Number 838 - 16th July 2016


London Festival of Close-up Magic, 22nd-31st July, London. From the organisers: The very first London Festival of Close-Up Magic will run at venues across the city from Friday 22nd July to Sunday 31st July. Featuring the talents of Magic Circle Close-Up Magician of the Year 2016, Brendan Rodrigues; Max Somerset, winner of The Magic Circle’s prestigious Carlton Comedy Award and many others, this is a unique opportunity to see some of the UK’s finest magicians up-close and personal. The festival is the brainchild of Tony Middleton – a top magician in his own right. Tony says "I love the spectacle of a big show. I love what Dynamo and The Illusionists do, but there’s nothing quite as amazing as seeing something utterly impossible happen right up close, right in front of your eyes. I’m delighted with the programme we’ve put together – we’re lucky enough to have attracted some world-class performers, and we hope this will be the first of many..." Launching on Friday 22nd July with Magic & Mixology in the atmospheric surroundings of The Vaults, Waterloo, the festival continues with a series of performances by award-winning magicians in the plush surroundings of the Grand Royale Hotel Hyde Park.

Official Launch Night: Magic & Mixology. Featuring Brendan Rodrigues, Chris Dugdale and Tony Middleton 'Sonic' on Friday 22nd July at 7, 8 and 9pm at The Vaults, Waterloo.
Thursday 28th July - Dominick Zwolinski: Konjurations at 7 and 9pm at the Grand Royale Hotel, Hyde Park.
Friday 29th July - Chris Dugdale: Up Close at 7 and 9pm at the Grand Royale Hotel, Hyde Park.
Saturday 30th July - Kockov: Much more than just a magician at 7 and 9pm at the Grand Royale Hotel, Hyde Park.
Sunday 31st July - The Magic Hour at 5.45 and 7.45pm at the Grand Royale Hotel, Hyde Park.
Prices: £15-£21.


Entrepreneur Performer's Business and Marketing Conference. September 25th, London. From the organisers: This September a brand new conference is being held for entertainers. Rather than tricks and routines, this special event focuses on building your entertainment business. With speakers and delegates flying in from all over the world, the day is going to be jam-packed with cutting edge marketing, branding and career building lectures from people who are really out there doing it. The event is perfect for professionals wanting to learn to reap the rewards of the latest marketing innovations, as well as entertainers who are still trying to make that leap to their first gigs. Speakers include Balloon Man Andy Smith from Hong Kong - speaking on how to charge premium prices, YouTube magic sensation Steven Bridges and professional corporate entertainer Ken Dyne with more names to be announced. Early bird discount pricing is available if you snap up tickets now at It all starts at 10am on Sunday 25th September 2016 at the Crown Plaza London Heathrow. 16.7.16


The Magicians' Podcast. Host Richard Young writes: This week I speak to first female magician in the UK to secure her own TV series, Katherine Mills. Listen to this Podcast and catch up with previous ones at also see 16.7.16


Direct from Las Vegas, Piff the Magic Dragon brings his smash hit sell out show to the Just For Laughs Festival in London and the Edinburgh Fringe Festival for its UK premiere. Piff the Magic Dragon stole the show on Penn and Teller’s ‘Fool Us’ and was a finalist on NBC’s America’s Got Talent. In 2014 Piff left the UK to headline a show at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas. After the success of his stint on America’s Got Talent, Piff was offered a solo show at the iconic Flamingo hotel where he now resides three nights a week. On his days off, Piff tours the USA and in the past six months has broken records at major comedy clubs, sold out Foxwoods and Borgata, twice, and sold over 100,000 tickets. "How are you going to top a guy in a dragon suit?" New York Times. Just For Laughs Festival in London, from July 14th–21st – further details and tickets here: Edinburgh Fringe Festival from August 3rd–13th – further details and tickets here: 16.7.16


Champions of Magic - London, 17th-24th July. Champions of Magic will be appearing at Logan Hall in London’s West End. Following a hugely successful Spring 2016 tour the show comes to London as part of the Just For Laughs Festival. Featuring close-up star Fay Presto, grand illusionists Young & Strange, previous IBM Stage Magician of The Year Edward Hilsum and master mentalist Alex McAleer, Champions of Magic is an exciting evening for the whole family. Tickets available here: 16.7.16


Aaron Calvert: Mind Games. "Jaw-dropping entertainment from a modern day wizard" Derby Telegraph. "Astounding mind reading and fascinating hypnotic feats await in Aaron Calvert's highly anticipated Fringe debut. Brilliant, hilarious and very clever" Key 103 Radio. Qualifying as a doctor in 2015, Aaron chose to leave the medical field to deliver this fast-paced, edge of your seat experience that showcases his mastery in mind control, hypnosis and psychology. Are you ready to play Mind Games? Written by Aaron Calvert and Sam Fitton. PBH Free Fringe - free entry - seating on a first come, first served basis. 6th - 28th August 2016 (excluding 17th) 1.30pm daily. Venue: La Belle Angèle (venue 301), 11 Hastie's Close, Edinburgh EH1 1HJ (Map). 16.7.16


Record visitor numbers attend the Edinburgh International Magic Festival. The Edinburgh International Magic Festival, which came to a spectacular grand finale at Festival Theatre on Friday 8th July with the MagicFest Gala Show, has announced record-breaking visitor numbers. The festival’s new MagicFair event at Summerhall attracted more than 3,500 visitors across the opening weekend (1st – 3rd July), with family-friendly 'Morning' and adult-themed 'Lates' sessions selling out. Visitors delighted in shows from world-class magicians including German Patrick Lehnen (whose mesmerising show brought a desk lamp to life), Scottish mindreader Colin Cloud, local Edinburgh magic man Elliot Bibby and Californian mentalist David Gerard.

Kevin Quantum, Artistic Director of MagicFest, commented… "The new MagicFair concept was a huge hit for us. People loved the variety of experiences from the ribbon maze to courtyard hustling as well as world-class magic shows. We're proud to give people the full spectrum of magic experiences and we're already planning for 2017 (30th June - 8th July)."

The MagicFest Gala Show saw audience numbers more than double after organisers added a matinee and evening show. Eight performers wowed the audience with spellbinding performances, including Spanish world magic champion Hector Mancha and Korean Young Min Kim, whose glittering alchemy skills left audience members transfixed. The Great Lafayette Award, which honours magicians who have excelled in live stage performances, was awarded to Juan Tamariz. Other sell-out shows included all four sessions of The Secret Room event at Lauriston, Juan Tamariz’s solo show at George Square Theatre, Magic School and Kevin Quantum’s ‘Illuminations’ at The Scottish Story Telling Centre.
(Photo by Victoria Murray) 16.7.16


Impossible Reviews. See What's On for dates.

"Impossible, theatre review: Britain's Got Talent star shines in slick but soulless magic show" Click Here

"Impossible review at the Noel Coward Theatre, London – ‘patchy and old-fashioned’" Click Here

"BWW Review: Impossible, Noël Coward Theatre, 13 July 2016" Click Here

"Impressive tricks in Impossible, but haven't we seen lots of them before?" Click Here. 16.7.16


Aquatica Playing Cards. MagicWorld write: Aquatica Playing Cards have finally arrived from the USPCC, controlled by Card-Shark and Christian Schenk of Germany. The quality of these cards is significantly higher than regular bicycles, and you can feel this right from the start. The edges are super smooth and the whole deck of cards handles beautifully. Think Tally Ho meets Phoenix. These will be available through Murphy’s Magic in the coming weeks and are also available right now at: Remember the more you order the more you save! 16.7.16


The MagicWeek Video Archive. This week, a short clip demonstrating the intrinsic fun of magic when it's in the hands of a natural entertainer. In this case champion jockey Frankie Dettori: The MagicWeek Video Archive. 16.7.16


Deception. Saturday 20th August, Cleethorpes. "Deception comes to The Parkway Theatre in Cleethorpes for an evening of magic, illusion and comedy. Dave Burns presents his fast paced, high energy show." Ticket: £10, £8.50 and family tickets £34.00. Venue: Parkway, Kings Road, Cleethorpes, North East Lincolnshire DN35 0AQ (Map) 16.7.16


Punch and Judy maker and performer Bryan Clarke launches new website: For over 60 years Bryan Clarke from Suffolk has been synonymous with the art of Punch and Judy and children's entertainment. Bryan has been making puppets for performers and magicians alike for 40 years; famously for Supreme Magic in the 80s and 90s. Over the years Bryan has made many thousands of puppets for people all over the world and is in demand today more than ever. Not only does he make puppets, but he also performs many magic and puppet shows all over the UK. Visit today! 16.7.16


Chris Wardle Lecture - The Pentacle Club, Cambridge, Tuesday 19th July. Chris Wardle returns with a brand new lecture of simple ideas and 'crafty conjuring'. This is a collection of new material covering close-up, stand-up, children’s magic and mentalism, with the emphasis on cunning, streamlined methods which produce baffling effects. Anyone who has seen Chris previously will know that they are in for an evening of practical material that they can use. Chris is an award-winning member of The Inner Magic Circle with Gold Star. His ideas have appeared in books and magazines, and have been used on TV, radio and stage. The club meets at St Andrew's Church Centre, Cherry Hinton, Cambridge CB1 9LR (Map) and the lecture starts at 8pm. Visiting magicians are welcome. There is a charge for non-Pentacle members. Alan Maskell. 16.7.16


John Carey Bolton Magicians' Club Lecture. Paul Goodman writes: "In recent years, John Carey has become internationally respected for his minimalistic, streamlined approach to close-up card magic. With 7 DVDs and 2 hardbound books to his name, including his recent release, Minimalistica, John is in constant demand in Europe to present his lecture and private card workshops. John's lecture is a 2 hour event, comprising a myriad of practical, powerful and doable commercial close-up items. John says if he can do them, then so can you!" Doors open at 8.30pm on Wednesday 20th July at The  Doffcocker Inn, Chorley Old Road, Bolton BL1 5QD (Map). Visiting magicians from other societies are most welcome. There will be an entrance fee of £5.00 for non-members. 16.7.16


Enterteasement: Comedy Magic Burlesque - Glasgow. Saturday, August 13th, 8pm - 10.30pm. "Enterteasement is Glasgow's monthly Comedy Magic Burlesque show. This month, Tom Crosbie will be showing off his Rubik Cube skills, alongside Graham Stewart a comedy magician and a burlesque act from London who will be performing a straight jacket escape routine." Tickets £15 via Venue: Admiral Bar, 72 Waterloo Street, Glasgow G2 7DA (Map). 16.7.16


Associated Conjurers of East Sussex. Nicky Lewis writes: Delighted to announce that after the AGM on 13th July members have voted their Committee on for the forthcoming year as: President Martin Lewis, Chairman David Pattenden, Treasurer John Holden and Secretary Nicky Lewis. All enquiries for membership or the coming programme, should be forwarded to Nicky via the website 16.7.16


"Holly Willoughby is left speechless at backflipping magician on This Morning" Click Here • "America's Got Talent magician stuns with Rubik's cube trick" Click Here • "Gemma Arterton: My magic West End memories began on stage at six" Click Here • "Magic man Michael J Fitch helps raise 3,000 for MS charity" Click Here • "Teen magician beats bullies to pull off incredible tricks in memory of rugby pal Ronan Costello" Click Here • "'It's insane': Magician Darcy Oake test drives 'driverless' car on Winnipeg streets" Click Here • "‘Death & Harry Houdini’ Makes Art Out of Magic and Mayhem" Click Here • "In often-pricey Vegas, magicians Penn & Teller continue a free tradition" Click Here • "Magician who impaled hand on six-inch nail launches appeal to save comedy club" Click Here • "Pro football player magician received a golden buzzer on 'America's Got Talent" Click Here • "America's Got Talent child magician pulls assistants out of nowhere" Click Here • "Interview: Magician Justin Flom talks new magic book, new baby" Click Here • Looks like we are going to have an almost sunny weekend at last... many thanks for your UK magic news, always welcomed. See you next week, Duncan. 16.7.16