Number 454 - 7th March 2009


Ali Bongo, 1929 - 2009. Dreadful news to report this morning (Sunday) that Ali Bongo has died following the stroke that he suffered in France. Ali was quite simply an amazing character and much loved by magicians worldwide. A full obituary will appear next week (DT). 8.3.09


British Ring Convention - September 2009. The first wave of names for this year's IBM British Ring Convention has been released. Artists booked to date include: Tyler Wilson, Hayashi, Brando & Silvana, Netchperenko, Angus McAnnaly, Timo Marc, Soma, Henry Mayol, Terry Herbert, Duane Laflin, Ed Ellis, Tony Stevens, Sean Taylor, David & Dania, Pavel, Peki and Richard Cadell & Sooty. Southport 23rd - 27th September 2009. The Southport Theatre and Convention Centre is one of the largest conference venues on Merseyside and is conveniently located on Southport's elegant Promenade. Its versatile facilities include the spacious Theatre auditorium which seats up to 1,630. Adjacent to the Theatre auditorium is the magnificent Floral Hall. Restored to its elegant 1930's splendour this is a multi-function venue that at almost 1,000sqm can cater for 1,200 people. As part of a £40 million extension and development programme, the venue has the added benefit of the brand new Waterfront Suite - a multi-function space that can be sub-divided into up to six self-contained suites. The venue boasts a link through to the newly built Ramada Plaza Hotel immediately adjacent. 7.3.09


Disney Live! presents Mickey’s Magic Show starring International Illusionist Brad Ross. International star illusionist Brad Ross makes his UK debut in a new live Disney touring show. It's a never-before-seen combination of favourite Disney characters and professional illusionists. Brad Ross is joined by fellow American magician Fred Moore and the two come together live on stage in a performance that will excite and delight children of all ages. Mickey’s Magic Show features the special magic from legendary Disney films, performed right before your eyes. “This one-of-a-kind show gives parents and children the power to see magic everywhere,” says Kenneth Feld, producer of the Disney Live! shows and producer of the most successful live illusion show of all time, Siegfried & Roy. “We take them on an inspirational journey with the Disney characters where they learn to find the magic within and all around them. At the same time, families will see world class illusions that will truly take their breath away.” Famed Illusion Designer Jim Steinmeyer, who has worked with leading magicians David Copperfield, Lance Burton and Siegfried & Roy, brings his more than 20 years of world class experience to the illusions in the show, which include a dynamic sawing-in-half duet and an awe-inspiring levitation of Minnie set to blacklight. “In every show we do, we try to exceed audiences’ expectations,” says Director Jerry Bilik. “With the sheer magnitude of the illusions, we are able to take the audience to a place far beyond what they would ever imagine. From the moment the magic begins on stage, audiences will be in for a visual surprise as they take part in a unique Disney experience.” 13th March - 13th April. For a complete listing of UK tour dates visit 7.3.09


Gala Show Artists and Dealers for the Wessex Magical Association's One Day Convention announced. Gala Show Artists: Tensai, Michael Pearse, Carvaggio, Taro the Jester, The Starburst Dancers, and The Great Kockov with his Live Russian Roulette. The show will be compèred by Jasper Blakeley. The dealer line-up includes Alakazam, The Card Collection, The Magic Zone, Mike Danata's Magic Studio, Razamatazz, Playtime Balloons, Paul Gordon, Stephen Tucker, Carol Gilbert, Tony Griffith, Wayne Dobson, Mark Worgan and Zane's Magic Shop. The Star Lecturers will be full-time professional close-up and cabaret comedy magician Jasper Blakeley (photo) and multi-talented magic performer/inventor/dealer/editor Stephen Tucker. With workshops by Roger Drew (comedy magic), Tony Griffith, and Playtime Balloons. In addition, there will be several additional hands-on close-up sessions. The date is Sunday 5th April at Kinson Community Centre, Millhams Road, Kinson, Bournemouth BH10 7LH (Map). Doors open at 9.30am. Full registration (including the Gala Show which starts at 6.30am) £18.00 in advance, £20.00 on the door. Gala show only tickets: £7.50. Telephone: Andy Nineham 01305 833439 7.3.09


Exciting news from the Scottish Conjurers Association! To celebrate their 85th Year, the SCA are hosting a Day of Magic on April 18th. This will consist of a day packed with magic lectures from Craig Petty, Mel Mellers, and a giant of Scottish card magic that will be revealed closer to the event. In addition, there will be a series of close-up performances by the members of the SCA, a selection of magic dealers, and a dinner/cabaret in the evening culminating in a performance from special guest Mel Mellers. This is a not-to-be-missed event. Tickets for non-members are priced at £15.00 (day), £30.00 (evening), £35.00 (combined). Daytime entry is £8 for those under 14 years of age. 7.3.09


Magical Messages for Tyneside Students. School pupils from across Tyneside are to be given a magical lessons in issues such as how to stay healthy and the benefits of protecting the environment. As part of this year’s South Tyneside International Magic Festival, which is sponsored by MagicBox, magicians will tour schools around the borough, using magic to communicate important messages. Throughout the course of the festival week (March 9th -15th), the magicians will visit a total of 28 Tyneside schools. 7.3.09


Derby Magic Circle present The Magic of Variety at the Robert Ludlam Theatre, Duffiled Road, Derby DE22 1JD at 7.30pm on Friday March 27th. Starring Stuart Brown (manipulation), Allan Humphries (mind reading), Neil Spencer (comedy magic), Jean Ellison (elegant magic), Mike Jackson (singer), and compère Clive Moore. Adults £7.00 / Children and Concessions £5.00. Box Office: 01332 763206. 7.3.09


British illusionist Lee Alex was presented with the prestigious Merlin Award last week, in Istanbul by Tony Hassini, President of the International Magicians' Society. "The International Magicians Society is the largest magicians society in the world with over 37,000 members worldwide and is listed as the World’s largest Magic Organization in the Guinness Book of World Records. Past recipients of the Merlin Award include David Copperfield, Criss Angel and Siegfried & Roy." Last Saturday night Tony presented Lee Alex with the Merlin Award for 'Illusionist of the Year 2009' during Lee's stage show 'Magic Dreams' at the TIM Show Center in Istanbul (actually the award was presented twice, once at the matinee performance, and again during the evening performance) in front of an enthusiastic audience which included local celebrities and press. Sunday saw the last show of Lee's run at this particular venue. Lee Alex and 'Magic Dreams' now continues at a larger theatre just outside of Istanbul during the month of March. The 'Illusionist of the Year' is an international award voted for by the board and officers of the IMS. In the photo Tony Hassini and Lee Alex with the coveted award. Tony Hassini spent a few days taking in the sights of Istanbul, enthusiastically capturing his experiences on film, and making purchases in the famed Grand Bazaar. 7.3.09


Mike Skutt’s Amazing Awesome Creativity Lecture. The House of Magic (UK) are delighted to announce that Mike Skutt is to lecture at their magic shop in Stourbridge, West Midlands, on Wednesday 8th April. "Mike Skutt approaches the art of creating a truly memorable magic moment unlike anyone I've ever met. His effects as well as his methods tend to be extremely fresh and marvellously original." Jay Sankey. Mike Skutt thinks about magic…a lot. One of the things he thinks is that doing a magic trick off the shelf can only take you so far. Time and time again, magicians keep going back to see what the newest effect is; trying desperately to regain the awe they experienced as a spectator and the rush of performing they got as a newbie. Why do we succumb to such a vicious circle of commerce and confusion? Psychology undergrad and professional magician Mike Skutt will share some of his secretes on tapping into the creative artist that is in all of us. Learn exercises to retrain your brain to think creatively. Dismiss the myth that you can’t create your own routines. What magic lecture would be complete without learning actual effects? Mike will perform and teach some of his pet routines, not only to share, but also to use the history of their creation as a metaphor for the creative process. Mike Skutt’s Amazing Awesome Creativity Lecture - call 01384 373209 for more information. 7.3.09


Magic Sale. There will be a sale of the magic and ventriloquial props and effects of the late Harry Kidd at 7.30pm on Tuesday 10th March at the Edinburgh Magic Circle Headquarters in The Police Club, 28 York Place, Edinburgh EH1 3EP (Map) All Welcome - no admission charge. If you require any further information, contact Gary James 7.3.09


Mark Leveridge Magic's first Dealer Night is taking place in Bristol on Monday 30th March and promises to be a sociable and money saving occasion for those who attend. As well as bringing the Mark Leveridge range of products which attendees will be able to purchase at a 10% discount, Mark will also be exhibiting the complete Magicseen range with Back Issues being available as well as the new selection of publications such as The Man Who Would Be King and Masterclass The First Four Years. The evening will also contain a mini lecture from Mark featuring three new ideas, plus a 30 minute dealer dem. Every person who pre-books will be given a credit voucher which not only covers their entry fee but which also give them an extra £10 to put towards a purchase on the night! Doors open at 7pm and there is a finish time of about 10pm. There is free and extensive car parking at the Redwood Hotel and Country Club and the venue is just 10 minutes from Junction 19 of the M5. For more information and online bookings visit 7.3.09


The Notebook, The Review. 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 reviewed by Rob James this week, Click Here. 14.2.09


News from The Photomonkeys: "The Photomonkeys have just added new photos of recent client El-Rico to the samples section. Also we are relocating to Devon on the 14th March. Therefore any magicians in the London area who are wishing to have shoots are advised to contact us ASAP. For those magicians who contacted us from "up North" we are soon to be arranging a day of shooting in that area of the UK,so feel free to contact us. For more details see". 7.3.09


Robin Carr produced a slick display of sleight-of-hand to win the South Downs Magicians close-up competition on Wednesday, March 4th. Robin beat three other performers to take the trophy for the third time, having won in 1987 and 1989. He impressed members with a series of smoothly-executed effects. Robin was also one of the close-up performers who entertained the public at the South Downs Magicians Magic, Illusion and Mystery fund-raising show held at the club's headquarters last Friday, February 27th. The show, which included eight stage acts as well as the close-up, sold out, delighting the organisers. Robin, a former president of the South Downs Magicians, is pictured (left) receiving the close-up trophy from current president Jonathan Cann. 7.3.09


World Magic Shop have contacted us to say that stock of Justin Miller's Captured, will be going out to customers on Wednesday Click Here, as will Yigal Mesika's Tarantula! Click Here. 7.3.09


Ashley Turner, The Table Top Trixta, has signed another Pizza Express weekly residency, adding the Peterborough restaurant to his list. Ashley now presents his own brand of magic to diners in Milton Keynes, Stamford and Peterborough! 7.3.09


Maxello Magic is celebrating 5 years on the internet by giving away 25% worth of extra goods with every order! Visit for details.7.3.09


The Bill - Matters of the Mind. "PCs Sally Armstrong and Ben Gayle get caught up with magic when they investigate a theft in a social club. Resident magician Drake Danvers' gambling habit seems like a motive for the crime, until money Drake claimed to have spent is found in a puzzle box. And when Drake's girlfriend is attacked, he admits he is being blackmailed." 8pm on Wednesday 11th March, on ITV1 - see TV Magic. 7.3.09


The Circus of Wonders Exhibition at Blackpool, co-curated with Vanessa Toulmin and Mark Copeland attracted over 16,000 visitors during the 10 days it was open. It attracted national and international press interest and was be featured on ABC News’ Good Morning America, Click Here. Could a Headless Lady teach you Chinese? Well according to BBC China - yes she can! Following on from the tremendous success of Jon Marshall’s, Sideshow Illusions at Blackpool’s Winter Gardens’ Showzam Exhibition – Circus of Wonders, the BBC China website picked up on some of the unusual words used in Jon’s spiel. Jon said, “ I had no idea that BBC China would pick up on it, I was interviewed on Radio Lancashire and Pat Gresham, one of the original Headless Ladies from our show was interviewed on BBC Radio 4. It is amazing that the scripts of the Girl in the Goldfish bowl, the Living Half Lady and even the Headless Lady could be used to teach people to speak English! Mind you if they saw the illusions in the flesh their jaws would drop and they wouldn’t be able to say anything!” (Thanks to Phil Smith for this story). 7.3.09


Perth Magic Circle Cabaret & Buffet - Tuesday 7th April. The annual cabaret evening hosted by Perth Magic Circle has been a sell out for the past three years. Held in the function lounge of Perth Ex-Servicemen's Club the evening attracts many local people as well as a few visitors from other Scottish Magic Clubs. Guest performers this year include Ricky McLeod (photo - President of the Scottish Association of Magical Societies) and Alex Proctor. Entry is by ticket only and these are now available from any club member, or Hon Sec Adrian Harris price £8.00. Perth Ex-Servicemen's Club, Brown Street, Perth PH1 5QE (Map). Adrian Harris (Hon Sec) 01738 628985 7.3.09


'Beat the Wand' Winner! Chris Cross, the comedy contortionist & escapologist, won this year's first ever 'Beat the Wand' Cabaret & Variety Competition at the Blackpool Convention. The competition was organised by Magic Sam and Andrew James. In front of a late-night jam-packed audience Chris "dislocated body parts, kissed a bloke, escaped from some Cling Film, fell off a table, offended a few people, ate some bread and stripped down to his boxer shorts!" A happy Chris Cross took the winner's trophy back home to Newcastle. Find out more about Chris Cross, visit: 7.3.09


Hypnotism for Magicians - The Manchurian Approach. Anthony Jacquin emails: "I have a course in hypnosis open only to magicians and mentalists on the 18th and 19th April. Training takes place over 2 days and includes both classroom training and street/bar practical. The course will teach you how to hypnotize and how to use hypnosis in the context of your magic performance whether it is walk around, street, close up or stage. As the course will be full of performers I know from experience that the time we spend together will be productive both inside and outside the classroom. The course takes place in Derby and good value accommodation is available on site. Please email me direct if you are interested and I will send you a PDF with all of the details: Venue: Derby Conference Centre, Derby, East Midlands. Organised by: Head Hacking Ltd (Anthony Jacquin and Kev Sheldrake) 07970 175104. More info: 7.3.09


John Archer - North and South. John lectures for the Scottish Conjurers' Association on Wednesday March 11th at 7.30pm at the Scottish Mask and Puppet Centre, Balcarres Avenue, Glasgow G12 0QF (Map). This is the SCA's annual Duncan Fletcher Memorial Lecture to celebrate their late President's record 32 years in office and his role as ambassador for Scottish magic. Then on Wednesday 25th March John lectures at the Highfield Social Club, George Street, Bicester, Oxon OX26 2ED (Map) for the Thames Valley Magicians Guild. £3.00 for members and £10.00 for non-members. Visit for more info. 7.3.09


Scottish Super Magic Auction - Sunday 29th March. This popular annual event is hosted by Perth Magic Circle and will be held in the Perth Ex-Servicemen's Club, Brown Street, Perth PH1 5QE (Map). Doors open fat 12 noon for the receiving and viewing of lots and the sale will commence at 1pm. Entry is £3.00 at the door which includes a free raffle (Sellers commission is 10%). "Bar facilities also available so come along for a great afternoon of bargains; not forgetting the banter." For more information contact Adrian Harris (Hon Sec) 01738 628985 7.3.09


Amethyst (Danny Hunt & Annette Claire) have been booked to appear on various dates throughout the year with comedy legend Ken Dodd. Having recently appeared with Ken at a gala performance in Liverpool as well as several dates over Christmas, the duo are delighted to be part of the Ken Dodd Happiness show 2009. or for more information email 7.3.09


3SM's first close-up competition. Chris Congreave reports: Last night was the 3SM's first close-up competition, we had a really good turn out of magicians and lay people and had a great night. There were full time professionals, semi professionals and hobbyists taking part and some members were performing in front of any kind of audience for the first time! Dave Stephenson, Jason Hill, Paul Evans, Pip (Just Pip), Ian McGarva, Mark Richards and Craig Petty competed. Dave Jones was our magic judge, together with two lay judges. The standard was very high and the audience were treated to some excellent magic. The results were in 3rd place Dave Stephonson, 2nd place Mark Richards and 1st Craig Petty. Craig demonstrated some of the magic that he is getting lots of praise for at the moment, which got him invited to take part in the competition at Blackpool. He did some lovely coin work and then finished with his latest marketed effect "Quarantined". Well done Craig. A great night and everyone enjoyed themselves (Photo: Craig Petty and Chris Congreave).  7.3.09


Curtis Ori-Orison emails: "One of the many great moments of my weekend in Blackpool (meeting David Blaine). After reading other reader's accounts of their weekend in Blackpool I decided to send you my photo taken with the one and only David Blaine. I was standing upstairs opposite Dan and Dave’s stand when I saw him approach with a friend of his. I politely asked if I could have my picture taken with him “Sure” was the reply after the picture had been taken he then asked what I had been up to. I told him what I had bought and asked him if there was anything he would suggest buying. After telling him what kind of magic I did he advised me to get Digital Dissolve and almost insisted on Coinvexed 2. Thanks to everyone who made Blackpool 2009 what it was, the best one yet and I loved every minute." 7.3.09


Shirley Rae Lecture - Forth Valley Magic Circle, Scotland. Forth Valley Magic Circle are proud to present Shirley Rae lecturing on Balloon Modelling at the Station Hotel in Larbert (near Falkirk) on Monday 16th March 2009 at 7.30pm. The lecture price is £10.00 payable on the door. "Shirley is a former member of Forth Valley Magic Circle and worked under the name of Auntie Rainbow. Shirley is a third generation magician, a versatile and experienced performer. She is also one of the world's leading balloon figure artists. Shirley is one of the top elite instructors teaching at balloon conventions around the world. Whilst teaching in Phoenix, Arizona, Shirley was awarded 'Twister of the Year' for Balloon Excellence and promoting the art of balloon twisting through her abilities, innovations and quality of character. She has designed a great many original balloon figures and developed a range from simple, very commercial pieces to real masterworks of art. Shirley is President-elect for the International Brotherhood of Magicians British Ring No.25, Presidential Year - September 2009 to September 2010." Mark Dunn, Secretary, Forth Valley Magic Circle. Shirley's website is Forth Valley Magic Circle, Station Hotel, 2 Foundry Loan, Larbert, Stirlingshire FK5 4AW (Map). 7.3.09


Children’s Entertainers wanted for overseas work! Are you a great magician or clown? Do you enjoy entertaining children? Can you play funny characters? Want to develop your skills? Must have at least one circus skill (unicycle, stilts, etc) or a repertoire of magic. Please send photo and CV to the HR dept via email: One Children’s Entertainer required immediately, and three others for April. The entertainers will be required to take part in three production shows; one being a pantomime, the others a magic show and a circus themed spectacular. Competitive rates of pay, accommodation, flights and meals included. 7.3.09


ACES Magic Society are looking forward to entertaining magicians from the Portsmouth & District Magic Circle on Wednesday 11th March. This regular get-together stopped for a time, but new friendships have been formed between these two busy South Coast clubs, and it is hoped that this linking of members and friends will continue into the future. Visiting magicians are always welcome (£5.00 charge). Call Secretary Nicky Moon on 01903 532413 for more information and details of upcoming events. 7.3.09


Lecturers wanted. The Exonian Magical Society are on the look out for lecturers for their 2010 season, and would also like to hear from lecturers visiting Devon this Summer. Contact newly appointed club secretary Ozzy D via or through their new website 7.3.09


Wolverhampton's Top Talent Show 2009. "Wolverhampton’s Top Talent is the Black Country’s answer to a high profile talent competition, giving gifted individuals a chance to shine, while at the same time raising money for the local charity ‘Promise Dreams’. The competition will see 1000’s of contestants battle it out over audition heats to earn a place in the grand final, where they will stand a chance of being crowned the Top Talent, at a glamorous, celebrity hosted event, winning £2,500 prize money." March - June 2009, visit for entry details. 7.3.09


Close-up Magicians wanted! A charity fun-day is being organised by Michael Cooley at Tesco Brooklands in Weybridge on Friday 3rd July 2009. Michael is looking for close-up magicians to perform to customers at the store between 10am and 5pm. If you could spare an hour or two he'd be delighted to hear from you. Michael is raising money for Muscular Dystrophy for Children (Tesco Charity of the Year). For every £1 Michael raises Tesco will add a further 20 pence. Contact Michael Cooley on 07749 775494 to offer your services. 7.3.09


Dave Forrest lectures for The Chester Guild of Magicians at 8pm on Monday 9th March at The Home Guard Club,  9 Canal Street, Chester CH1 4EB (Map). Visitors welcome - £5 entrance. Contact Steve Cooil 01244 881462 for details. 7.3.09


"Siegfried & Roy's return in '20/20' spotlight" Click Here • "Just hanging around: The illusionist who defies the laws of gravity" Click Here • "Cops watch as ‘3-card tricksters’ gamble openly in street" Click Here • "Magician Keith Barry to reappear!" Click Here • "Could it be magic?" Click Here • Alex Lodge – Vision is reviewed by Richard Young this week, Click Here • Tony Stevens has added his Jeff McBride intro to his website, for all who missed it at the Blackpool Convention two weeks ago: • "Wealth of talent at show fundraiser" Click Here • "Michael Caine works his magic in 'old man' role" Click Here • That's it! Your UK magic news is always welcome - see you next week, Duncan. 7.3.09