Number 1049 - 1st August 2020


Jonathan Goodwin. Welsh escapologist and daredevil on America's Got Talent 2020 - no words needed! See YouTube. 1.8.20


Paul Zerdin, ventriloquist, comedian, and winner of America's Got Talent 2015 launches his first six-part television series Sponge Weekly this Friday, 7th August. Set for broadcast exclusively on Paul Zerdin's YouTube channel each Friday at 5pm, Sponge Weekly is a fast-paced, comedy sketch show that will entertain the whole family.

Along with those much-loved spongy characters Sam, Albert and Baby who have been messing with Paul throughout his career Sponge Weekly will include some hilarious hidden 'Street Vent' camera pranks, that will see Paul with some very confused members of the public ("is that sandwich speaking to me").

Sponge Weekly also stars Paul's real-life nephew, 9-year-old Sammy, making his screen debut. Sammy's chats with the puppets are reminiscent of those classic Sesame Street moments. Written and filmed during the end of lockdown meant the show was shot without a studio audience and with a socially distancing production crew. Sponge Weekly is introduced by the accident-prone continuity announce Alasdair Rimmer ("Oh, is it me?).

The launch of Sponge Weekly on YouTube coincides with Paul Zerdin's forthcoming shows at Butlins where he will be appearing on Friday, Saturday and Sunday throughout the summer (outside) from Friday 23rd July through Sunday 27th September, at the Butlins' Bognor Regis, Minehead and Skegness holiday resorts. Sponge Weekly - a comedy show for the whole family. "We could all do with a bit of a laugh at the moment couldn't we!" says Paul. And if you would like a sneak preview, here it is: YouTube.


Kane & Abel's Split Egg show - live on Brighton Beach! Kane & Abel will be performing a run of shows on Brighton Beach, as part of The Warren's Outdoor Season. The show will replace their planned Brighton Fringe performances and take place on a purpose-built stage on the beach with seating arranged to adhere to social distancing measures. The twin tricksters perform magic and comedy, inspired by clichés surrounding twins. Every question the identical twin brothers have been asked; whether they are harmless, hurtful or just hilarious have been developed into the narrative of this fun-filled and "seriously impressive" (BBC Radio Bristol) show.

The shows will take place from Thursday 20th August to Sunday 23rd August, and September 5th & 6th. All shows will start at 1pm, with the exception of the 23rd August show, which will start at 11.30am. "Both shine individually as magicians and comedians"
★★★★ (Broadway Baby) "Comedic, contemporary and charismatic" ★★★★★ (Channel 44, Adelaide). See for more info. 1.8.20


Piff the Magic Dragon Live from Las Vegas - Virtual Show tonight at 7pm! As there's no Edinburgh Fringe this year Piff the Magic Dragon is performing a virtual show for the UK #PiffPack this Saturday at 7pm (BST). Expect frequent use of the words such as: biscuit, lift, pavement, car park and chips, and lots of complaints about the weather! Tickets: They are also down to the last four in a TBS show 'Tournament of Laughs'. They've had David Copperfield and Penn Jillette make appearances, and if they make it to the finals we'll have Lance Burton too!  You can watch the first four videos here: YouTube. 1.8.20


The MagicWeek Video Archive. A new magic clip or show every week! This week Eugene Burger in a guest appearance on John Fisher's 'The Best of Magic' from September 20th 1989. See The MagicWeek Video Archive. To catch up with more from The MagicWeek Video Archive Click Here1.8.20


British Ring to hold another 'Nonvention' - 5th & 6th September. From the organisers: Following the success of the Nonvention held over the late May Bank Holiday weekend, The British Ring is to hold another one on 5 and 6 September 2020. These dates are to coincide with the original Greenock convention which had to be cancelled due to the covid 19 issues. It is free to all British Ring Members via the members’ area of the website. If you are not a member, there is still time to join so you do not miss the exciting programme the organisers are putting together. Details on Geoffrey Newton Advertising Manager. 1.8.20


Fay Presto, Danny Buckler, 'Harry the Piano' and Neil Kelso added to An Evening of Magic with Ben Hart - Royal Victoria Patriotic Building, London, 7th & 8th August. Acting as your magical host, renowned magician Ben Hart will display some of his most exciting, baffling, and socially-distanced miracles, accompanied by special guest magicians in the informal surroundings of the New Normal Festival. A rare chance to catch world class magic stripped back to its purest conditions, outdoors and right under your noses. The shows will take place outside, in the walled courtyard of the Royal Victoria Patriotic Building, Wandsworth, London on Friday 7th and Saturday 8th August 2020 at 8pm. Tickets £20.00. More info: Ben Hart on Loose Ends: Nikki Bedi and Christopher Eccleston are joined by Jade Anouka, Ben Hart, Sindhu Vee and Raphael Rowe for an eclectic mix of conversation, music and comedy. Saturday BBC Radio 4 at 6.15pm 1.8.20


The second issue of Richard Wiseman's Hocus Pocus comic is out now! This issue delves into the strange world of spirit communication! Join Houdini’s chief investigator, Rose Mackenberg, as she uncovers the secrets of the seance room. Travel through time to discover the trickery used by Fox sisters and the Davenport brothers to fool the world. Uncover the scientists and scoundrels behind the strange history of the Ouija Board. Limited edition, beautifully illustrated and printed in full colour on heavy card stock. Praise for Issue One included: "'An utterly magical read ... one of the most inventive and gorgeous comics we have read this year." Pipedream Comics. Illustrated by Jordan Collver, written by Rik Worth and coloured by Owen Watts. Available from PropDog: 1.8.20


The MagicWeek Video Archive. On Monday I added a collection of 17 television commercials that featured magic in some way, with either a magician's hands, an actual magician, or an actor playing the part of a magician in them. Ranging from the 80s, 90s and 00s, there are some fun clips here, including some excellent parodies (Copperfield and a mystic!). I've been able to credit most of the performers (on the MagicWeek YouTube page) but if anyone can help with whose hands were used for the Financial Times ad. (really nice) please let me know. See YouTube. 1.8.20


Guest Spots at 'Magic & Mind-Reading' at Le Meridien, London. Producer and performer Tony Middleton writes: Following the success of my productions 'The Magic Hour' and 'Sleight of Hand on the Strand', I am creating a new show called 'Magic & Mind-Reading' at the five star Le Meridien, in Piccadilly, London. I will be considering guest spots for this show, and would welcome applications from any professional magician who feels they would be the right fit for the production. The audience will be taken on a fun whistle-stop journey through the Golden Age of Magic. The narrative will be peppered with a variety of demonstrations of magic, mind-reading, and other impossible feats. If you think your act would be right for this show, I would be interested to hear from you. Performances will be scheduled for Saturday nights, and the production intends to open in September. To apply, email your CV/website details, along with relevant video footage to with the subject 'Magic & Mind-Reading'. 1.8.20


Magic Papers, Conjuring Ephemera 1890-1960. Magic papers is a dive into the collection of Philip David Treece and contains printed matter made for the magic community, packed with flamboyant custom lettering, sensational language and mystifying illustrations. Where other books on the subject have focused on popular magic posters and playbills, Magic Papers looks at more ephemeral material, mostly made by magicians for magicians. 144 pages + 16 page insert. Soft cover with flaps. 245mm x 340mm. Limited to 800 copies. For more information and to pre-order visit 1.8.20


Staging a live-streamed theatre show in extraordinary times: Oliver Tabor's guest post on Oliver Meech's Wide Open Magic blog. Oliver Tabor recently staged a rare event: a live-streamed magic show from a theatre. For a full insight into what it takes to put on a full evening magic show in these strange times, from social distancing to technical hurdles, read his article on Oliver Meech's Wide Open Magic blog: 1.8.20


Loosley Speaking with Dave Loosley - this week: Matt Johnson. Join magician Dave Loosley as he chats with some of the world's best magicians. Always laid-back and fun. Available every Friday via your favourite listening platform including Apple Podcasts and Spotify. 1.8.20


Skip 'n' Snip by Colin Daines - a Practical magic Exclusive, now with DVD. How many of your tricks actually make the people go "Wow!"? Well, if you haven’t added this trick to your repertoire, perhaps you should, because it really does have the wow factor! Time and again we have received praise for this trick from satisfied customers because the effect is staggering: a skipping rope is cleanly cut in two and just as cleanly restored. You even see the knots fly off! All we can say is, if you saw this demonstrated, you would immediately buy it. Please take our word for it, that this is one of the most magical effects in our on line catalogue. What is more, it’s easy to perform and you are left entirely clean at the end of the routine. A complete sell-out on the first day when we lectured in the U.S. Explanatory DVD now included! Comes complete with 10 meters of standard white rope. See 1.8.20


The August E-Video Newsletter. Mark Leveridge is pleased to announce that the August edition of his monthly online video programme is ready for you to watch and enjoy. It features: The Teach In – a versatile gimmick and a routine using it is revealed. Pro Peeks – for August a routine extracted from a live Lecture Room presentation is offered. Keeping Control Unplugged – part 2 starts a look at how to control performance nerves based on info from the Keeping Control e-book. Web Offers – Mark's popular Ring and String Deluxe plus a version of the Ambitious Card are included in this month’s offers. 60 Seconds To Success – tips on how to judge when to leave a close up group when table hopping or strolling. The Review Corner – the children’s prop AmazeWands is discussed this time. To watch the 37 minute online presentation you simply need to sign up for Mark's free E-Club Lite. This will ensure that you receive the latest monthly email newsletter featuring much to interest you and which also contains the link to the full E-Video Newsletter itself. For more information go to 1.8.20


Magicseen Lite Issue 8. Magicseen is pleased to announce the publication of the latest free digital version of their bi-monthly magic magazine. The contents of Lite #8 have been extracted from the full July version, and include the following: Matthew Wright - the full article on our cover star who explains the turmoil for his magic venue in Spain caused by COVID-19 and how he has tried to cope with it. We also include an article on what the future of magic may look like post the pandemic, what may change, what may stay the same. If comedy is your thing, we invite you to enjoy The Convention, and if you fancy learning some magic, then the Masterclass has a variation on Paul Curry's Out Of This World. Add to this, In The Phonebox with actress Madison Thompson and a selection of the product reviews to save you wasting your money! To download your free copy go to 1.8.20


Merlins of Wakefield's latest 20 page Magical Preview is now available. The August/September edition can be sent to you as a printed copy. Simply email your postal address to Or for a PDF version just email and ask! This will be the last Preview we are sending out, as from October 20th will be launching our own 'Merlins Mail'. This will be issued quarterly and as well as the latest effects and special offers there will be free effects, articles, puzzles and news. We are excited to be launching this, and everyone who previously received the 'Preview' will still get a free copy of 'Merlins Mail' in October! We are always on the look out for quality used magic, so if you have something you no longer need, contact us at Here are some fantastic used or like new bargains: Lucky Chair and Table by Tora Magic Flying Mask Deluxe by Brevis Magic Vanishing CD Player by Tora Magic - Glassy Briefcase by Tora Magic. 1.8.20


Just released - The Baseball Shuffle by Chris Wardle. The performer displays 10 cards, Ace through to Ten, in Clubs. They are dropped into a baseball cap (or an outside jacket pocket) and shaken about. The cards are removed and shown completely mixed, out of order, some face up and some face down. They are replaced and shaken again, while the spectators think 'order'. Now the cards are removed and alternate, face up and face down, as odd and even values! After a final 'baseball shuffle' shake up, they come out all face up and in numerical order! 'The Baseball Shuffle' is a fun, visual, completely self-working card effect which can be performed casually (in a baseball cap) or using an outside jacket pocket for a more formal presentation. This can be performed in person or online, as no volunteer assistance required. Entirely self-contained and no reset. A magical, modern, performance piece. For more info and to watch a video performance visit 1.8.20


The Trevor Dawson Collection of Magic Books. To be offered by Lyon & Turnbull Auctioneers on October 1st in Edinburgh and online. On October 1st 2020, Lyon & Turnbull will be proud to present the Trevor Dawson Collection of Magic Books. For over forty years, Trevor Dawson was a member of The Magic Circle and the International Brotherhood of Magicians and was a very keen and diversified collector of books related to Magic, Conjuring, Card Tricks, Deception, Mesmerism and related fields. Make a note of the date now. More details nearer the time. See 1.8.20


The Carbonaro Effect, the hidden-camera magic series with illusionist-cum-prankster Michael Carbonaro, is being repeated on 4Music at the moment. See TV Magic for details. 1.8.20


"Surprise! Ryan Tricks performs mind-blowing mentalism with Alesha Dixon! America's Got Talent 2020" YouTube • "Woah! Mentalist Max Major reads Simon Cowell's mind! America's Got Talent 2020" YouTube • "Mentalist Max Major shocks the judges from hundreds of miles away! America's Got Talent 2020" YouTube • "Magician consumed by cards! Winston performs incredible card tricks. America's Got Talent 2020" YouTube • "'AGT' Judge Cuts: Magician Stuns Simon Cowell With 'Most Astonishing' Trick He's Ever Seen" Click Here • "Comedy magician Robbie James casts spell to scoop entertainer of the year title" Click Here • "Tracy Newman on The Tonight Show starring Johnny Carson from 1974" YouTube • "The Sly Psychology Behind Magicians' Card Tricks" Click Here • "Study: Magicians’ priming techniques are effective at influencing choice" Click Here • "'Virtual' Magic Show Fundraiser set to benefit Hamilton area YMCA" Click Here • "Animal advocates call tiger tent show on the Las Vegas Strip a 'tale of big money, disregard for local laws'" Click Here • "Halifax magician uses sleight of hand to earn way into Vegas-based show" Click Here • That's it for another week. Many thnaks to everyone who sent in news this week. See you next week, Duncan. 1.8.20