Number 866 - 28th January 2017


Paul Zenon's 'Linking Rings' added to Blackpool Convention line up. 1926: Houdini's right-hand man deals with the death of his boss. A half century later, a Blackpool joke shop proprietor takes on a wide eyed young protégé. Linking Rings is an affectionate look at a misspent youth and unsung heroes, a touching true story of interlocking lives. Not a magic show, but magical nonetheless. After receiving 5 star reviews in the Edinburgh Evening News, The List and Fringe Review Paul will be bringing his semi-autobiographic piece home for its Blackpool premiere in this one-off performance in the Winter Gardens Pavilion at 6pm on Thursday evening. There is no additional charge, but numbers are strictly limited due to room capacity. 28.1.17


Magic Mahdi set for convention debut. Leading sleight of hand expert Mahdi Gilbert will be sharing some of his secrets when he takes centre stage at South Tyneside International Magic Festival this spring. The Canadian-born magician will be among a host of international acts appearing at the 14th South Tyneside International Magic Festival which will take place in South Shields from 16th-19th March.


Born without hands or feet, Mahdi decided he wanted to be a magician as a child, drawing inspiration from artists such as David Blaine and Derren Brown, as he studied and became a specialist in mental-based magic. But at 16 he called time on his mind work, bought a deck of cards and a book on card tricks and started to teach himself. His biggest battle initially was learning to handle the deck and then how to shuffle it, but eventually his persistence paid off. He has developed every technique he employs in his illusions from scratch, and last year hit the headlines when he successfully baffled American magicians Penn & Teller on their 'Fool Us' TV show with his unique take on the classic oil and water trick. Now renowned the world over, Mahdi is looking forward to heading back to the UK this spring, and says he can’t wait to share some of his secrets with like-minded magicians and budding magic stars at this year’s convention: “I am so excited to be coming to England, which I love like a second home. I am looking forward to seeing all my friends and making new friends. There are a lot of people who believe their dreams are impossible and I am living proof that nothing is impossible. I hope that when people hear me and see me they believe in what I say because what I say and express is real, even though I add a few illusions to keep it all entertaining!”


Mahdi will be sharing some of his trademark tricks when he takes part in a selection of lectures and close-up workshops throughout the convention, as well as appearing in a star-studded question and answer session following a screening of R Paul Wilson’s film Our Magic. He will also be presenting a master class on Sunday 19th January from 3pm. This is open to both delegates and non-delegates at an additional cost. The convention is open exclusively to magicians and ardent magic fans, and regularly attracts delegates from all over the world to take part in lectures, workshops and demonstrations as well as browse a large dealers showcase. Magicians wishing to attend the convention can book their places now. Tickets cost £65 and are available by calling Karri Prinn on 0191 424 7986 or by emailing Extra masterclasses will also be held over the weekend, although these are subject to a further charge. For full listings and information Click Here. 28.1.17


Jamie Raven's third UK tour starts on Saturday, 4th February: "A huge thank you to everybody who came to see and support the sell out shows in June and July 2016 and October and November 2016, across the UK, Jersey and Abu Dhabi. It was so much fun that we are doing it all over again in February 2017. There is very limited availability so get your tickets before they disappear. I can’t wait to see you all there!" Jamie Raven.

4th February 2017 – Ferneham Hall, Portsmouth
5th February 2017 – Camberley Theatre, Camberley
6th February 2017 – New Theatre, Oxford
7th February 2017 – Theatre Royal, Glasgow
8th February 2017 – New Theatre Royal, Lincoln
9th February 2017 – Assembly Hall, Tunbridge Wells
10th February 2017 – Grove Theatre, Dunstable
11th February 2017 – Theatre Royal, Wakefield
12th February 2017 – Rose Theatre, Kingston
13th February 2017 – Princess Theatre, Torquay
14th February 2017 – Regent Theatre, Stoke
21st February 2017 – Southport Theatre, Southport
23rd February 2017 – Grand, Lancaster
24th February 2017 – Charter Theatre, Preston
25th February 2017 – Playhouse, Harlow
26th February 2017 – Broadway, Letchworth
27th February 2017 – Hexagon Theatre, Reading

28th February 2017 – The Castle Theatre, Wellingborough

Tickets: 28.1.17


MagicFest 2017 Gala Show Tickets now on Sale! From the organisers: Our red carpet event at the Festival Theatre – The MagicFest Gala – is now on sale, alongside Magic School events. 30th June – 8th July 2017. MagicFest is a new addition to the programme of Edinburgh Festivals, designed to bring back to the stage amazing, live, magic shows, which are rarely seen by the general public these days, and let audiences rediscover seldom experienced states of awe and wonderment! Visit to find out what’s on at this year's Edinburgh International Magic Festival. 28.1.17


57th Bristol Day of Magic. After a very successful 56th Day of Magic in 2016, the Bristol Society of Magic will be holding its 57th Day on Sunday 7th May 2017 at the same venue as last year. Registrations are now open and, due to the size of the venue, capacity is limited to 250 registrants. The day consists of lectures, close-up performances and dealers, finishing off with an International Gala Show. For further details and to register see Photo: Anson Lee. Having performed for tens of thousands worldwide, he is now recognised as a top manipulator with a unique style and technique. His card manipulation act has been featured on TV shows, at The Magic Castle, and at magic conventions in Asia, Europe and the US. 28.1.17


The Ulster Society of Magicians 75th Anniversary Day of Magic and Dinner. George Bleeks writes: The Ulster Society of Magicians invite you to their 75th Anniversary Day of Magic and Dinner on Saturday 22nd April at Malone Lodge Hotel, Belfast. Featuring performances and lectures from Ian Keable, Ali Cardabra and Pat Fallon. To book for dinner contact George Bleeks before noon on Friday 14th April, telephone 07860 115611 or email with the numbers in your party and their choices from the menu (see Payment will be made on the night. For those wishing to stay overnight at the hotel (telephone 028 9038 8000) we have arranged a restricted number of rooms at a specially discounted rate of £99.00 Double or Twin Room and £89.00 for a single B&B. Please mention you are attending the magic function when booking quoting Code 14197. 28.1.17


The MagicWeek Video Archive. This week, from 1985, 'Penn and Teller Go Public'. This is the shorter, edited version of their show that went out on Channel 4 on 28th December 1986. See The MagicWeek Video Archive. To catch up with past weeks and the occasional 'bonus' video Click Here. 28.1.17


The Zodiac Magical Society at 70. Katherine Rhodes writes: As part of their 70th anniversary celebrations, the Zodiac Magical Society presented a full evening show at The Magic Circle last week. Former President Richard Pinner expertly hosted the evening to a packed house of regular Monday Nighters and visitors and introduced a cavalcade of performers featuring Bharat and Jyoti Patel, Russell Levinson, AJ Green, William Spencer, Roger Dunlop, current President Katherine Rhodes, Chris Hare, Tanay Kharwadkar, Stephen Barry and another former President, John Eaton.

After the show all members of the audience were presented with a commemorative 70th Anniversary tumbler courtesy of the Zodiac Magical Society. The evening was organised by Russell Levinson and the ZMS would like to publicly thank all the staff and members of The Magic Circle for making them feel so welcome. The Zodiac Magical Society is a friendly club with magicians of all levels of magical expertise who meet every week in the Ealing area and have a varied syllabus comprising of club evenings and visiting lecturers. If you would like to know more about the Zodiac Magical Society please look at the website or contact them at


Yves Carbonnier UK lecture tour now booking. Martin Cox writes: Last year I had three French magicians present a small lecture tour here in the UK. I'm now organising a lecture tour for Yves Carbonnier in April, this year. We still have some dates to fill so if you have a 'TBA' at your club and would like more info please email me and I will send you available dates and more details about Yves Carbonnier's lecture. Also see 28.1.17


Victorian Magic at Beccles Public Hall & Theatre. Chris North appearing as his alter ego, The Victorian Conjuror, brings his Victorian extravaganza, A Night of Mystery to Beccles Public Hall & Theatre on Saturday 4th February at 7.30pm. For many years Chris was the local face of magic on television. He shot to fame by winning ITV’s New Faces and winning a national award for the best speciality act in the UK. He went on to appear in many TV shows displaying a unique and innovative approach to the art of illusion. A Night of Mystery is a light-hearted re-creation of the unexplained phenomena and marvels of yesteryear that still amaze and amuse audiences today. The show has a turn of the century feel but with a contemporary presentation. A good mix that continues to attract critical acclaim wherever it is presented. Box Office: 01502 770060 or book online at 28.1.17


Will Houstoun Wessex Magical Association Lecture. Steve Bowring writes: On Tuesday 14th February at 8pm The Wessex Magical Association will be joined by Will Houstoun, The Magic Circle's Close-up Magician of the Year 2015. Dr Will Houstoun, has completed a PhD in Victorian Conjuring, been awarded The Magic Castle's Literary Fellowship and is back with a new lecture based around his DVD set, Modern Magic. During the lecture Will will teach a selection of card and coin magic that is suitable for close-up and parlour. Visiting magicians welcome (£10 on the door - please contact our secretary Jana Bundy, email Venue: The Wessex Magical Association, The Grasshopper Pub, 141 Bournemouth Road, Poole, Dorset BH14 9HT (Map). 28.1.17


Ben Earl: Trick Artist shows 1-4 are being repeated on W from Monday 30th January (late night), see TV Magic. ""Ben Earl is a master of sleight of hand and deception - he is the ultimate trick artist. Ben has spent the last few months in an old warehouse in London devising four special programmes based on themes that fuse deception and mind-blowing stunts." Writers: Ben Earl and Mark Elsdon. Magic Consultant: Ben Hart. 28.1.17


Kieron Lefever lecture - Bolton’s Magicians' Club. Paul Goodman writes: Bolton Magicians' Club Presents Kieron Lefever’s new lecture... so what lies ahead is impossible to predict! What we know is this: We will learn how to perform magic with and including: flash paper, sweets, cans, ice, coins, the body, sleeving, cards, metal bending, heat, flowers, chocolate bars, eggs, Sharpies, business cards and magic stickmen! And, this is no dealer demo style lecture. There is a lot of unpublished material in this lecture so you do not want to miss this! Doors open at 8.30pm on Wednesday 1st February at The Doffcocker Inn, 780 Chorley Old Road, Bolton BL1 5QD (Map). Visiting magicians from other societies are most welcome. There will be an entrance fee of £10.00 for non-members. 28.1.17


Blackpool Magicians Club Annual Mega Auction. Alan Horne writes: Thursday 16th February in the Derham Lounge, Winter Gardens. Sale commences at 10.30am prompt, with viewing from 9.30am. Please note all lots have been allocated for the 2017 auction. Admission is free to Convention Registrants; there will be an entrance charge of £4 per person for non registrants. Further details are on our website or contact Michael Shepherd 28.1.17


David Weeks will be presenting his lecture for the South London Magic Society from 8pm-10pm on Tuesday 7th February. "A gentle romp through some of his working repertoire with ropes, coins, possibly a card trick - with what, how and why I do it the way I do. If you would like a real 'hands-on' session bring a metre of rope and ring for 'ring on rope.' Plus at 7.15pm: Chris Benkin Rubber Bands. £10 for non-members which can be put towards becoming a member. South London Magic Society, Clock House Methodist Church Hall, Clock House Road, Beckenham, Kent BR3 4JP (Map). See 28.1.17


Enterteasement: Comedy! Magic! Burlesque! Saturday, February 11th, 8pm - 10.30pm. "Glasgow's monthly comedy magic burlesque show features none other than Fritz! Fritz is one of Holland's top magicians, he presents polished, original magic that never fails to impress." Tickets £14 available from Venue: Admiral Bar, 72 Waterloo Street, Glasgow G2 7DA (Map). 28.1.17


Steve Dela Bexley Magic Society lecture. Roy Marsh writes: Bexley Magic Society host Steve Dela on Wednesday 1st February for what promises to be an entertaining and rewarding lecture. Steve is one of the most decorated magicians in the country and has recently released several highly creative effects into the magic community to great acclaim. All magicians are welcome (£10 on the door for non-members). The Bexley Magic Society can be found at Barton Close, Bexleyheath, Kent DA6 8JP (Map). 28.1.17


David Penn lectures at Manchester Circle of Magicians on Monday 30th January. William Booth writes: David is a seven times national award winning magician and illusionist, so this promises to be a night to remember. Visitors are welcome with prior approval from the President and a charge of £5.00 on the night. For more information and details visit our website at or email 28.1.17


Alex McAleer Psychological Illusionist - Coventry Magic Circle. James Cannon writes: Coventry Magic Circle are delighted to welcome Alex McAleer to our society. For nearly ten years Alex has amazed audiences both in the UK and internationally: on stage, up close, and across the media including appearances on the BBC, London Live, ITV's Good Morning Britain, and Australia's Today Tonight. This promises to be a great night of entertainment. £10 fee for visiting magicians. Starts at 8pm on Tuesday 7th February at Saunders Hall Working Men's Club, Saunders Avenue, Bedworth CV12 8RJ (Map). Phone 02476 312181. 28.1.17


Magicians Advice Podcast: "Join Phil Taylor and Ian Brennan and guest magician Darren Pearce on their journey to find out what makes a good magic trick ‘good’ and a bad one, ‘bad’. They discuss their thoughts and come up with a challenge for themselves, to come back to in a future episode" 28.1.17


Eric Jones Lecture - Cornish Magical Society. Eric's lecture will challenge you to look at your magic in a whole new light; discussing ways to make close-up effects play to large audiences, re-directing attention rather than misdirecting it, and how to properly block/stage your performances to both conceal method as well as optimise audience reactions. Sunday 21st May at 3pm. Cornish Magical Society, Carnon Downs Village Hall, Tregye Road, Carnon Downs, Truro TR3 6GH (Map). 28.1.17


When Magic Goes Horribly Wrong is being repeated on Monday 6th February on Channel 5. From the makers: "Entertaining documentary special looking at the sometimes funny, often dramatic, and sometimes even deadly consequences when magic tricks fail. Witnesses, escapologists and magicians, both famous and amateur, tell their stories, illustrated with archive clips and specially shot material, while graphics help to dissect the tricks to discover what went wrong and why." See TV Magic. 28.1.17


An introduction to Stage Hypnosis. Dave Rawson writes: Would any magicians be interested in a one-day course in an introduction to Stage Hypnosis? It would be limited to 10 magicians only. £150 per person (8 places left). You can learn from a working professional with 17 years in Ibiza. Training would be during the day before the Blackpool Convention. Venue to be confirmed. Email Please take a look at my website: 28.1.17


The Cruise: Sailing the Mediterranean. "Series following life aboard one of the world's largest luxury cruise liners on a summer season in the Mediterranean. As the ship heads for the medieval port of Kotor in Montenegro, executive chef David faces a staffing crisis. The team are 17 members short, and it is touch and go as to whether he can put on the most profitable culinary highlight of the cruise. Magicians Johnny and Trisha Hawley decide to revamp their show with a daring and dangerous new headline trick for their act. It is a crucial moment for new officer Lauren, as she must prove she has what it takes to drive one of the ship's tender boats." Thursday 2nd February. See TV Magic. 28.1.17


"Magic Man. Who is Uri Geller? Spoon-bending psychic and television personality – all you need to know" Click Here • "No Comment" Click Here • "Magicians wanted for first ever Merlin Magic Contest" Click Here • "Tommy Cooper had a sadistic streak" Click Here • "Uri Geller's Loose Women experiment divides viewers with amazed fans and unmoved sceptics" Click Here • "Hocus prank-us: Magician Michael Carbonaro coming to Brady Theater" Click Here • "Ricky Hatton: The Hitman hopes to be a knockout magician" Click Here • "Whoa! It’s Magic" Click Here • "Magic: 'It's Grrrrreat!'" Click Here • And finally, "'Houdini' toddler can unpick baby gate lock in seconds using an incredibly ingenious method" Click Here • Your UK magic news is always welcome. See you next week, Duncan. 28.1.17