Number 664 - 16th March 2013


Derren Brown: Infamous. The all-new live theatre show for 2013 is previewing this week at the Orchard Theatre Dartford before heading off on a major UK tour. The acknowledged master of psychological illusion, fresh from the hugely successful two-year run of his 2012 Oliver award-winning show Derren Brown: Svengali will once again mesmerise, shock and entertain the nation. His first show appeared in 2000, Derren Brown: Mind Control, and was followed with Trick of the Mind, Trick or Treat and a series of specials including the controversial Russian Roulette, the hugely popular Events, Hero at 30,000 Feet and the more recent Derren Brown: The Experiments, which won the 2012 BAFTA award for Best Entertainment Show. See What's On for tour dates or visit 16.3.13


Irish IBM Convention update. Trevor Price writes: "The IBM Convention in Belfast is starting to hot up - the hotel is receiving bookings from all over Europe, with many conventioneers wanting to stay on extra days to sight-see. Be the first to see Joshua Jay's new lecture in the UK. Axel Hecklau (photo) has new vibrant material and the consummate Andi Gladwin always has a new move. Aldo & Rachel Colombini's depth of material is amazing! Guy Barrett struts his stuff in the Gala show, with more acts still to be announced. Do enter the Close-up Competition, featuring a first prize of £250.00. The IBM Belfast convention promises a fantastic weekend in a brilliant city, it was put together for you, we look forward to seeing you there." 16.3.13


University of Nottingham's Magic Society Gala Show 2013. Tonight, Saturday 16th March at 8pm: "Magic Soc is proud to present the award winning Magic Society Gala Show. This will be a night of intrigue and mystery! We have an exciting line-up, with three award winning, multi-talented, internationally acclaimed magicians performing unforgettable acts: Jonathan Shotton, Paul Dabek and Peter Wardell! The Show begins at 8pm, whilst doors open at 7.30pm, with light refreshments and close-up magic provided for early birds!  Venue: Great Hall, Trent Building, University Park Tickets £12 on the door." More info: 16.3.13


Magic Night at Madame JoJo's - London. Starring Oliver Tabor, Alan Hudson, Madame Galina, Mat Ricardo, Dee Riley and MC Matt Barnard. From the organisers: "This show finds us playing with objects, exploding them, transforming them, fixing them to the spot and then drinking them, with illusionist Oliver Tabor leaving you asking was it a bird? Was it a Violin? Have I drunk too much? Alan Hudson will be making a mentalist out of one of you and using you to explode objects whilst Dee Riley will keep you on your toes with some clever tricks. Mat Riccardo will play with objects that should not be touched then remove a cloth from a laden table, replace it and nothing will move, whilst Madame Galina will grace the stage searching for her Nureyev, he may be there amongst you. Matt Barnard will expertly compere whilst performing outstanding beer tricks." Magic Night at Madame JoJo's. Friday April 5th. Doors open 7.00pm. Show starts at 7.45pm. Tickets £12 including entry to Good Foot. Show ticket plus dinner: £25. Tickets: Madame JoJo's, 8-10 Brewer Street, London W1F 0SE 020 734 3040 16.3.13


The Magic Circle Young Magician of The Year 2013. Six acts will battle for the coveted title 'The Magic Circle Young Magician of The Year 2013' at The Magic Circle's Headquarters in London at 6.30pm on Sunday 7th April. Nicholas Lee (Cambridge), James Longcake (Epsom), Sonny Pennington (Much Wenlock), Elizabeth Rogan (Nuneaton), Sebastian Walton (Leeds) and Matthew Woollons (York) all won a place in the final, following the heats which took place last weekend. The winner, who will hold the title of The Young Magician of the Year, is awarded the Derek Speight Trophy. He or she receives admission to full Membership of The Magic Circle at the age of eighteen with the entrance fee and annual subscription for the first four years waived. The Competition which has been held biennially since 1961 celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2011. Tickets for the afternoon performance at 2.30pm (which is not judged) are available here: And tickets for the actual competition (6.30pm) are available here: For more information, visit 16.3.13


The Magic Circle Stage Magician of the Year 2013. The final of this major competition will be held on the evening of Saturday 27th April at The Magic Circle Headquarters in London. The eight magicians who will take to the stage to compete for the coveted title 'The Magic Circle Stage Magician of The Year 2013' are Richard Griffin, James More, Richard Pinner, Steve Price, Tim Shoesmith, Mark Shortland, Oliver Tabor and John van der Put. For tickets and more information, visit 16.3.13


Piff the Magic Dragon: Jurassic Bark - London dates selling out... Following a sell-out Edinburgh Fringe run, a hit run at the Sydney Opera House and a Time Out & Soho Theatre TOAST Award nomination, Piff the Magic Dragon embarks on his first Soho Theatre season, accompanied by Mr Piffles the World’s First Million Dollar Chihuahua™. With over 8.5 million hits on YouTube his recent role as opening act for Mumford & Sons on their UK tour secured his position as folk rock’s favourite mythical creature. Will Piff find his princess? Will Mr Piffles defy the Cannon of Certain Death? Will you be there if he doesn’t? "A hugely entertaining hour of grumpy magic." Time Out. Piff the Magic Dragon: Jurassic Bark, Soho Theatre, 7.45pm on March 19th (Sold Out), 20th (Sold Out), 21st, 22nd, 23rd (Sold Out). Tickets £10-15 via 16.3.13


Chris Congreave and Gary Jones will be presenting a special workshop on July 7th. (Venue: West Midlands/Staffordshire TBC). Chris Congreave writes: Gary Jones and I will be presenting a workshop on 7th July. It is all about how to be a working close up magician. We will be recreating the challenges of working out there 'in the real world' and will be teaching how to approach a table/break into a group, how to hold their attention, misdirection and a lot more. As well as that, we will be teaching the full sets that we perform, and also a routine that we use that has not been published and will only be taught at this workshop. You will receive £40 worth of magic just for attending. Please visit for more information and to register your interest. Places are very limited." 16.3.13


Richard Wiseman is on the cover of the Magic Circular this month, and has also released a new trick called The Grid. This effect allows anyone to look like a mathematical genius. The video has already had over 100,000 views on YouTube, with lots of people thinking that Richard is using stooges, a force or camera trickery (none of which is true). Visit to find out more! 16.3.13


Pete Firman: Hoodwinker. Don't miss Pete Firman, 'the new poster-boy for British comedy magic' (The Telegraph), as he returns to the road with an all-new box of tricks. Fresh from BBC1's 'The Magicians', with his own trademark blend of comedy and jaw-dropping magic, this is a show not to be missed! Dates: 16.3.13


A Tall Tale. This is a book for working Children’s Entertainers and Magicians or for people starting out in this line of business. Written by Sean Lobban, a children’s entertainer who has the experience of over 1,600 bookings behind him. It is written in the form of a lecture – the kind of thing you might see at your local magic club or at a convention. You can read these ‘Lecture Notes Without The Lecture’ anywhere you like. In this book, Sean shares his experiences of performing at parties, on television and overseas. He gives suggestions on how to gain repeat bookings and recommendations. And explains his theory on how making small changes can make a big difference to the number of bookings you get. There is also a short piece on how to develop a ‘Character’ and the book finishes with a selection of tricks and routines which have been part of Sean’s repertoire. A Tall Tale – Lecture Notes Without The Lecture has 28,000 words. For more information and to order the Kindle edition visit 16.3.13


Stephen Leathwaite lectures at the British Magical Society in Birmingham on Tuesday, and you are invited. Stephen has been performing and studying magic and psychology for around 30 years and has come to incorporate both art forms that have baffled and amazed audiences around the world. With his unusual style of performance and skill with sleight of hand, mixed with psychology skills, you are guaranteed a night of magic and mystery that should not be missed. Stephen has performed for audiences around the world including. Tuesday 19th March at 7.30pm at Selly Oak Ex Serviceman’s Club, Selly Oak, Birmingham B29 7DL (Map). Non-members are invited to attend for a modest £5 fee. See for details. 16.3.13


Home Counties Magical Society. Robin Maddy emails: We have a great fun night lined up at the Home Counties Magical Society on Thursday, 21st March. Graham Lee will be presenting a Balloon Modelling evening which will include demonstrations and hands-on workshops. This skill is just as popular with adults as well as children and is an excellent (and lucrative!) addition to your programme. The meeting starts at 8pm, but the doors will be open by 7.30pm. Guests very welcome at a fee of £10. Meetings are held Shinfield Parish Hall, School Green, Shinfield RG2 9EH (Map). Look forward to seeing you there." 16.3.13


Matthew Wright will present two different acts in The Bradford Magic Circle's Hey Presto Show at 7.30pm on Saturday 23rd March at Bingley Arts Centre, Main Street, Bingley BD16 2LZ (Map) alongside Russell Brown, Sebastian Walton and High Jinx Illusions together with a few surprise guests. Tickets are available from On the preceding evening, Friday 22nd March, Matthew will lecture for the club at 8pm at The Harold Club, Huddersfield Road, Low Moor, Bradford BD12 0UD (Map). For more information visit 16.3.13


Chris Stevenson, British Close-up Champion 2012, lectures at the Cotswold Magical Society on Wednesday March 20th at 7.30pm: "Chris is a fantastic working professional with years of experience. Members from other clubs would be welcome for a modest fee of £5 at the door. Cotswold Magical Society, Hucclecoe Community Centre, Gloucester GL3 3RT (Map)." Also see: 16.3.13


Peterborough Society of Magicians Annual Convention, Sale, Exchange and Lecture Day. John Learoyd writes: "Peterborough Society of Magicians annual convention 2013 is now less than a month away and will be held on Sunday 7th April 2013 at the usual venue of the Millfield Community Centre, Lincoln Road, Peterborough PE1 2PE (Map). Events are from 10am - 5pm and include: Lectures from Adrian Sullivan & Steve Dimmer; Dealers Hall; Wow Competition - Do you have a Stand-Up or Close-Up trick with the Wow factor?! Cash prize for best close-up trick and best stand-up trick. £10 to enter, competition open to all attendees. All competition entrants must pay in advance. Meet old friends and make new ones. Sell off surplus props. Dealers welcome! Refreshments available all day. Ample free parking. Admission £12 and £6 concessions (partners and under 16s). If not selling, you may pay at the door. All tables are £5 extra each and must be booked in advance, see to download an application form." More info: 16.3.13


Masterclass Volume 2 - New from Magicseen Publications! From the publishers: Each issue of Magicseen features a couple of great tricks for our readers to learn, and every once in a while we like to bring all those effects together in a book compilation. So that is why we are pleased to announce the arrival of Masterclass Volume 2 which features every routine published in issues 25 - 48 of Magicseen. Altogether there are 56 tricks contributed by 40 top performers with magic for close up, stand up, mentalism, children's shows and even plans for a portable illusion! With contributions from names such as Wayne Dobson, JC Sum, Jon Allen, John Bannon, Marc Spelmann, Andy Clockwise, Magic Dave, Ian Adair, Wayne Fox, Peter Duffie, Ian Kendal and more, you are bound to find something of interest and use. 116 x A4 comb bound pages with many colour illustrations, the Masterclass Volume 2 is available now from 16.3.13


The IBM British Ring Presidential Dinner and Cabaret is being held at the Palace Hotel in Buxton on Saturday April 20th. Geoffrey Newton PRO writes: "Here you will be able to enjoy a ‘Bucks Fizz’ reception and a five course meal. Entertainment afterwards in is the very capable hands of compeer Mike O’Brien who will introduce Steve Gore and Deanna, comedy Ventriloquist Dave Andrews (photo), the hilariously funny juggling skills of Steve Royle and the amazing illusions of Andrew Green and Company. All this for only £45 and special hotel rates for overnight accommodation too! Further information is available from President John ‘Sly’ Smith on 0161-485 3243 or email at The convention this year is also in Buxton (4th – 8th September) so you will be able to see what a lovely Derbyshire spa town this is. Sounds like a good weekend away to me." 16.3.13


Tabula Mentis XIII: Geomantic Mentalism from the Fringe. April 20th, 10am to 6pm. Hitchin Priory, Hitchin, Hertfordshire. Line up for the day: Les Cross – Astrogem Geomancy, Doug Segal – Life on the Fringe, Brian Barnes – The Power of Influences. Plus special guest lectures from Christian Bischof (FISM award winning mentalist), and Guy Bavli. To book visit 16.3.13


Greg Wilson Lecture, Nottingham Guild of Magicians. Dean Grimshaw writes: "Greg Wilson is a two-time FISM Winner and specialises in close-up magic, regularly performing at the magic theatre in Hollywood. Working alongside an espionage theme this 007 wannabe will be showing some truly magnificent magic. His magic is cool, clever and cutting edge, whilst using natural props, direct methods and a compelling presentation. He will be at the Nottingham Guild of Magicians 'Headquarters' on Sunday 21st April for a 7pm start. All magicians welcome at a cost of £12 on the door, or £10 in advance, to book your place contact Dawn May on 07772 513 007. Venue: The Arts Centre, Pondhills Lane, Arnold, Nottingham NG5 8DR (Map) 16.3.13


Electric Touch+ DVD and Gimmick by Yigal Mesika. Electric Touch+ gives you the extraordinary ability to deliver an electrostatic shock that will not only surge through your fingertips, but through your entire body as well - and that's just for starters! Watch your audience gasp in astonishment as you charge everyday objects like keys, coins, rings and spoons. They will actually see, hear, and feel the immense power at your command! "...Yigal's products are incredibly innovative, clever and a must have for those who want to create miracles anywhere, at any time." Criss Angel. To find out more, watch an electrifying video and pre-order visit 16.3.13


Forensic Identification Assistant - new from Alakazam. "Welcome to the Forensic Identification Assistant, the most amazing piece of finger print locating technology ever created (or so it will seem). Your spectator selects a card, signs it (signing optional) and returns it to the deck. The cards are cut in to 4-5 piles and the piles are mixed by your spectator. The FIA app is launched and your spectator's fingerprint is logged-in. The app now scans every pile and not only identifies which pile contains the selected card but also at what position in that pile it is located! Ok so how does this miracle actually happen? Well as you can guess the app does not find the card but the clever design and programming allows it to appear that way..." Find out more! Click Here. 16.3.13


Greg Wilson Lecture, Liverpool Magic Circle, on Thursday 4th April. The lecture starts at 8pm. For more information visit 16.3.13


Specialist Prop Maker. Andy Van der Graaf writes: "I currently build scenery and make props for Film, TV and Theatre, and it has been suggested that my skills could be put to good use in the field of Magic. With a background in Engineering, and over 20 years experience of working in Theatre, I now specialise in metalwork. I have built cages, large and small, single person lifts, swords for swallowing, revolves, and all manner of things. So, if you have a design, or even just an idea, give me a call. If I can't help you, I won't waste your time. But if I can, you will not be disappointed. Thank you. Andy Van der Graaf. Email: The sword shown was a prototype for the one now used by Amy Saunders (aka Miss Behave) in her sword swallowing routine. 16.3.13


Extradimensional Space - Appearing Baguette: "This is one of the most visual effects you will ever perform! Everyone who sees this thinks Extra-Dimensional Space is a camera trick! Make no mistake! You will be performing this within minutes after receiving it! With No Camera trick, No assistants, and No sleeves, You can produce a Baguette from your bare hands" For more info and to pre-order visit MagicNevin moved into new warehouse a couple of weeks ago and have unearthed some forgotten treasures which they are currently adding to their website over the next few weeks. Keep an eye on the New Arrivals page. 16.3.13


A balloon model a day. Rob Driscoll has challenged himself to produce a balloon model a day, for his daily blog. He started on January 1st, and plans to keep it going for the whole year; see Picture: Calvin and Hobbes cartoon strip characters, from February 28th: Click Here. 16.3.13


Frankly Disillusioned: A True Saga of Mystery, Magic & Mayhem by Dean Metcalfe. Now available in paperback. From the publisher: "Frankly Disillusioned is the crazy, 'rats an’ all' tale of master magician, Dean Metcalfe and his sometimes hilarious, often chaotic, globetrotting adventures with his glamorous assistant and wife, Claudine. Dean explains with honestly and humour, how his and Claudine’s lives turned from a world of dazzling illusions to a world of bitter disillusionment. He candidly tells how their glamorous (?) lifestyle took them at times, to the edge of their endurance and had them sleeping with rats, dropping through the skies and plunging over ravines. This must-read book also offers a revealing insight into the secret world of magic and raises a colossal question mark over the curious and intriguing issue of life after death." Frankly Disillusioned, Paperback edition:, Kindle edition: 16.3.13


Merlins of Wakefield played host to a lecture by Harry Robson last week and write: "There was a full house in anticipation of a great evening ahead, and no one was disappointed. Harry has been in the magic business for many years, and demonstrated the effects that have kept him in constant demand all over the country. His laid-back style made everyone feel at ease, as he worked his way through many effects and entertaining stories from his career. His latest effect, the HOW wallet, is a real winner, and he sold-out along with many other items. If your club ever wanted a humorous and professional lecture, then you should get in touch with Harry Robson."  Merlins of Wakefield. 16.3.13


Michael Gee performed close-up magic for the stars of Dancing on Ice last weekend at the grand finale after-show party. He's seen here with the show's presenters, Phillip Schofield and Christine Bleakley. To keep up to date with Michael's news, and to see more photos, visit 16.3.13


He's off again... Reality Illusionist Alex Lodge Part II Click Here. 16.3.13


Magicians Wanted. Tony Middleton writes: "Opportunity for magicians based in London. Middleton Enterprises UK is looking for 2 actor/magicians to assist on a new magic show. This is a paid opportunity. Desirable: experience of performing magic, and some experience with stage management or acting. Please send a headshot and CV to". 16.3.13


Sam Gupta MIMC. Sam Gupta MIMC sadly died in Barnet Hospital Thursday morning, 14th March. Sam was the Magic Circle Treasurer from 1987 - 1991 and was a regular Close-Up performer at 'Meet The Magic Circle' evenings for many years. No further details at present. Jill Pratt. 16.3.13


Hans Moretti. The incredible Hans Moretti has died, aged 84. "A professional artist of the very first guard," writes the Magic Circle of Germany. "Magier Hans Moretti im Alter von 84 Jahren gestorben" Click Here (use to read this article). 16.3.13


"My greatest trick ever - conquering Crohn's disease: TV magician Dynamo tells of his fight with chronic illness" Click Here • "Retired Hucclecote magician will revisit old tricks to make maths fun for pupils" Click Here • "Watford man TJ Shoesmith named best close-up magician by Magic Circle" Click Here • "The GP magician and his mental magic" Click Here • "Magician's calls for Carmarthen ghost stories for spooky town tour" Click Here • "Magician and Phd student Hugo Caffaratti to analyse magic moments" Click Here • "Icelandic Magician saws himself in half for a World Record" Click Here • "David Copperfield: Biography of the Magician and Illusionist" Click Here • "The Incredible Burt Wonderstone – review" Click Here • "Film review: The Incredible Burt Wonderstone (15)" Click Here • "Ingmar Bergman’s overlooked The Magician proved he was a master illusionist" Click Here • That's it for another week... your UK magic news is always welcome - see you next week, Duncan. 16.3.13