Number 713 - 22nd February 2014


Perspectives: Alan Davies on Houdini. ITV has commissioned a brand new run of films for its Perspectives documentary strand, bringing together powerful stories and unique insights into the arts from a range of well-known figures. Alan Davies on Houdini will transmit in the Spring. Having had a huge fascination with the world of magic since he was four-years-old, Alan Davies explores the extraordinary life of Harry Houdini, the man who against the odds became one of the most successful entertainers in the world. In a bid to understand why Houdini felt compelled to perform such terrifying death defying acts, Alan tries to hold his breath under ice cold water, lies on a bed of nails, gets strung upside down in a straitjacket and takes an exclusive look at David Copperfield's priceless collection of Houdini artefacts in Vegas. 22.2.14


The 78th British Ring Convention, September, Bournemouth. From the organisers: The IBM British Ring is delighted to announce that Shawn Farquhar will be attending the Bournemouth Convention (24th – 28th September) in his capacity as International President, appearing in the International Close Up Gala and also presenting his new lecture. Two other lecturers will be Scott Penrose with his “Making Magic Magical” and Ian Barradell with “Tenyo Magic”. This makes a fine start to the lecture line up. The 'Gala of Youth' show, to date, will feature The Amazing Morgan, Magic Nik, Elizabeth Rogan and Sebastian Walton. Convention details are on where you can also register online. The lovely seaside town of Bournemouth awaits your company for a great few days of magic, so why not come along and enjoy it. Geoffrey Newton PRO. 22.2.14


Tickets are disappearing for one of the UK’s most popular magic conventions. The South Tyneside International Magic Festival, which returns from Friday March 14th, looks set to be a sell out and organisers South Tyneside Council are encouraging those who haven’t booked yet to do so quickly. The South Tyneside International Magic Festival, now in its eleventh year, incorporates a week of activities for magic fans of all ages. The three day convention, which runs primarily at the Customs House, South Shields, is designed specifically for professional performers and the most ardent magic fans and includes a variety of lectures, workshops and live performances, as well as a dealer showcase. This year’s convention, which runs until Sunday March 16th, will feature appearances by award-winning American mentalists The Evasons (photo), British magician Andi Gladwin, magic veteran Mark Setteducati, American star Handsome Jack and Victorian-style double act Morgan & West, as well as many more from around the world.

Tickets are priced at £65 for the three day event and include full admission to all lectures, two gala shows and an exclusive Midnight show by Simon Donald, co-founder of British comic magazine Viz. Anyone who books before the end of February 2014 will be automatically entered into a free draw to win an overnight stay at the Hilton Newcastle Gateshead. For more information contact Karri Prinn at South Tyneside Council on 0191 4247986 or More details can also be found at


Matthew Wright Lecture Tour - Chester date added. A visit to Chester Guild of Magicians, has been added to Matthew's February/March lecture tour. See What's On for all tour dates. "Matthew Wright, two-time FISM award winner and Magic Circle Close-up Magician of the Year, is back in the UK in February/March for a brand new lecture tour packed full of magic, philosophy and humour. Anyone who has seen Matthew lecture knows that the passion he has for performing and practising is transferred into his teaching effortlessly. He will leave your club members with not only some new skills and tricks, but also with the inspiration to go away and practice what they already have." 22.2.14


Magicians at the Half Moon, back for 2014. Andy Clockwise writes: "Now that Christmas and the New Year is well and truly out of the way, the Magicians at the Half Moon show will be re-appearing every last Friday of each Month throughout 2014, starting with an explosive show on Friday 28th February with Martin Cox, Wayne Fox and Hugh Nightingale. Space is limited at the Half Moon so it is always best to reserve your seats in advance by dropping an email to Martin or giving him a call on 01279 659562. The entry price is still £10 per person and doors open at 7.30pm, with the show starting at 8pm. The Half Moon, 31 North Street, Bishop's Stortford, Hertfordshire CM23 2LD (Map). As always, the best way to keep up to date with the Magicians at the Half Moon is to visit" 22.2.14


Henry Evans will be visiting the UK in October for his first magic lecture tour since 2008. Henry is a world famous lecturer who has travelled around the world since becoming the World Champion in Card Magic at FISM 2000. He has amazed both laymen and magicians with his devious mind, producing miracles with cards, silks and coins, all with his own particular twist. If you have never seen him lecturing before, you are invited to share in his unique thinking. From clever uses of gimmicks to effects with nothing more than a borrowed deck of cards, Henry’s approach to magic is something not to miss. Henry will be lecturing at the 2014 Blackpool Magicians' Convention. His tour will contain different material." If you would like Henry to lecture at your club, contact Sean Lobban for details. 22.2.14


Jeff McBride British Magical Society lecture. Paul Cadley writes: Tuesday 25th February 2014 – the British Magical Society is pleased to announce the “After Blackpool” lecturer: Jeff McBride. If you only see one lecture this year, this should be it! Non-members are invited to attend for a modest £5 fee. 7.30pm at Selly Oak Ex Serviceman’s Club, Selly Oak, Birmingham B29 7DL (Map) see for details. 22.2.14


Days of Wine and Magic. The Lecture. Tuesday, 4th March, Medway Magical Society. Following the successful launch of his new book Days of Wine and Magic, John Derris has agreed to give a special presentation and demonstration of many of the items in the book, gathered throughout the last sixty years. The book is a unique collection of magic ideas, routines and presentations that he noted in his meetings over the years in wine bars with Al Koran, Roy Walton, Jack Avis, Alex Elmsley, Bobby Bernard, Ted Danson, John Ramsay, Patrick Page and many other famed magicians of the past. A virtual notebook of jottings that covers close-up, stage and mentalism as well as a mass of performing tips, presentations and effects that John Derris used professionally all over the world. John also has several excellent later developments on some of the routines that were not in the original book. The new book has already drawn critical acclaim. David Britland, noted author and reviewer in Genii said "I really enjoyed it", top card magician Roy Walton said "I recommend this book highly" and Nick Einhorn said "a great addition to anyone's close-up or cabaret act". Visiting Magicians are welcome to attend the lecture at a cost of just £10. Contact Tim Decker for more details. Venue: Medway Magical Society, St. George Hotel, 7-8 New Road Avenue, Chatham, Kent ME4 6BB (Map). 22.2.14


Danny Cole (USA), March 28th & 29th  Smoke & Mirrors, Bristol: Danny Cole has made a significant impact on the world of magic. He was twice voted "Stage Magician of the Year" by the membership of the Magic Castle in Hollywood, was a guest performer on Lance Burton's second network special, and has consulted and created magic for many magicians. Danny has been a featured performer in Gala shows and at Variety Theatres around the globe. "His stylized approach to magic uses entirely new concepts and principles thereby helping audiences to fully recognize magic's place as a legitimate art form." March 28th & 29th, Smoke & Mirrors, Bristol, book via: also see (Note: Rob James, March 7th, is now sold out). 22.2.14


The Drummond Varieties, Aberdeen. Popular variety show, The Drummond Varieties, returns to Aberdeen next week, hosted by local magician Eoin Smith. Featuring the best in music, magic and comedy from around the North East of Scotland, along with a delicious one-course meal, the show will take place in Belmont Street’s Café Drummond at 8pm on Wednesday 26th February. Headlining the show is Scotland’s only blind comedian, Neil Skene (photo). Also appearing are premier improv group Wildly Unprepared; blues-rockers Strange Skies, and Irish comedian Lee Brophy. Doors open at 8pm. Over 18s. Entrance to The Drummond Varieties costs £7 and includes a delicious one-course meal. Entrance without food is £5. Tickets available on the door. For more information visit 22.2.14


Conjuring at the Court – London. "Legendary funny man and impressionist Bobby Davro returns to Conjuring at the Court! A TV star with an amazing record including his own Saturday night ITV shows, a year in EastEnders, appearances in Dancing on Ice, and Your Face Sounds Familiar, and too many others to mention. Bobby gave a surprise visit to the Court back in November, and had the audience in stitches – a wonderful performer. Don’t miss him. And there’s a terrific magical line-up too. The highly entertaining Lee Hathaway (photo) has terrific stage presence and fooled Penn and Teller! Neil Henry is an ingenious, engaging, performer with a devilish mind for miracles. Oliver Tabor’s sumptuous musician / magician act is a treat for the eyes and ears – a unique, clever, and delightful themed act. And it’s a first outing at the Court for the sharp and witty magician Carl Pettman whose dry sense of humour is a joy. Compered by the ebullient extrovert co-producer, Stephen Barry. Drayton Court, 2 The Avenue, West Ealing, London W13 8PH (Map). Thursday 27th February. Doors open 7.30pm and the show starts at 8pm. Parking is free after 6.30pm. Come early to enjoy dinner in one of the bars or the lovely dining room. Tickets are still only £10 and likely to sell out. Book via" Russell Levinson. 22.2.14


Northumberland Village Varieties: "A full Variety Show is coming to Warkworth on 19th April, featuring 5 Star critically acclaimed performers from the world of circus and cabaret. The show sold out last year. Expect acts from a magnificent magician, a daring escapologist, an award-winning comedian, a highly skilled juggler; plus live music and many more surprises too! The show is being hosted and compered by local comedian and crooner Alfie Joey, who is also co-host of BBC Radio Newcastle's Breakfast Show." Venue: Warworth Memorial Hall, 40 Castle Street, Warkworth NE65 0UN (Map) 7pm-11pm. Tickets from 22.2.14


Mark James Lecture - Bexley Magic Society. David Klass writes: Bexley Magic Society is delighted to host a lecture by Mark James on 5th March. The first half of the lecture will be focused on stand up comedy magic and the second half will concentrate on close up magic. The lecture will also feature a 20 minute cabaret spot, from Mark’s act (not explained). During the evening there will be a Q&A box for attendees to anonymously ask any questions they may have. Mark will then answer any questions that have been posted. Any question can be asked, about anything! There will also be a fully stocked dealers stand from Darren at Warped Magic. Venue: Bexley Club for the Disabled, Barton Close, Bexleyheath, Kent DA6 8JP (Map). Doors open at 7.30pm for an 8pm start. Visiting magicians are very welcome, for a £10 fee. 22.2.14


Lee Smith will be lecturing at The Mystic Ring on Thursday 6th of March. Lecture starts at 8pm. All visiting magicians welcome, admission £5.00. The Mystic Ring meet at Dunstable Conservative Club, 49 High Street North, Dunstable, Bedfordshire LU6 1JE (Map). For further information email or visit Steve Milroy, Club Secretary. 22.2.14


Andy Reay Lecture. Home Counties Magical Society are proud to be hosting a lecture by Andy Reay on street and trade show magic on Thursday 27th February. Magical guests welcome for a £10 door charge, for more details visit Andrew Lewis. 22.2.14


John Styles is currently appearing in 'The Magnificent Music Hall' show at theatres around the South East, including The London Coliseum, Wellingborough, Radlett, Swansea, Peterborough, Ipswich and Cardiff. With dates in Leatherhead, Horsham, Lowestoft and Worthing in the future. John's life story, by Mark Walker, appears in the current edition of Magicseen. 22.2.14


Simon Sparkles in Wales. Need to keep the kids happy during the Welsh half term? Here are two fun and free events that will do the trick: 'The Simon Sparkles Magic & Laughter Show' on Wednesday 26th February, 1pm-1.45pm at Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff Bay (Glanfa 'public' Stage), and 'Balloon Twisting, Strolling Magic and Face Painting' on Thursday 27th February, 1pm-4pm at Red Dragon Centre, Cardiff Bay. Free admission for both events; everyone is welcome. For more info visit: 22.2.14


"Magician Troy wows reporter with card trick" Click Here • "Magician in miraculous escape after car flips at roundabout, smashes into lamppost and grounds to halt on its roof" Click Here • "Watch Leighton magician perform amazing illusion" Click Here • "Magic as therapy: Professional magician delights physical therapy students" Click Here • "David Copperfield Sued For Allegedly Stiffing Vegas Show Employees on Overtime" Click Here • "Local Magic Man Performed for Madonna, Named Magician of the Year" Click Here • "A Look Inside Harry Houdini’s Scrapbooks" Click Here • "Russell Davis by the numbers: Huntsville magician talks 'skeptical 10-year-old kids' and Flying Monkey Arts series" Click Here • "Magicians could disappear from Raleigh Housing Authority street signs" Click Here • "Disneyland on the cards?" Click Here • "A quick look at Showzam", as seen by Geoffrey Newton Click Here • "Magician David Blaine meets Rob Ford, upstaging candidate David Soknacki" Click Here • "David Blaine Does Grotesque Magic Trick" Click Here • That's it for another week - your UK magic news is always welcomed, see you next week, Duncan. 22.2.14