Number 814 - 30th January 2016


Brendan Rodrigues is The Magic Circle Close-up Magician of the Year 2016! Brendan's brilliant, effortless, sleight of hand magic has a wonderful spontaneity about it... the magic just happens in his hands, it flows, it's what magic should be. There's no contrived magic spiel here, no dated 'patter'. This is the sort of magic I love to watch. Skillful, fun and engaging, from a magician that clearly loves every minute, as much as his audience does. Brilliant! The competition took place on Monday, 25th January, at The Magic Circle's HQ in London in front of a live audience of mainly laymen, with a simultaneous video feed to the packed theatre audience of Circle members. Eight magicians competed, with Danny Lee Grew being placed second and Dave Loosley third, with the ever-inventive Noel Qualter taking the separate 'originality award' for a third year running. Very well done to all. It was a fun night and the Circle's clubroom was really buzzing. DT. - - - Not yet a member of the finest magic club in the world? See: 30.1.16


Magician Ben Hart to front BBC3 Objective series. "BBC3 Killer Magic star Ben Hart is returning to the channel with a short-form series featuring a range of ‘life hacks’. Objective’s fact-ent label, Second Star Productions, is responsible for the 20 x 3-minute format Life Hacks (working title), along with Money Realty, the production arm of management firm Money Group Entertainment..." To read the full article by Hannah Gannagé-Stewart in Broadcast Click Here. 30.1.16


Beat the Wand 2016. Beat the Wand is back! From the organisers: Beat the Wand is a competition open to all Convention registrants. For any newbies to Blackpool Magicians' Convention let me fill you in... Beat the Wand is an interactive magical variety talent show. You have 3-5 minutes to blow the audience away with your act. Non-magical acts have proved to be more popular with the audience so we would love to continue the variety aspect this year.

Juggling, Escapology, Contortion, Geek Magic, Bizarre, Occult, Mind Reading, Ventriloquism, Mouth Juggling, World record attempts... Of course magic is welcome in the show but remember the audience is 99.9% magicians so whatever the act, it will need a novel twist or presentation to capture the audiences interest. There were some fantastic spoof magic acts last year which also went down very well.

If you are interested in performing here are the rules: Your act must last 3-5 minutes; Five giant wands will be thrown into the audience. After an act has performed for one minute the "voting" begins. Once a wand holder has seen enough of your act they will place their wand in the air. If five wands are in the air the act will stop; If an act reaches three minutes they are safe and will be allowed to finish their act; Of all the acts who reached the three minute mark and "beat the wand" the audience will decide the winner by Clap-o-Meter; Performers will be supplied with a hand mic, a table and two chairs. There are no cameras or screens in the bar so close-up/table magic will not be suitable. If you are interested or need any further info then please contact:


Impossible - now on tour. From the producers: "Impossible, the most dangerous show the UK has ever seen arrives at theatres across the country this spring. The show features the world's greatest illusionists live on stage in a magic spectacular that will thrill and amaze audiences of all ages. Starring: Magical Bones, Chris Cox, Jonathan Goodwin, Ben Hart, Josephine Lee and Lee Thompson." See What's On for dates. 30.1.16


Bristol Day of Magic 2016. Paul MacLeavy writes: The Bristol Society of Magic have assembled an attractive and eclectic programme for their 56th Annual Day of Magic to be held on Sunday 8th May at Nailsea Arts Academy, Nailsea, Bristol, BS48 2LE. Already confirmed to appear are multi-award winning international magician Richard Griffin, highly skilled multi-talented comedy juggler Matt Pang, the aesthetically artistic act of Megan Knowles-Bacon, the comedy magic of Mark James, and the close-up dexterity of David Jones. More names to follow. For further details see 30.1.16


Mel Mellers - The Travelling Trickster. Magicseen Publications is delighted to announce the imminent release of a brand new book featuring the legendary stand up comedy performer Mel Mellers. This 152 page softback book, which is printed in colour throughout, features Mel's advice on a wide range of magical topics, including audience management, misdirection, how to put an act together, creativity, the six rules of comedy, practising, hecklers and entertaining children and families. It also contains over 50 of Mel's signature routines complete with presentations and patter lines, and all of his magic is simple to do and packed with quirky entertainment value! Then of course there are scores of Mel's famous one liners, all collected together for you to use in your act. The Travelling Trickster will be published at the Blackpool Convention on the 19th February 2016, but it is available for pre-publication order now, either to be collected at Blackpool if you are attending the convention, or for mail delivery in the week commencing 22nd February 2016. Plus, if you place your order by midnight on Monday 15th February, you will also be invited to select for free any one of five Magicseen E-Book titles (select from WD40, Roulette, Masterclass Vol.1, Masterclass Vol.2 or Comedy For The Well Groomed Performer). We will then email you the link to download your complimentary E-Book straight away. For more information and to place your pre-publication order go to 30.1.16


Blackpool Festival Special Event. From the organisers: This is a pay to view event by Jeff McBride, Eugene Burger and Larry Hass entitled "A Day at the Las Vegas Magic and Mystery School". It is a Super Session Workshop lasting 3 hours on Sunday 21st February at 2pm in the Winter Gardens, Blackpool. The cost is only £80.00. To register for this fantastic event email or ring Derek Lever on 01253 810113. 30.1.16


Tickets are now on sale for the Northern Magic Circle convention! 9th, 10th April 2016. From the organisers: The convention takes place in the beautiful Harrogate theatre. This year's convention will feature the manipulative magic of Oliver Tabor, time travelling illusionists Morgan & West and The Magic Circle's Young Magician of the Year act, Destiny. As well as star-studded lectures from Andi Gladwin, Paul Stone, Morgan & West and Luke Jermay. There is a fantastic Children's Show and Gala Show with some of magic's biggest stars. £55 for members £65 non-members. More acts to be announced soon. To book tickets visit 30.1.16


Focus events with Jeff McBride, Eugene Burger and Lawrence Hass. There's less than a month until the special Focus events with Jeff McBride, Eugene Burger and Lawrence Hass on 27th & 28th February. Ticket includes over $300 worth of magic, plus late lunch, live shows, hands-on teaching, lectures and much more. Fancy learning the Secrets to Stagecraft? Then join us on 27th February or maybe the Business of Being Bizarre? Sunday 28th Feb is the one for you. Tickets just £90 per person for the full day to be up-close and personal with these magic masters. Jay Fortune. Further info:


"This will be a lecture workshop like no other! The three top magic teachers in the world converge to create a life-changing experience for all who attend. This is one-time only... It will never be repeated, this is your only chance!" Jeff McBride.


"Jeff, Eugene, and I have been planning for months to make these two FOCUS events distinctive and special. I will be performing and teaching pieces not taught anywhere else in the UK!" Lawrence Hass. 30.1.16


Paul Zenon in Linking Rings is reviewed by Ian Keable this week: " is difficult to judge how lay people will react to what is essentially a love letter to a Blackpool magic shop in the 1970s; but for magicians it is a veritable treat. Being reminded how important bricks and mortar once were to youngsters starting out in magic; the unusual, but oddly endearing, mentoring that some were, and still are, lucky enough to have; absorbing intriguing information about Harry Houdini that even knowledgeable magicians are probably unaware of; and above all the realisation that we don't have to rely solely on the 'magic trick' to generate an emotional response from our audiences. have two chances today to treat yourself at 4pm and 8pm, don't resist it." To read the full review and for ticket information Click Here. 30.1.16


Blackpool Magicians' Festival Auction. From the organisers: A Giant Magic Auction is being held on Thursday 18th February at 1pm in the Winter Gardens, Church Street, Blackpool. Hundreds of magical items have been entered including: Svensons Mossman Flea Circus, The Assassin Card Sword, Frank Preston Duck Bucket, Wolf's Magic Run Wolf Run, Wolf's Magic Blow Your Stack, Mind Pad 2, Gum Ball Machine, Wellington Magic Switchboard, Axtell Pro Magic Drawing Board, Xavier Tapias Electronic Rabbit in Hat, Sterling Magic Liar, Liar, etc. Door charge £3.00 unless you have already registered for the Festival in which case it is free of charge. Star Auctioneers Mike Shepherd and Derek Lever. Further information from Derek Lever, email: 30.1.16


Dave Loosley Lecture - Alakazam Magic Club, Kent. From the organisers: Dave Loosley is fast becoming one of the leading creative minds in magic. His original routines, and twists on the classics, set the stage for a fun, unique and entertaining lecture. Dave also works with Peter Nardi of Alakazam Magic, creating and advising on brand new products and future releases. This lecture is great for magicians who want to put their own originality into their magic and is aimed at the close-up working magician. "Dave's lecture is first class. Full of creative visual working magic that you'll use. Dave is a funny guy and one of magic's great thinkers, there is something for everyone." Lee Smith. Tuesday February 9th at 7.45pm. £5 for members, £10 for non-members. If you are not a member and would like to attend please contact us on 01233 637 888 to reserve your place. 30.1.16


MindFX write: MindFX is very proud to add Steve Haresign’s incredible Flictionary book test to its product range. The professionals are going crazy over this one. "The most logical book test would be that of a dictionary, but anyone who has attempted this, myself included, understands why this is a challenge. Steve has met this challenge head on and won. You never have to justify a dictionary, it serves a purpose. Flictionary is brilliantly thought out and will be part of my performances." Marc Spelmann. 30.1.16


MagicWorld review Flictionary and Mark Elsdon's Guaranteed Jackpot: "This week on the MagicWorld Review Show, James Anthony and Aaron Calvert review the highly anticipated Flictionary by Steve Haresign and Guaranteed Jackpot by Mark Elsdon. Flictionary is a book test using a dictionary that makes sense. The mechanics are ingenious and you only need to look at the number of amazing testimonials from many great magicians to realise this is an extraordinary item worth obtaining! Guaranteed Jackpot takes the evolution of the lottery prediction to a whole new level and comes with a super secret 'Marked Number Deck'… but shh.. I never told you that! Please subscribe to our YouTube channel for more great updates and reviews!". 30.1.16


Chris Cross the Magician presents 'The Greatest Show on the Tyne!' "This September, expect the unexpected… Newcastle’s favourite magician, Chris Cross, presents the very best in North East variety, with a line-up of well-known Geordie legends! See some of our favourite North East entertainers mixed with some unknown underground cabaret and circus acts – think 1920s Speakeasy and Parisian Cabaret meets 1970s Geordie Working Men’s Clubs! An eccentric show featuring magic, burlesque, live music, stand-up comedy, escapology and lots more madness." The Greatest Show on the Tyne. Friday 2nd September 2016, The Tyne Theatre & Opera House, Westgate Road, Newcastle-Upon-Tyne. £12 (Earlybird £10 until 31st January) "Newcastle contortionist gets in a twist over his broken hand blunder" Click Here. 30.1.16


Bring, Buy, Sell or Swap Night - Liverpool Magic Circle. Richard Smith writes: All are welcome to come to the Liverpool Magic Circle Bring, Buy, Sell or Swap Night before the Blackpool convention, on Monday February 1st at 7.30pm. Admission £2 for members, £3 for non-members. Venue: The Longmoor Social Club, Liverpool L9 9EN 30.1.16


John Carey Home Counties Magical Society lecture. Andrew Lewis writes: Our next meeting on Thursday 4th February 2016 at 8pm at Maiden a Place Community Centre, Maiden Place, Kilnsea Drive, Earley, Reading, Berkshire RG6 3HE (Map) will be a lecture by John Carey. Non-members welcome for a door charge of £10. For info visit and 30.1.16


Magic from the past and present is being explored at a special event taking place in March. The Magic Circle Close-up Magician of the Year 2015, Dr Will Houstoun, will be sharing secrets from modern day magic, as well as tricks practiced centuries ago, as part of the South Tyneside International Magic Festival Convention 2016. The first, based on his recent DVD release, Modern Magic, will teach a selection of card and coin magic suitable for close-up and parlour performances, including some that have helped Will wow audiences around the world. The second session, aptly entitled Conjuring Curiosities, will include stories, titbits and advice from the magicians of yesteryear, as well as a selection of secrets that could prove as useful today as they were centuries ago. This is based on Will’s PhD in Victorian Conjuring and his long held interest in magic’s past. Both sessions are open to all STIMF Convention delegates and are included in the event’s ticket price of £65. For more information, and a full list of those taking part, visit 30.1.16


The Magicians' Podcast this week features Simon Painter, the producer of 'The Illusionists', the hugely successful series of world-touring magic shows. Listen to this podcast and catch up with previous editions at Also see 30.1.16


Steven Short's Supreme Magic Company lecture at the Leeds Magic Circle (review). Franklin Arbisman writes: The Leeds Magic Circle had its first visiting lecture of the year, last Tuesday, and what a lecture it was. In the first half Steve Short gave us a most eloquent talk by telling us about the history of the Supreme Magic Company under the leadership of its founder Edwin Hooper and later with Ian Adair. The talk was completely illustrated with a PowerPoint presentation and videos from when Supreme was founded in 1953 until it wound up in 1993. In its day Supreme was the biggest magic company in the world, as well as supplying magicians with props made with precision joinery, metalwork and silk screened artwork, Supreme also had its own printing department producing many highly prized technical books and periodicals such as Magigram and the New Pentagram. In the second half of the evening Steven demonstrated many tricks using props produced by Supreme. The lecture was very well received with an extremely high turnout, not just from our own members but from visiting magicians as well. Steven’s lecture is highly recommended for anyone interested in the history of magic and a very entertaining evening. For booking information contact Steve via 30.1.16


Jeff McBride, Eugene Burger and Larry Haas at the Wolverhampton Circle of Magicians. Sue Oakley writes: Jeff McBride, Eugene Burger and Larry Haas will be presenting their lecture/workshop at the Wolverhampton Circle of Magicians on Wednesday 24th February. This will be a once in a lifetime opportunity to see these 3 great magicians lecture together. Visiting magicians welcome for just £10 each. If you would like to book a place, please contact Lecture starts at 8pm at The ECC Sports & Social Club, Showell Road, Wolverhampton WV10 9LU (Map). 30.1.16


Brian Daly Lecture, Ulster Society of Magicians. From the organisers: The next meeting of the Ulster Society of Magicians Society will take place in the Cottonwood Suite, Ramada Plaza, Belfast on Monday 1st February commencing at 7.15pm for 7.45pm. Dublin’s Brian Daly will be presenting his fabulously practical lecture for us. He is one of the busiest performers in Ireland and we are very lucky to have him here at the next meeting. Check out his website at The lecture is free for members and £15 for visiting magicians. Contact George Bleeks on Telephone 07860 115611 or email for further information. 30.1.16


Chris Wood Lecture, The Medway Magical Society, Tuesday 2nd February. From the organisers: Chris is a regular close-up performer at various events at The Magic Circle and organises their Close-up shows. You will also invariably find him sessioning there on a Monday night in the club room, sharing and refining presentations for effects. He believes from experience, that thoughtful, intelligent magic still appeals to a modern audience, all the more perhaps because it treats them with respect. This lecture shares some of his ideas and attention to detail that help transform effects from being "tricks" into "magic". Examples provided cover coins, cards and mental effects. Chris' main influences are Dai Vernon, Slydini, John Ramsey and Fred Kaps. His mentor in his youth, (alongside Michael Vincent) was Alan Alan. This event is open to all magicians so feel free to bring along some of your magical friends. Price on the door is £5 for members and £10 for non-members. Tuesday 2nd February at 8pm at St. George Hotel, 7-8 New Road Avenue, Chatham, Kent ME4 6BB (Map). Also see 30.1.16


Multi-award winning magician Richard Griffin is now taking bookings for his brand new lecture 'Cruise Ship Magic'. For 12 years he worked solely on cruise ships performing on over 40 different ships for over 16 different cruise lines visiting 100 destinations worldwide. In this exciting lecture Richard performs and explains original stage and close-up magic that he has created and perfected during his cruise ship years. He will also give an insight to just what it's like to work on cruise ships with some invaluable advice of what you should do - and what you definitely shouldn't. For more information email Richard: 30.1.16


3rd Mind Summit, Cologne, German, May 2016. From the organisers: The Mind Summit is a partner convention of MindVention, Las Vegas. Danny Archer, Thomas Heine and Rainer Mees had the Idea to organize a similar convention like the MindVention in Europe. The perfect spot for such a show is for sure the beautiful city of Cologne in Germany. In the first year it was a 100% partner convention of the MindVention and operated by Danny Archer. In 2015 the MindSummit was operated by ParaLabs and Danny Archer together. The global boom in mentalism has been taking place for a number of years. Many magicians are now incorporating mentalism effects into their performances. Many others are seeking information on how they can add mentalism effects to their shows. The Mind Summit caters to everyone from novice to expert who has an interest in the field of mentalism. All events are in English. See: 30.1.16


'Sleight’ Is A Must-See Thriller About A Street Magician [Sundance Review]. "The story follows a young street magician named Bo (The Maze Runner’s Jacob Latimore) who is taking care of his little sister Tina (12 Years a Slave’s Storm Reid) following the death of their mother. Performing magic on the streets for tourists isn’t enough to pay the bills, so Bo has turned to peddling drugs at clubs and parties for a local drug dealer Angelo (Psych and West Wing’s Dulé Hill). Making clever use of his sleight of hand skills, Bo is able to avoid trouble from the police..." To read the full review by Peter Sciretta in SlashFilm Click Here. "Sundance: Blumhouse, WWE Studios Buy Magician Thriller ‘Sleight’" Click Here. 30.1.16


Now You See Me - tonight on Channel 4. Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, Mark Ruffalo and Isla Fisher star in Louis Letterier's thriller. A year after being clandestinely brought together in New York, four conjurors - street magician J Daniel Atlas, mind-reader and hypnotist Merritt McKinney, escape artist Henley Reeves and sleight-of-hand artist Jack Wilder - are performing as The Four Horsemen in Las Vegas. Their initial show is impressive: a member of the audience is apparently instantly transported to their bank vault and invited to switch on a vacuum machine, which then showers the remainder of the audience in cash. It not only baffles the spectators, it also stumps the police when they discover that the 'robbery' was actually carried out for real. And, as the Horsemen brazenly build upon this first success with a series other inexplicable heists, FBI agent Dylan Rhodes and Interpol's Alma Dray are tasked with tracking the magicians down and finding the evidence to convict them. Director: Louis Leterrier. Magic inspired by David Copperfield. Head magic consultant David Kwong. Magic consultants: Glen Ghirardi and Jonathan Levit. Special thanks: Chris Kenner, Homer Liwag. See TV Magic. 30.1.16


Tattoo Disasters UK, Sunday 7th February on Spike. Bill the magician let an unqualified tattooist ink the Ace of Spades on his arm. See TV Magic for details. 30.1.16


Video: "Dons fans enjoy the magic of the FA Cup" Click Here • "JOE meets magician Dynamo to talk about dog show after-parties, freaking out Taylor Swift and a challenge for Conor McGregor" Click Here • "Dynamo on The Big Breakfast" Click Here • "Homegrown illusionist with big plans" Click Here • "Dynamo brings the magic to Wales - and he wants Tom Jones to join him!" Click Here • "Has Derren Brown Pushed It Too Far?" Click Here • "The Bob Dylan of Magic" Click Here • "The science of magic tricks: From misdirection to 'pausing' time, experts reveal how their illusions mess with our minds" Click Here • "Magician captivates UC students" Click Here • "Local magician launches new magic skills workshops in Exeter" Click Here • "Dynamo showed us some amazing magic ahead of his Irish tour dates" Click Here • "Abracadab...oops" Click Here • "Syfy's Magician Series Serves as a Cautionary Tale to Would-Be Magicians" Click Here • "Soldiers lose $18k to 'magician'" Click Here • "Justin Flom to release debut book, 'Adventures of a Kid Magician'" Click Here • "Magician Ugesh Sarcar is set to try mentalism for the first time" Click Here • "Teller Is No Fan of Safe Spaces: Magician Says Learning Should Make Kids Uncomfortable" Click Here • "Penn Jillette and Randy Pitchford open DICE summit next month" Click Here • Thanks to everyone who submitted news this week - see you next week, Duncan. 30.1.16