Number 803 - 14th November 2015


Jamie Raven and David Williamson, two of the stars of The illusionists, which opens this evening at the Shaftesbury Theatre on Shaftesbury Avenue, snapped here in front of the theatre during rehearsals last week. From the producers: "The world's best-selling touring magic show which has sold out in 71 cities across 17 countries - comes to London's West End for the first time, showcasing the dazzling talents of seven of the most incredible illusionists on earth: The Magician, Jamie Raven; The Escapologist, Andrew Basso; The Inventor, Kevin James; The Deductionist, Colin Cloud; The Warrior, Ben Blaque; The Manipulator, Den Den and The Trickster, David Williamson."

"Video: The Illusionists’ Colin Cloud" Click Here

"The Illusionists – Interview and sneak preview" Click Here. 14.11.15


Max Maven at The Session: "The Session's 2016 guest of honour is none other than Max Maven. Max's contributions to magic and mentalism over the past four decades are unmissable worldwide, from his television shows, books and creations. With only a handful of tickets remaining, now is the time to register for The Session!" 14.11.15


The Opus Reunion, which takes place on Sunday, December 13th, has signed up some more contributors for the day. Will Houstoun who has been doing some very interesting work both magically and academically will talk and reflect on his Notebook project; a transcription and analysis of a 200 year old record made by an anonymous magician and what it tells us about close-up magic with cards today. Also demonstrating will be Eddie McColl, a fine card magician and an exponent of riffle shuffle techniques. Chris Power tells us "I've just had a great few days talking to Will at the LA History Conference about his work and also to Peter Lamont (more on his contribution soon), these guys always make me think! Eddie who I saw in Glasgow just recently did his demonstration to a select group of magicians and I thought it would be a perfect addition for the Opus day". Chris also said that the £50 registration for the day will be extended until the end of November, not the 13th, as originally advertised. From December 1st it will rise to £75. To register your interest get in touch with Chris via email: 14.11.15


The Brighton E-Vent Ventriloquism Masterclass. From the organisers: The Puppet Hut and John 'Kimmo' Kimmons present an exciting new Ventriloquist development day, 'The Brighton E-Vent Ventriloquism Masterclass' which is to be held on Monday 4th April 2016 in the super cool Nightingale Room, opposite Brighton railway station. We wanted to hold a day that's focused on learning this fantastic and growing art form - it's all set to be a really fantastic day! We can now confirm that as well as John 'Kimmo' Kimmons we have Britain's Got Talent finalist and UK ventriloquist Steve Hewlett joining us, along with a few extra surprises such as an appearance by TV and comedy script writer Terry Adlam. The day is open to all abilities and will cater for everyone from the complete novice to those already performing and wanting to further what they are doing with their ventriloquism. Topics will include presentations, talks and lectures on lip control and technique, script development and puppet manipulation. The day promises to be a huge amount of fun. Follow their Facebook group E-VENTS UK or visit for further details of this fantastic event. With the popularity of ventriloquism and puppets as it is at he moment this is set to sell out fast! Numbers are strictly limited. 14.11.15


SAMS Convention 2016. From the organisers: The 2016 convention will be taking place at Adamton House Hotel, Monkton (near Prestwick Airport) on 6th, 7th & 8th May. Similar to the 2015 convention, the Saturday night Gala Show will be replaced by a Dinner / Cabaret in the hotel. This format proved to be a great success and the delegates were keen to give it another go. Acts: For the Saturday Night Cabaret, the following acts have been confirmed - UK stand up comedy magician Mel Mellers, International Illusionist Andrew Green and last, but by no means least, the winner of the 2015 SAMS Stage competition, Steven Blair. Lecturers: Mel Mellers will be giving a lecture, Harry Robson will give his "close-up lecture" and Ian Davis (who has taken part in the UK Children's Entertainer of the Year, on two occasions) will lecture on "Kids Magic". Dealers: Harry Robson, Ian Davis, Adam Topham, Alan Duncan, Heidi Costumes and hopefully Jimmy Craig. Registration fees have not been finalised as yet. We are waiting on confirmation from the hotel as to the cost of the meal for the dinner / cabaret as this will be have a bearing on what the registration fees are. Further information will follow when we find out. Our Registration Secretary this year is Graeme Taylor and he can be contacted via or 07918 903947. Website (will be updated shortly). 14.11.15


Conjuring at the Court, Thursday 26th November, London. Conjuring at the Court offers a wonderful line-up full of the variety that magic offers! Eric Roumestan – this brilliant sleight-of-hand street magician, star of the International Brotherhood of Magicians convention, is coming all the way from Strasbourg to perform! John Lenahan – one of our most popular performers, a hilarious magician, author, with bags of TV and international appearances, we’re delighted to have his warm American humour back. Julian James – a dramatic and dynamic mind-reader, making his first appearance for at the Court. David Tomkins – a fabulous entertainer with clever magic, comedy and ventriloquism. Compere is the lively and imaginative magician, co-producer Stephen Barry. The show starts at 8pm and runs to 10pm with an interval. It’s in the lovely function room of the Drayton Court, 2 The Avenue, West Ealing, London W13 8PH (Map). Come early to enjoy dinner in one of the pub’s spacious bars or the elegant Victorian dining room. There is a bar at the back of the room so you can have a drink while enjoying the magic. Parking is free from 6.30pm. Book now: – tickets £11 online or £12 on the door. 14.11.15


Next February join the Mystery School for special 'Focus On' events covering stage and parlour magic, bizarre magick, storytelling and mentalism. Featuring Jeff McBride, Eugene Burger and Lawrence Hass. Tickets are limited. Sign-up today and you’ll receive over $300 worth of free magic! Early bird tickets are available for only £75 per full day. Includes ticket to Mystery School Show (see each event day details, for full info). Location: near London. Saturday 27th February 2016 Stage & Parlour Magic info and tickets: Click Here. Sunday 28th February 2016 Bizarre Magick, Storytelling and Mentalism; info and tickets: Click Here. Jay Fortune. 14.11.15


Gold Dust Live By Paul Gordon Limited Edition: "After over 20 years of discussions Paul Gordon and Alakazam Magic have finally joined forces to bring you this beautiful collection of card magic. During his 50 years in the business (or racket as Paul likes to call it), he has been performing and creating magic for over 40 of them. Paul has written and contributed to over 40 books and publications. He has released numerous tricks and packet effects that are used by magicians worldwide. Paul Gordon has personally cherry picked each and every item from his amazing catalogue of works. Every effect is strong, solid, doable and surprisingly easy to master." For more information and to order visit 14.11.15


Magicians at the Half Moon, Bishop's Stortford. Andy Clockwise writes: 9 down and 1 to go... Friday 27th November will be the last "Magicians at the Half Moon" for 2015 - ahhh!!! - but fear not, as they'll be returning next year - Hooray!!! To see the year out Martin Cox - show producer and host for the evening - has managed to secure two fantastic multi-award winning acts. Firstly there's Eric Roumestan from France and to follow up, the very brilliant Fay Presto. This promises to be another fun packed night. Doors open at 7.30pm and it all kicks off at 8pm at the Half Moon, 31 North Street, Bishops Stortford, Hertfordshire CM23 2LD (Map). Entry on the door is £15 but you can save yourself £5 by reserving a seat by calling Martin on 01279 659562. For further information, please visit 14.11.15


Oliver Tabor Watford Association of Magicians lecture, Tuesday 17th November at 8pm. Samantha Uren Writes: Oliver is a multi-award winning Magic Circle magician, close-up conjurer and sophisticated illusionist known for his ‘brilliantly different’ style of magic. Classic conjuring with a contemporary twist. We are delighted that Oliver will be joining us to lecture. Non members welcome, £10 payable on the door. 14.11.15


Ken 'Kennedy' Dyne Magic Circle Lecture: Mentalism Doesn't Have To Be Boring. Kennedy lectures at The Magic Circle on Monday 16th November, direct from his roaring success lecturing at the MINDvention in Las Vegas, alongside mentalism legends Max Maven, Lee Earle and Michael Weber. Note: This is a 'members only' event. For Magic Circle membership details visit Ken writes: "I'm really looking forward to sharing some fast-paced, entertaining mentalism that can be used by magicians and mentalists alike, both close-up and on stage." From The Magic Circle, Ken will fly to Antwerp, Belgium to lecture there. For more information and to contact Ken about his lecture visit 14.11.15


Now You See It. The last in the current series of this fast-paced and successful comedy/trick/magic clip show, voiced by the  somewhat miscast Mel Giedroyc, on Saturday 21st November features some of the world's best illusions, alongside a few moments the magicians might wish had never been caught on camera. There's footage of bewildering stunts, cheeky camera tricks, bizarre performances and talented pets mixed in with the magic. Dynamo takes his nan on a magical shopping trip, a hedgehog performs extraordinary feats with a hat, a young Jedi makes a mess in a toyshop with his lightsaber, and in Japan, a magician picks up his cooked food and brings it back to life in front of a restaurant full of disbelieving diners. See TV Magic for details. 14.11.15


Tricked Top 30. In this special compilation episode, Ben Hanlin counts down his own personal top 30 moments from all three series of Tricked. Which celebrity shockers and street surprises will be on his list? 9pm on Tuesday 24th November on ITV2. See TV Magic for details. 14.11.15


The Mark Leveridge November Podcast: How do you get the balance right between the fees you charge for shows and the number of shows you want to do? Are magicians getting more tolerant about having their performances filmed as the general public now expects to whip out their camera phone at the slightest invitation? What are the fundamental differences between working tables and performing at mix and mingle events? These are just some of the topics covered in the latest entertaining and interesting Podcast from Mark Leveridge. Free to listen to online or to download, you can access the latest issue (and the back issues going back almost three years) at or you can access it from from where you can also sign up to be a follower and get the latest release automatically forwarded on to you on the 1st of each month. 14.11.15


Merlins of Wakefield presented a lecture last week by their very own Mark Lee. Mark showed off some amazing gizmos and contraptions from his fascinating collection of magic effects. With a full house in attendance, he demonstrated over 20 effects ranging from the 1830s up to the 1970s. Everyone commented on the ingenuity of the effects, and that although they were vintage, many of them would still work well today. Merlins are holding their final Beginners' Workshop of 2015 on Saturday 21st November from 10am – 12noon at the shop, so get in touch for more details or to book place: 14.11.15


Watford Association of Magicians' Stage Magician of The Year. Samantha Uren writes: Congratulations to Steve Rowe and Sam & Chris who were awarded joint first place at the prestigious Gil Leaney Watford Association of Magicians' Stage Magician of The Year Competition on Tuesday 3rd November. Ilan First was awarded third place and other competitors included Sylar Bodgan, Dov Citron and John Duckett. With special thanks to compere Martin Cox who sewed the whole evening together seamlessly, and to all who took part in contributing to a fantastic evening enjoyed by all. Photo L to R: Sam & Chris (joint 1st place), Martin Cox (compere), Ilan First (3rd Place), John Duckett, Dov Citron, Steve Rowe (joint 1st place) and Sylar Bogdan. . 14.11.15


Andrew Normansell lectures for the Peterborough Society of Magicians on Tuesday 17th November: "Andrew Normansell, the creator of Club Sandwich, Xpresso, author of The Man who would be King, and 'Twilight Lounge' and star of DVD projects '100% Commercial', 'Tempest Concept' and '10 Below Zero' presents a spectacular new lecture. This informative lecture covers all aspects of highly commercial close-up, walk around and stand-up magic. With an extensive background in corporate and hospitality magic and stand-up comedy, Andrew Normansell offers something unique in real world entertainment. To book this exclusive lecture please visit" 14.11.15


Now That's What I Call Magic! Next Saturday, November 21st, Now That's What I Call Magic! A night of comedy magic and circus featuring The Great Alprendo, Martin Cox, Andy Clockwise (photo), Dean Maudsley and Claudia the Contortionist (Claudia was recently on TFI Friday hidden inside a bass drum!). 8pm at The Q Ball, Time Square, Basildon, Essex SS14 1DJ (Map). Tickets are £10 in advance or £15 on the night. Book your place now by phone 07917 285133 or email 14.11.15


Escapology and the Challenges of Harry Houdini success. The first performance of the show 'Escapology and the Challenges of Harry Houdini' took place on the 30th of October and raised a healthy three figure sum for charity. The show, the first solo full length show (2½ hours) by World Record Holding Escapologist Stuart Burrell was well received by those in attendance. "It goes a long way to putting the myth to rest that Escapes are not strong enough to hold a full length show together." said Stuart. "We had everything from true escapes through to strength demonstrations, to an actual bit of acting; each one supporting the theme. The most common question I am asked is usually 'how do you do that?' but since the show it has been 'when is the next one?!'" A further show is planned for early 2016. A tour is also being considered. More information at 14.11.15


Bill Bixby is The Magician. The original 1973/4 TV series is to be released on DVD, Click Here. The Magician, opening montage: YouTube. (I used to love this show in my teens! DT). 14.11.15


"Piff the Magic Dragon is on fire at new Flamingo residency" Click Here • "Vegas greatness, two or three days a week" Click Here • "Mark Shenton’s theatre picks: November 12" Click Here • "Now that’s tragic! Magician impales himself with six-inch nail after Russian roulette-style trick goes badly wrong" Click Here • "Watch as The Illusionists Baffle Their Audiences in This New Footage" Click Here • "Winnipeg magician Darcy Oake ready to wow Canadians" Click Here • "Magician Johnny Thompson receives award from the Magic Circle" Click Here • "Magic masterclass: how Dynamo’s tricks turned me into an illusionist" Click Here • "Victorian Theatre Presents: A Night of Mystery - An Extraordinary Performance of Amazing Magic & Unusual Phenomena!" is reviewed by Steve Majes this week, Click Here • Will Houstoun's recent Bristol Society of Magic Mel Moore Memorial lecture is reviewed by Chris Payne, Click Here • "'This Morning': Holly Willoughby Begs For Magician To 'Do' Her, Hilarity Ensues" Click Here • "Derren Brown: 'Fame makes people more suggestible'" Click Here • "On Verge of TV Deal, Magician Says 'Illusionists' Partners Left Him Stranded in Venezuela" Click Here • "Big, Bold, and Truly Magical, The Illusionists Will Delight DPAC Patrons Through Nov. 15th" Click Here • "Magician Gareth an inspiration for recovering addicts in Islington" Click Here • "Dynamo on ‘street magician to arena tour’ shift" Click Here • "This is either Russia's best magician or its crappiest car" Click HereDerren Brown: Miracle and The Illusionists... looking forward to both! Your UK magic news is always welcome, see you next week, Duncan. 14.11.15