia-Wright (JJ) emails: "Jimmy was born deaf and went blind at the age of 17 after an operation that went wrong, in the last 5 years he has discovered magic as he had no recollection of it from when he could see, thanks to his support worker who adapts tricks so that they can be appreciated by Jimmy who has no sight or hearing. In 2008 he attended the Blackpool Magic Convention with sponsorship from Uri Geller and Derren Brown where he was introduced to a whole new world of tactile entertainment. Jimmy has expressed that he wishes to attend the 2010 convention in Blackpool so we are looking for sponsors, we aim to raise £1000 - this pays for Jimmy plus 2 carers for admission and transport and accommodation etc." For more information please email contact JJ at or visit 28.2.09


Supalok50. Mick Hanzlick has just released a new smaller sized version of his Supalok, measuring 50mm instead of the normal 60mm and retailing at £20.00 less than the larger version as well. Visit for details. 28.2.09


Professional magician John Mosedale followed in the footsteps of many acclaimed names in the world of magic by winning the Tom Laws Plate for close-up magic last week. The long established award is made annually by the Wolverhampton Circle of Magicians to the winner of their close-up competition. John wowed an audience of his peers and the public with the material that he regularly performs in the real world and walked away with first prize. 28.2.09


That's The Way To Do It! There was a screening of Producer/Director Stanley Long's horror trilogy "Screamtime" at the British Film Institute last Friday, 20th February. The first film "That's The Way To Do It", in which John Styles was the performer and advisor, was made in 1982 and tells the story of a rebellious teenager (played by Jonathan Morris), who hates his Punch & Judy Man stepfather (played by Robin Bailey). A series of brutal murders unfolds, as the film follows the traditional Punch & Judy show storyline. It was followed by a question and answer session onstage. Many celebrities were in attendance including David Nixon's popular assistant, Anita Harris and presenter Paul Martin, from BBC's "Flog it", pictured here with John and Stanley Long. Picture courtesy Doug McKenzie. 28.2.09


James Piper lecturers at the Cardiff Magical Society on Monday, March 9th. The lecture will be jam packed with original sleight of hand magic, suitable for both professionals and hobbyists. The fee for non members is £10.00, visit for more info. James would like to hear from other clubs interested in booking his lecture. To watch a showreel Click Here. Contact James via 28.2.09


Noel Britten and me, snapped by Kerry Scorah during the early hours of Monday morning at the Ruskin (still pretty much in a compos mentis state too!). May I thank the Blackpool Magicians' Club here for awarding me 'The Murray Award' - I was delighted to receive it (as I know was fellow recipient Eric Eswin). The award itself is a 12" pewter statue of a magician, designed especially for The Blackpool Magicians' Club by artist Ray Bradbury • 'Cover the Spot' By Ian Kendall is reviewed by David Diamond this week, Click here • "It’s a kind of magic for prizewinner" Click Here • "117 days later, Criss Angel and Holly Madison call it quits" Click Here • "Now You See Them" Click Here • "The Great Buck Howard" Click Here • "It’s never pants to make money" Click Here • "Magician Paul Daniels angers Madonna fans" Click Here • Norm Nielsen and with Michael Ammar are the latest international magic stars to donate items to the Blackpool & Fylde Mystics auction which is to be held this Tuesday - see What's On for details • "David Blaine works magic on Roman Abramovich and Chelsea stars" Click Here • That's it for another week - your UK magic news is always welcomed, please remember the strict Friday 12 noon deadline for the following Saturday. See you next week, Duncan. 28.2.09