Keith Bennett Lecture at the Riviera Circle of Magicians


May 2008

Reported by Trev Stone

Keith opened the lecture holding a small wooden box, then told an interesting story about its history, how it was made from an old piece of furniture and more importantly, who owned that piece of furniture. The box was eventually opened by a spectator…..

If you want to know what happens next, you’ll have to catch his lecture, but it is something that will be used by many. Then, to set the tone for the evening to come, he gave a lovely performance of the “Hanging Coins.” (A flawless routine that Keith must have spent a long time perfecting.) Then after a brief, but interesting discussion on the choice of coins to use and Keith’s own personal preferences, we were treated to a very deceptive “Coins Through Table”. Keith offered to repeat the effect (Slydini would have been proud!) and caught us all a second time.

After teaching the sleight required “Han Ping Chien” and discussing the misdirection and timing of the routine he moved on to the next section of the lecture, which was devoted to the “Coin Vanish”. After some perfectly executed sleights, including Keith's handling and thoughts on the retention vanish, he then explained his method of using the sleeves to obtain or dispose of any unwanted items. Keith closed the first half with a performance of “A Dream of Alchemy”, a very strong and virtually self working transposition / spellbound effect. As the coins supplied with this set lend themselves to many other possibilities, they are an asset to any coin workers arsenal.

As Keith had agreed to bring a good selection of coins, gaffs, books, DVDs and related items, his break was nonexistent as he was duly mobbed before he could sit down. I eventually persuaded everybody to return to their seats, and the lecture continued. Keith opened the second half, with a performance of “Jack Chanin's TV Surprise” for those not familiar, a repeat production of coins from silk with a fitting climax. Following this, he discussed how the effect can be adapted to suit any audience or performance style.

I have never seen “The Glass through Table” performed whilst standing, so Keith's explanation of this one had me furiously taking notes whilst trying to watch the next effect. The timing and misdirection of the steal are two things that many people could benefit from. “Lethal Tender” and “Hopping Halfs” (both in my working repertoire) were performed next and were both received well, I particularly liked Keith's routine for the “H H”, so did everybody else, so I knew that he was going to be mobbed again when he reached the end of the lecture!

Two more coin classics followed “Coin in Bottle” and “Matrix” with Keith's own handling and insights explained. The Matrix was performed as Al Schnider originally performed it and was most magical to watch. To close the lecture, Keith performed his “Fingertip Coins Across” this was a no gimmick 3 fly using silver dollars and was a fantastic effect to close a most entertaining and informative lecture.

Keith genuinely is a nice guy, and quite witty too, and for those who have had the pleasure to talk magic with him, a very knowledgeable magician. I was looking forward to Keith's lecture as I have always had a passion for coin magic, and given the feedback I have had from our members and guests who attended the lecture that passion seems to be spreading.

If you’re reading this Keith, thank you!


© Trev Stone, June 2008