Number 464 - 16th May 2009


Pete Wardell - Magic Circle Close-up Magician of the Year 2009! Pete Wardell took the bull by the horns on Monday evening in front of a packed house at The Magic Circle's HQ in London. Presenting his take on the classic Cups and Balls routine Pete dazzled audience and judges alike using a combination of powerful magic and nonchalant charm. John van dur Put was placed second, with a (near) equally excellent performance featuring some first class original magic and Paul Brown came third. Paul's act featured the four elements Air, Water, Fire and Earth in a cleverly woven piece that resulted in him being awarded the Ali Bongo Originality Prize as well. The five other finalists were: Brett Sherwood, Tim Shoesmith, Tim Sutton, Steve Dela and Steve Ablett. Overall this was an excellent competition, with a high standard throughout. Jack Delvin took over the organisation of the competition this year and was also chairman of the judges, who were: Terry Guyatt, Alan Shaxon, James Freedman and Fergus Anckorn. Committee Secretary James Stubb, together with Roy Marsh, acted as general helper to the two presenters, Andrew Eborn and Richard Pinner. Congratulations to all the winners (DT). 16.5.09


To boldly go... The Magic Trek came to an end last Sunday, Sean Lobban reports: I’m pleased to say that we all finished The Magic Trek. Some of us had blisters, one of us had swollen sore legs and a couple just had a suntan! Six days, five magic clubs and 106 miles after starting we arrived at The Magic Circle Headquarters on Sunday 10th May. We were met there by friends, families and Acting President Jack Delvin, and Barbara and Alan Astra, who made everybody feel very welcome.

At the end of each day we were met by members of each town’s club. Thank you to the members of The Associated Wizards of the South, Winchester Magical Society, The Magicians of Basingstoke, The Home Counties Magical Society and of course The Magic Circle who waited for us to arrive. The attached photo is of Simon Williams, President of The Home Counties Magical Society, presenting a cheque from the club to The Trekkers.

We did create quite a stir on some of Hampshire and Berkshire’s busiest roads, with traffic slowing down to look at Rod in his straitjacket, Laurie juggling whilst blindfolded and then the seven foot rabbit!! Fortunately, we didn’t cause any accidents (a few close shaves, but no bumps!). The Magic Trek was held together by its support team of David Luckett, Rob Driscoll and Sharon Lobban who provided refreshments, repairs and recovery for any broken down walkers. Photos are online Click Here and a video of the walk can be seen on The best thing is that we achieved our target of £5,000 for The Anthony Nolan Trust. Of course donations are still welcome online at


Visions of Ken Brooke - DVD. Martin Breese writes: "One of the most exciting projects I have ever been involved in my 50 or more years in magic is now almost ready to send out. On this DVD are countless Ken Brooke movies showing him demonstrating and performing some of his classic routines, together with many effects from Harry Stanley's Unique Magic Studio in London, but best of all... Patrick Page has provided a remarkable and informative live sound commentary for this fabulous DVD. I acquired the copyright to all of the Unique Magic Studio material some years ago. Amongst the many Unique Studio items were a number of silent movies and many of these featured the amazing magic of the amazing Ken Brooke – one of the most loved British magicians of all time. Patrick Page knew Ken Brooke very well and he knew the tricks that Ken performed and here you will not only see Ken Brooke at work but will also hear a great deal about the history of the tricks and routines he performed. As a very special bonus Patrick Page also allowed us to include some sound material. This was filmed just before Ken died so sadly. The sound material filmed by Vic Pinto and Patrick Page includes Chase the Ace and The Chop Cup routine and even the wonderful Tamariz Rabbits. Oh what a treat awaits every viewer!" Martin kindly sent through an advance copy of this disc - Ken Brooke's Chop Cup routine was the stand-out item for me, but the disc is packed full of clips that will delight magic fans old and new. To pre-order visit 16.5.09


Psychologist Richard Wiseman will be joining magician and actor Matt Duggan on Tuesday 19th May at 6pm for the latest installment of Smoke & Mirrors - The Magic Radio Show on Resonance FM. Tune in to hear the show from anywhere in the world via or on 104.4FM in London. To find the magicast of the previous five episodes, including the interviews Matt recently did with Paul Daniels and Marc Paul visit and iTunes. You can subscribe to both the show's RSS feed and the iTunes feed, to automatically receive updates about the great guests still to come in this series. 16.5.09


Alakazam... as if by magic! Peter Nardi's Alakazam Magic website has just been re-launched with an all-new look and a number of new features including live online support. If you're browsing the site and undecided about what to buy, you can chat live to one of the Alakazam Magic team for friendly free advice and tips. There's a new VIP club for special offers, free downloads and discounts on pre-orders. Have a have a careful look at the front page of the new site (particularly the top right corner!) to discover the special discount code with which you'll be able to save 10% on any order you place before the weekend is out - so hurry! 16.5.09


Bunbury Cricket Club's official magician, Paul Craven, enjoyed a wonderful evening at last Saturday's 'Bunbury Bashes' charity gala at the Grosvenor Hotel in London. With cricket stars present including England players Andrew Flintoff (pictured with Paul), Ian Botham and Allan Lamb, alongside Australian legends Dennis Lillee, Jeff Thomson and Rod Marsh, it was a magical night to celebrate the upcoming Ashes series, especially as the entertainment on stage was provided by Rory Bremner, Peter Kay and the great Eric Clapton. This spectacular event raised thousands of pounds for Leukaemia Research, the Crossroads Centre and the ESCA. The Bunburys are a celebrity cricket team formed by David English MBE over two decades ago. Since then they have raised over £12 million for charity. As well as performing magic at their matches, keen cricketer Paul is a regular player in the Bunbury side, though he freely admits his sleight of hand in the slips leaves much to be desired... 16.5.09 has its Sixth Sense back in stock! Sixth Sense was a complete sell out at the Blackpool Convention. It's a device which enables you to always know which hand a spectator places a coin into, but also has many other uses for the mentalist. Sixth Sense is the ultimate detection device, being the smallest, lightest and most powerful in terms of detection range. The set comes complete with the Sixth Sense sensor, wrist strap, £1 coin, specially designed protective tin and DVD with advice and routines. 16.5.09


Master mentalist Kockov entertained at an Indian millionaire steel magnet's birthday party in North London last week. The huge home and grounds were turned into a Russian fairytale, with Cossack dancers, acrobats, ballet dancers, fire jugglers, a human snow globe, a dance floor chess board, opera singers, guards on horseback, several dozen staff and Kockov, playing a magical Russian Tsar! (photo 16.5.09


Richie Smith's Whitermorn Magic Day has now sold out, but he is offering Randy Charach's 'Secrets of a Millionaire Magician' on his website: 16.5.09


Hypnotic Transpos by David Siracusa. New, from MagicBox: This PDF book details some amazing routines which use a double face card to create some devastating effects in the eyes of your audience. The book also details ways in which to bring in and discard the gimmicked card during performance. This simple gimmicked card packs small taking up no space at all and yet plays so big you will never carry your deck without one!" For more info visit: 16.5.09


Sponsorship request for young magician's trip to the States. When Jack Gleadow was performing at the Blackpool Magicians' Convention in February he and his father met up with SAM President Bruce Kalver, who was a judge when Jack won The Stage Competition at The Magic Circle J-Day in 2007. Although Jack is only 14, Bruce was keen for Jack to perform in America and asked them to send in a DVD. Two weeks later Ian Gleadow (Jack's father) received a call from SAM Secretary Marlene Clark asking if Jack could come across to perform in The Stars of Tomorrow Show at The SAM Convention in Buffalo New York in July. They loved his comedy style of magic. This is a marvellous opportunity for young Jack. Sponsorship is now sought to help Jack and his equipment get across to America. If you can help please call Jack's father Ian on 01482 712533. For more on The Society of American Magicians visit 16.5.09


Edinburgh Magic Circle are delighted to announce a forthcoming lecture by close-up magician, inventor and editor of The Trapdoor magazine Steve Beam, on Thursday 21st May at 7.30pm at the Police Club, 28 York Place, Edinburgh EH1 3EP (Map). Doors open 7pm. Members £5.00 and non members £10.00. 16.5.09


Tim Wissman's Remote Vision Colour Cube. "An astounding version of an old classic mystery. The magician shows a 2 inch wooden cube with different coloured sides. While the magician’s back is turned the spectator places the wooden cube in a plain wooden box and covers the box with a lid making it impossible for anyone to see which side of the cube is up. The spectator concentrates on the chosen colour and the magician uses his mysterious magical powers to remotely sense which colour is facing up inside the little wooden box. The magician never touches or looks at the box containing the cube, yet correctly names the chosen colour each and every time. The Cube measures a full 2 1/4" x 2 1/4" and comes complete with detailed instructions and performance hints by Tim himself." For more info see the Specials page on 16.5.09


“Appearance, Reality and Truth in Magic”: British management and culture sage aladin has written an absorbing, beautifully written chapter about magic and conjuring, a seminal contribution to the academic literature, succinctly mapping this live art form, introducing theoretical discussions and benchmark definitions of the subject. A greatly admired magician in his own right, the author obliquely makes the argument for magic to be accorded its rightful place amongst the other performing arts and generally 'elevates' magic discourse. A quite brief but defining article, destined for inclusion in every reading list about ‘magic’.


“There is an obsession with ‘appearance’ and ‘disappearance’ in popular discussions of magic [and also with] the techniques including technologies of ‘deception’ or ‘fabrication’. [This] focus on means is disproportionate and seems to imply that magic can be understood through knowledge of its techniques.


“Appearance, Reality and Truth in Magic”, chapter by aladin; in “On Appearance” ed. Professor Richard Gough and Dr. Adrian Kear, Volume 13 No. 4 of “Performance Research”, December 2008, Routledge/Taylor & Francis (U.K.) £23.50. Available from Taylor & Francis or Centre for Performance Research. Portrait of aladin courtesy Marcus Tomlinson. 16.5.09


Merlins of Wakefield have just released their latest  16 page May/June Preview Catalogue - and it's free! Just email and they'll post you a copy, of send you a PDF if you prefer. Visit their new website at to see the latest products and offers.. 16.5.09


Philip Escoffey - Six Impossible Things Before Dinner. Maverick showman Philip Escoffey will challenge what you believe to be true – live. Although he has never met you, can this stranger really know you better than you know yourself? What interests Philip is not whether people can read minds or not (as luck would have it, it seems he can!), nor even how they do it, but what the rational – perhaps even cynical - mind does in the face of an irrefutable demonstration... and why some minds don't even seem to need that! Six Impossible Things Before Dinner makes the audience challenge one huge thing: what they fundamentally believe is possible. Don't miss this opportunity to let mind reading’s enfant terrible change your life. Saturday 6th June, Tickets: £16.50, concessions £15.00. The Bloomsbury Theatre, 15 Gordon Street, London WC1H 0AH (Map). 16.5.09


Arthur Setterington Junior Close-up Competition 2009. The Hull Magicians’ Circle held this annual competition for 10 to 16 year olds last week at The Sailmaker’s Arms in Hull. Five young performers from the Humberside Young Magicians’ Workshop competed for the Setterington Trophy. Arthur Setterington was one of the founders of this young magicians’ group in 1971. Joseph Lee, Jamie McKellar, James Fisher, Aleks Pawinski and Kai Wymes all participated with confident presentations. The winner was 15 year old Aleks Pawinski and runner-up Kai Weymes. Past Vice-President Alan Johnston presented the Trophy. It’s interesting that for some of the entrants this was their first public performance and one 14 year old had learned his magic entirely from the Internet – mainly card tricks and sleights from YouTube! He’d never seen a magic book or magazine! There will be a revelation for him when all entrants receive their prizes of books – from Magic Books By Post. Richard Morrell organized and stage managed the evening. Reported by Jon Marshall. 16.5.09


Russell Brown stars in the South Beech Show at the Blackpool Pleasure Beach until November 8th at Planet Rock: Visit Russ's new website too: 16.5.09


At the recent Annual General Meeting of Perth Magic Circle the outgoing President, Jim Craig paid a sincere tribute to the newly elected President Ian Dougall. Ian suffered horrific spinal injuries following a serious road accident in November 2007 and was warned that he would probably never walk again. Through sheer grit and determination, Ian is now back with us. More importantly, he is walking, albeit with the aid of two magic wands in the form of walking sticks! The Circle will celebrate its 60th Anniversary in 2010 and plans are being made to celebrate this milestone occasion. Reported by Adrian Harris. 16.5.09


Acts Wanted! Trevor George Entertainments Ltd – the UK’s largest independent entertainment organisation – are opening their books for acts. "We are particularly keen to hear from young, dynamic magicians to fulfill summer touring magic show contracts throughout the UK, cruise-ships and holiday destinations. If you are an illusion act, children’s entertainer, presenter, comedian, dancer or speciality act please email your CV, headshot, biography and showreel link to: We will contact successful performers to arrange an interview/audition at our forthcoming showcase. Please note due to high volumes of enquiries we are unable to reply personally to each application. Thank you. We look forward to hearing from you." 16.5.09 is an entertainment agency specialising in all types of magical entertainment. Following their recent success at the RSVP exhibition they are looking for additional performers nationwide. All types of Magicians and Children's Entertainers are needed plus any unusual / alternative acts. Visit to register. If you have any questions contact Carolyn on 0845 108 8600. 16.5.09


Wanted: Professional Children's Entertainment Clowns. Dave Morgan, The Production Suite, Light Entertainments Manager, emails: "Are you a great 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 & CV to our HR dept via email: We are looking for two roles. One is within Tui's Family Club hotels for a six week period between 20th July and 1st September." 16.5.09


Love and Other Magic Tricks. Midnight, Saturday 16th May, Tristan Bates Theatre, Covent Garden. "Love is like a magic trick. You can try and work it out. But that would spoil the fun." Part love story, part magic show, Love and Other Magic Tricks reveals the smoke and mirrors between a couple as they search for that delicate line between love and need. With John van der Put and Maya. 16.5.09


Best wishes to SFX maestro Tom Lauten who will be out of action for a few weeks following a triple bypass operation which is happening any day now. Tom will be catching up on some magic watching and reading during an eight week recovery period and emails that he should be "re-plumbed" by the weekend and home within 2 weeks. 16.5.09


"Michael Vine appointed president of Agents’ Association" Click Here • "Criss Angel in wax: Magician to get Madame Tussauds statue" Click Here • "A magician conjures up a new kind of show" Click Here • "Magician, 19, admitted to Magic Circle" Click Here • "Entertainment in Berkshire: Coming soon" Click Here • "The 49th Bristol Day of Magic" Click Here • "Five-year-old works his magic on Simon Cowell" Click Here • "Nine are prepared to work their magic on the crowds" Click Here • "Parties: Now you see him..." Click Here • "Britain's Got Talent star faces competition from his wife" Click Here • "Death Defying Acts Review" Click Here • "Preview: Ricky Jay" Click Here • "Magical evening in May returns to Southport Arts Centre" Click Here • "DSiWare gets inside your mind with Magic Made Fun: Deep Psyche" Click Here • "That's entertainment" Click Here • Bob Hayden sends in latest British Ring Convention News, Click Here • Your UK magic news is always welcome - please remember the Friday 12 noon deadline. See you next week, Duncan. 16.5.09