Number 459 - 11th April 2009


Smoke & Mirrors - Matt Duggan. Tune in to Resonance FM (104.4FM in London and online at on Tuesday April 14th at 6pm for the first in a ten part series on the art of magic. Hosted by magician and actor Matt Duggan and entitled Smoke & Mirrors, the show will look at the history, psychology and performance of magic and illusion through the ages, with a different eminent guest from the world of magic each week. For the inaugural show, Matt will be joined by Peter Lane, the Head Librarian of The Magic Circle, London, to talk about all things magically historical. They'll discuss where magic began, how it developed and even the associations between illusion and witchcraft. 11.4.09


Magician vs Medium - new venue announced. The Magician vs Medium event on Saturday 25th April has changed location, and will now be staged at the excellent Dragon Hall, Covent Garden, in the heart of London, close to both Covent Garden and Holborn tube stations. On the afternoon of Saturday 25th April the Dragon Hall will witness an unprecedented competition as mentalist Pete Campbell-Wells MMC (photo) takes on spiritualist medium Donna Stewart to prove once and for all who's power is the greatest! Before an audience of magicians, mentalists, psychics, skeptics, believers and the just plain curious, the mentalist will demonstrate how the unscrupulous performer can gain information about an individual without possessing an ounce of psychic ability, while the medium will be attempting to convince the audience that her gift is real and far more powerful than the mentalist's "parlour tricks". The event will be hosted by parapsychologist Dr. Ciaran O'Keefe and promises to be a most entertaining, interesting and informative occasion. Saturday 25th April 4pm - 7pm at the Dragon Hall, Covent Garden. Tickets are priced at just £25. Please note that tickets are not available direct from the Dragon Hall but should be purchased by visiting or by telephoning 0114 2764644. 11.4.09


Magic Trek - coming to Portsmouth, Southampton, Winchester, Basingstoke, Reading, Windsor and London! Magic Trek, the sponsored walk from Portsmouth to London to raise money for The Anthony Nolan Trust, will begin on Tuesday 5th May. Magicians from Portsmouth, Southampton, Winchester and Reading will be walking to raise money for The Anthony Nolan Trust. They will start at Portsmouth & District Magic Circle on Tuesday 5th May and walk to Associated Wizards of The South. The following day they will walk from the AWS to the Winchester Magical Society. On Thursday 7th May, they will walk from Winchester to The Magicians of Basingstoke. The next day, Friday 8th, they walk from Basingstoke to The Home Counties Magical Society. On Saturday 9th they will walk from HCMS to The Queen Victoria Statue in Windsor, and finally, on the last day, Sunday 10th, they'll walk from Windsor to The Magic Circle headquarters in London. Walkers Robert Bone, Laurie Brokenshire, Ian Marriott, Rod Newman, Glen Stone, Harold Straker and Sean Lobban would love to see fellow magicians come and support them at any of these locations. The route for each day of The Magic Trek can be seen on the website: There will be a Magic Trek Homecoming at the Portsmouth & District Magic Circle on Monday 11th May featuring an evening of magical entertainment - visitors welcome. To sponsor the walkers visit 11.4.09


Scottish Conjurers Association Day of Magic - Saturday April 18th. To celebrate their 85th Year, the SCA are hosting a Day of Magic on April 18th at the Glasgow Pond Hotel, Great Western Road, West End, Glasgow, Scotland G12 0XP (Map). This will consist of a day packed with magic lectures from Craig Petty, Mel Mellers, and Gordon Bruce. 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 £8.00 for those under 14 years of age. 11.4.09


Have you ever dreamed of being a magical inventor? "Pavel’s latest lecture may offer you the possibility of achieving this ambition. Entitled ‘How to Invent a New trick’ it features a large range of his creations using general props such as ropes, cards, silks, balloons, clothespins, colour discs, bills... two dozen different effects are performed and explained. You can rest assured any lecture by Pavel will be overflowing with new ideas and approaches..." Bob Hayden profiles two more magicians who'll be appearing at the British Ring Convention in September, Pavel (photo) and Australia's Sean Taylor, Click Here. 11.4.09


Thought Thief: An evening of mind reading. "Is your mind safe? This show will leave you wondering just that. Watch as Peter Antoniou, one of the UK's foremost mind readers, demonstrates his bizarre ability to know what you are thinking and predict your behaviour. Antoniou not only demonstrates his own abilities, but reveals for the first time how both criminals and the government use the same techniques to keep tabs on you. This fusion of comedy and mind reading will leave you baffled, entertained and just a little scared about how unsafe your mind really is." The show starts at 9.30pm on Friday 17th April. Tickets are only £7.50 from or the Etcetera Theatre Box office 020 7482 4857. Etcetera Theatre, 265 Camden High Street, London NW1 7BU (Map). 11.4.09


Cardiff Magical Society Annual Dinner. Cardiff Magical Society are holding their Annual Dinner at The Novotel, Cardiff, on Saturday April 25th, at 7pm. The cabaret stars comedy award-winning magician Ian Keable, amazing juggling from the Hat Company and American magician Bill Goldman. The compare for the evening will be Jasper Blakeley. Tickets are £30.00 each from Bob Armstrong or Steve Sanders 11.4.09


Steve Beam Blackpool lecture. Renowned card magician Steve Beam will be the guest lecturer at The Blackpool Magicians’ Club on 19th May. Steve has been inventing, performing and teaching card magic for over 30 years so his appearance at Blackpool is eagerly awaited. As the author of over 25 books and editor and publisher of the underground sleight of hand journal ‘The Trapdoor’ for 15 years, Steve has a wealth of material to share. The lecture is free to members and associates of Blackpool Magicians’ Club. Associate membership is open to magicians from all over the world. Associates gain access to the theatre clubroom for up to twelve visits a year, enjoy the fabulous line up of star lecturers, events and shows and have use of the huge magic reference library, museum and shop (members also benefit from a 10% discount), as well as a special newsletter four times a year. To apply for associate membership visit 11.4.09


Mental! Brain Tricks & Pseudo-Psychic Nonsense. At this year's Brighton Festival Fringe, mentalist Peter Campbell-Wells presents a thoroughly irreverent presentation of mind-reading stunts, brain tricks and assorted pseudo-psychic nonsense. Mental takes advantage of the Brighton Festival Fringe and its hugely diverse audiences to illustrate how regardless of the ways in which we strive to be different and set ourselves apart from everyone else we re all predictable creatures of habit. May 11th, 12th & 13th at 9pm, May 15th & 16th at 11.55pm, Tickets £5.00 (£4.00 conc.). Venue: Laughing Horse @ The Quadrant, 12 North Street, Brighton BN1 3FA (Map). 11.4.09


Abracadabra. The final 'Abra' was published on Saturday March 28th; issue number 3296 marking the end of an era. For many magicians, both here in the UK and worldwide, Abra was part of their magic world, arriving every week through their letterbox, or being picked up from a magic shop, or via a local 'agent' (Ted Beal used to turn up with a stack of them at The Associated Wizards of the South in Southampton when I was a member years ago). The list of magicians who contributed to Abra over the years reads like a 'who's who' in magic. Abra featured many thousands of articles, tricks and in-depth convention reviews during its 63 year span, under the guidance of Goodliffe, Fabian, Donald Bevan and Walt Lees. When I was in my teens an advertisement that appeared in Abra started my magic career (it was an ad for magic demonstrators to work in Hamleys, from magician and entrepreneur John Henley - I left home and moved to London thanks to that ad in Abra). Today, anyone owning Abracadabra 1-3296 has a wonderful record of 63+ years of magic (DT). 11.4.09


Jumbo Magic Auction and lecture - Blackpool Magicians' Club, Tuesday 14th April at Blackpool Magicians' Theatre Club, Rear No.1 Sherbourne Road, North Shore, Blackpool FY1 2PW (Map). A lecture by Derek Lever on Comedy Magic commences at 4pm, and the Jumbo Auction is at 7pm. Members and Associate Members admitted free of charge. Non-members £3.00. With star auctioneers Mike Shepherd and Derek Lever. Licensed bar and hot food available. For further details email or ring 01253 810113. 11.4.09


Kockov goes 'Kock-erny'. Character entertainer and magician Jasper Blakeley (aka Russianesque mentalist Kockov), has been having a knees up with Mary Poppins. Working as magical chimney sweep, Archie Grot, Jasper was invited to provide pre-show entertainment for the London touring version of the hit musical at the Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff. 11.4.09


Congratulations to Magicians Cave Productions, winners of the Cliff Lount Trophy for the Best Dealer Demonstration at the Northern Magic Circle's Spring Parade Convention last week. New team member, Darren Bonas aka 'Mister Twister' (centre) performed on stage along with other dealers, demonstrating their latest products. In the photo, left to right, Paul, Darren and Penny from Magicians Cave Productions, all members of the Darlington Magic Circle. 11.4.09


Artist Max Scratchmann has just launched a small and exclusive range of Victorian-style Magicians' Tee-Shirts which can be seen at 11.4.09


Terry Herbert appears on the Richard and Judy Show at 6pm on Tuesday 21st April on new Sky channel 'Watch'. Sue Pollard will be interviewed, talking about her most famous character, Peggy, the chalet maid who wanted to be a Yellowcoat in the popular series Hi-De-Hi!, and Terry will be in the studio, as he was real-life Butlin's Redcoat in the fifties. Terry stayed with the company for nine years, the last four years as Entertainments Manager. Together with two other performers Sue has to guess which one of the three is the real McCoy! 11.4.09


An Evening of Fine Wine, Dining and Conjuring. Friday 24th April at Browns Courtrooms, Covent Garden: Browns Courtrooms present distinguished magician John Van der Put and Stand Not Amazed. "Join us for an evening of delicious food and hand-picked wines, accompanied by an astonishing performance from a man who recently shared a stage with Lily Allen and left Barbara Windsor speechless. John's acclaimed solo act will be followed by a magical cabaret with Standnotamazed - a groundbreaking theatre company which puts art back into the artifice." Tickets are £40.00 - including a glass of bubbly on arrival, sommelier selected wines and a three-course dinner devised by Browns' award-winning chefs. Call Olivia Paterson on 020 7395 6091 to book your ticket. Venue: Browns Courtrooms, 82-84 St Martin's Lane, Covent Garden, London WC2N 4AA (Map). 11.4.09


Magic Evening Boot Sale - Potters Bar, Hertfordshire. The Merlin Magical Society which is based in Potters Bar, Hertfordshire, are holding a Magic boot sale on 3rd July at The United Reformed Church, Tilbury Hall, Darkes Lane, Potters Bar, Hertfordshire EN6 1BZ (Map). From 6.30pm - 9.30pm with free entry. Tables are £5.00 for sellers and there's ample parking in front of the building and in the surrounding area. For more info visit 11.4.09


Congratulations to Roy Charles winner of the Will Ayling Cup at the Portsmouth & District Magic Circle’s Close-Up Competition last week. Roy’s routine, which included magic with cards, steel washers, bank notes and the production of a bottle of wine from his shoe, resulted in a strong win. All the magicians taking part performed to a very good standard, much enjoyed by the large audience in attendance. Bob Hayden, together with two laymen, judged. The photo shows Roy being presented with The Will Ayling Cup by Bob Hayden. 11.4.09


The Young Magician of the Year Competition. Every other year, The Magic Circle, through its Youth Initiative, holds a competition to find The Young Magician of the Year. The competition, which was first held in 1961, is open to young people between the age of 14 and 18. The heats are being held in the theatre at The Magic Circle's Headquarters and take place on Sunday 19th April starting at 11am. Tickets are available from the box office on 020 7387 2222 (9am -5pm Monday - Friday), priced at a modest £5.00 for a chance to see 15 young magicians aiming for the top. 11.4.09


The Blackpool & Fylde Mystics held their first close-up competition last week, since their re-formation. A near capacity audience enjoyed the performances of 8 magicians with the results as follows: 1st Place Paul Joyce; 2nd Place Alan Mylecraine; 3rd Place Ken Ashuburn, and the award for best card trick went to Ken Ashburn, for a full report go to Photo: Ron Baron presenting the award to Paul Joyce. 11.4.09


Tonny Van Rhee Lecture. "This is your chance to see the man whose routines have been used by Fred Kaps and Ken Brooke. Tonny's lecture includes close-up magic, cards, coins and rings... a variety of straightforward commercial magic." 8pm on Thursday April 23rd. Venue: the Regency (formerly The Piano Bar), 19-21 Derby Lane, Liverpool L13 6QA (Map). Tickets: Members £3.00, non Members £6.00. For more details Telephone 07982 253583 or email 11.4.09


MagicWeek Links. A number of link icons and banners are available for website owners who'd like to add MagicWeek to their link pages: Click Here. 11.4.09


"Summit Locks Up Houdini Project" Click Here • "Caine turns mentor for buddy film" Click Here • "The trick of being Ricky Jay" Click Here • Al Smith reviews Andrew Normansell: The Man Who Would Be King, Tony Griffith: Final Reflections and Peterborough's 21st Day of Magic this week • John Ward reports on the British Magical Society's Annual Dinner and Dance, Click Here • Your UK magic news is always welcomed - have a good Easter weekend, see you next week, Duncan. 11.4.09