Number 369 - 21st July 2007


Ben Hart wins The Magic Circle's Young Magician of the Year Competition 2007. 16 year old Ben Hart's stylish performance last Sunday at The Magic Circle headquarters in London brought the art of the silent magician firmly into the 21st Century by applying fresh thinking to a number of classic effects, whilst completely re-working others. His variation on the Linking Rings was both clever and charming (you'll have to see it) and allowed him to really connect with his audience (the hardest aspect of performing silently). Dressed in a sharp black suit he reminded me of a young Bryan Ferry - very cool and charismatic with a winning smile. He'll go far. Congratulations to all seven finalists, especially Joe Ray (2nd place) and Lexi Watterson (3rd). The judges were Roy Davenport, Julia Howson, Peter Pinner and Paul Stone. The biennial competition was introduced by Derek Speight in 1961 and has launched many a professional career since its inception. "Teen magician's competition success" Click Here. "Ben wins Magician's title" Click Here. (Photo by Duncan Trillo) 21.7.07


The Magic Circle - Performing Magic Through the Ages by Michael Bailey is scheduled for publication on 8th November 2007. This is the first ever book for the general public about The Magic Circle and its history. For just over 100 years, The Magic Circle has been one of the most talked about secret organisations in the country... but what really happens behind its closed doors? Using his unique inside knowledge former President Michael Bailey recounts the origins of magical performance and the beginnings of the society and describes a selection of the world’s greatest tricks and illusions. Bailey documents the history of magic and magicians, including the great Scottish conjuror John Henry Anderson, the French ‘Father of Modern Magic’ Robert-Houdin, Maskelyne & Devant, whose magic partnership in London spanned the decades, the tragic death of Harry Houdini and The Great Lafayette, and TV stars David Nixon and Tommy Cooper and also chronicles the lives of some of magic’s modern performers including Paul Daniels, David Copperfield, Derren Brown, David Blaine and Channing Pollock. Topics such as entry to The Circle, women in magic and the motto ‘Indocilis Privata Loqui’ (Keep Mum!) are also included, plus more! We'll be reviewing the book shortly. 21.7.07


Peter Wardell presents "Confidence" - an evening of artful deception and showmanship at The Magic Cavern, nightly at 9pm from August 1st - 18th (Tuesdays to Saturdays), with a preview on July 31st. The Magic Cavern has certainly evolved over the years. Starting off as a struggling small venue offering fellow magicians a stage in London on which to present their acts, it soon became clear that the general public had latched on to the venue as a Theatre of Magic, irrespective of the names on the bill. Richard Leigh, the man behind it all, has done a great job - see What's On for listings to December. 21.7.07


71st British Ring IBM Convention Southport - 11th-16th September 2007. Latest news: The Late Night Magic Shows take place on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday night starting at 11 o'clock (midnight Friday) and feature several great entertainers including David Williamson, Bob Sheets (photo), Tim Gabrielson, John Fealey, Kevin King and Gaetan Bloom. David Williamson and Bob Sheets have already been profiled so here are biographies of the other participants... For all the latest Southport convention news from British Ring PRO Bob Hayden Click Here. 21.7.07 now have a retail shop open from Monday - Friday 10.30am - 4pm at 1 Rea Business Park, Inkerman Street, Nechells, Birmingham B7 4SH (Map), details Click Here. Freephone: 0808 178 5959. "The Largest Magic Shop in the Midlands" See what's new: 21.7.07


Gary James had a welcome addition to his busy schedule recently - as magical advisor for both stage and TV. He was asked to provide ideas and tuition for magical effects in the Traverse Theatre's production of 'Damascus' for the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2007. He was also asked to create magic effects for an episode of a new series of 'Dear Green Place'. The show is projected to be shown by BBC Scotland between November 2007 and January 2008. They were so impressed with Gary's skills that he was asked to play the part of the magician in the episode. The picture shows Gary (centre) with Paul Riley and Gabriel Quigley - two of the stars of the series. 21.7.07


To celebrate the Duchess of Cornwall's 60th birthday, Prince Charles chose the Wiltshire village of Bromham to hold a walkabout garden party in. In pouring rain, on Tuesday 17th July, the Royal couple mixed with the villages and the Duchess blew out a very wet birthday cake! Jack Stephens had the honour of being the magician appointed for the day and this made it something of a double for him, as only two years ago he entertained Prince Charles's mother, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Jack is hoping for a Royal Flush and is wondering who will be next! Prince Charles of course has a very keen interest in magic, which he chatted to Jack about. He was also fascinated with the balloon modelling Jack was performing and Jack kindly offered the Prince a lesson in the art of balloon bending at some future date! 21.7.07


Performing Dark Arts: A Cultural History of Conjuring by Michael Mangan. Magic and conjuring inhabit the boundaries and the borderlands of performance. The conjuror's act of demonstrating the apparently impossible, the uncanny, the marvellous, or the grotesque challenges the spectator's sense of reality. It brings him or her up against their own assumptions about how the world works; at its most extreme, it asks the spectator to re-evaluate his or her sense of the limits of the human. "Performing Dark Arts" is an exploration of the paradox of the conjuror, the actor who pretends to be a magician. It aims to illuminate the history of conjuring by examining it in the context of performance studies, and to throw light on aspects of performance studies by testing them against the art of conjuring. The book examines not only the performances of individual magicians from Dedi to David Blaine, but also the broader cultural contexts in which their performances were received, and the meanings which they have attracted. Paperback, 280 pages. Available from with 15% off Click Here. 21.7.07


Any Dream Will Do? It was one thing to attend the premiere of the dazzling new production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat production in the West End last week, but equally memorable for Magic Circle member Paul Craven was the chance to perform for star Lee Mead at the after-show party at the Hippodrome. In fact the evening was a bit of a family affair - Paul's cousin, Nichola Treherne, is the show's acclaimed Associate Director and Associate Choreographer. 21.7.07


Close-up magician Damien O'Brien recently returned from Kos, Greece, after three months performing with artists such as Artful Dodger, Nicola Gates, Roll Deep and DJ Luck. This was Damien's third season in Kos. Damien can be seen tonight at London's Rex Club (for info log on to "It feels great to be home - I'm working hard on some new ideas with my friends and I have big plans to take my magic to a whole new level this year. I feel very determined" said Damien. 21.7.07


Unearthly Magic have just released "The Simplex Coin Routine" as part of their exclusive magic range. The effect is the very clean vanish and reproduction of a genuine 50p piece; one that can be performed by even novice coin workers. Two possible routines are demonstrated online on the Unearthly Magic website. 21.7.07


Con-fused "A brand new and most novel card trick with more twists than a tornado!" has just been released by Zane: "This effect starts off as just a regular 'Ambitious Card Routine', but then it gets darn right crazy, but crazy in a good way!" For full details visit under 'Exclusives'. 21.7.07


Admission All Classes - celebrating Blackpool’s entertainment heritage. Cabinet of Curiosities - Saturday and Sunday 28th, 29th July, Winter Gardens, Blackpool. The exhibition features two original sideshow illusions, The Girl in the Goldfish Bowl and The Headless Lady, from 1950s showman, magician and fire-eater, Jon Gresham. They will be presented by Jon Marshall’s Sideshow Illusions Company who have also built eight modern Sideshow booths for contemporary performers to present their shows in. The Whoopee Agency have booked a huge number of Burlesque attractions for the weekend including Marisa Carnesky, Levitating Lovely (of the Ghost Train fame, for which Paul Kieve devised some fabulous illusion effects), a Snake Lady, a Tattooed Lady, Red Sarah’s fire show and Floss’ Museum of Prodigies with his Man Made Monsters together with many more acts and attractions. An exhibition on the history of the Winter Gardens will accompany the shows, including an illustrated lecture by Dr Vanessa Toulmin entitled 'Freaks, Geeks and Wild Women, A History of Sideshow Amusements' at the Studio Theatre at the Grand. Cyril Critchlow will present a nostalgic look at Blackpool's Golden Mile on the Sunday afternoon. 12pm to 6pm for family admissions, including entry to the afternoon performances and the side shows. Tickets: £5, with concessions: 01253 478222. Then from 10pm to 2pm a cabaret and club night in the Spanish Hall and Baronial Suite, tickets: £10 01253 478222. During the next year the thrilling heritage of fairground, music hall, circus and seaside entertainment will be brought to life in a series of events in Blackpool. From circus curiosities and side-shows to brilliant burlesque, the spectacular events will be curated by Director of the National Fairground Archive Dr Vanessa Toulmin and have been dubbed Admission All Classes. 21.7.07


Magic men Lee Warren (right) and Nick Reade were invited to perform at the BNP Paribas premiere of "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix". Lee said: "The whole cinema had been themed like the Harry Potter set, and it was great fun performing close-up magic with various look-a-likes from the film roaming round - the atmosphere was very magical!" and 21.7.07


Cabinet Magazine. Visual artist Jonathan Allen, who some of you may know as the fictitious gospel magician Tommy Angel has guest-edited the summer edition of New York-based art and culture quarterly Cabinet on the theme of magic. Cabinet was named "Best New Magazine" of 2000 by the American Library Association's Library Journal and "Best Art and Culture Magazine" for 2001and 2003 by the New York Press. The magazine's omnivorous appetite for understanding the world makes each of its issues a valuable sourcebook of ideas for a wide range of readers, from artists and designers to scientists and historians. Amongst art historians, political commentators, and cultural theorists, Jonathan invited a number of magicians and magic historians to contribute including Eddie Dawes, Paul Kieve, Scott Penrose, Vanessa Toulmin, Ian Saville, and Tim Reed. Both highbrow and playful, the issue looks at magic's marginal life and wider cultural meaning. A lavishly illustrated one-off collection of meditations on magic's less considered dimensions, the issue promises to be a fascinating addition to any curious magic library. Cabinet 26: Magic is available from 21.7.07


The Associated Conjurers of East Sussex are delighted to announce details of their Annual Dinner, this year to be held in Halland, near Lewes, on 29th September. Young international illusionist Alex Lodge has been booked for the cabaret and tickets are available at £30 per person. Accommodation can also be arranged at the venue. Contact Martin Lewis (President) or Nicky Moon (Secretary) on 01903 532413 for more details. 21.7.07


Ruairi O'Connor, Illusionist, Mindreader and Cabaret Artist has just returned from another successful performance in Munich, Germany. Ruairi is working with Magners Cider as they launch their premium Irish cider brand into new markets in Germany and Spain. 21.7.07


Children's Entertainers Wanted. Nicholas Einhorn is looking for a number of dynamic, experienced children's entertainers for several high profile events to take place near central London over the next 9 months. If you would like to be considered please forward website/contact details to 21.7.07


Wofgang Riebe - Commercial Card Magic. Jack Stephens emails: "A brand new DVD by Wolfgang Riebe is always an exciting moment. Wolfgang is a superb all rounder, and the way he handles a deck of cards is beauty to behold! On his brand new DVD, his first teach-in session in 8 years, Wolfgang shares his favourite 8 routines. This is card magic of the highest order and is aimed at the more advanced card worker. Enjoy and learn Wolfgang's twist on Fred and Out of this World and be amazed and amused with the finest four ace assembly you are ever likely to witness. The appearance of the last ace is a real gem. A master craftsman sharing his trade with you is what we have here. The cost of the DVD, which is of superb quality and very well produced, is £25.00. Visit 21.7.07


John Milner of The House of Magic is still trying establish how the complexities of the new smoking ban (MagicWeek number 366 "John has to stub out his trick") will affect him. He was advised that performing his classic magical effect The Lit Cigarette in Jacket was legal, but that he would have to ask permission from his local council. John said, "They seem to be working very hard to interpret a very confusing piece of legislation." I wonder what the cabinet's take on smoking Pot in the context of a theatrical presentation would be? Click Here. 21.7.07


The North East Lincs Magic Circle (Grimsby) were lucky enough to have Zenneth Kok from Hong Kong lecture at our club on Tuesday 10th of July. I felt I just had to write a review for this very talented and yet humble man. If you have ever watched any of Zenneth’s clips on You Tube you would be forgiven for thinking that a lecture from him is going to be for the hard core card magicians only - you would be wrong! Zenneth taught a number of tricks firstly aimed at the beginner, moving on to the average card skill level and finally to the amazing eye candy that he is commonly known for. He not only explained the workings of the tricks but also the thinking behind the tricks. The best part of the lecture for me was when he left one of the most experienced magicians at our club open mouthed and stunned - priceless. I recommend that anyone who gets the chance to see him perform should jump at the chance. John Morton, Vice President, North East Lincs Magic Circle. 21.7.07


Zenneth Kok lectures in Plymouth in Monday July 23rd at the Tothill Community Centre, St Judes, Plymouth from 7.30pm. For details contact Malcolm Norton at Top Secret Magic on 01752 667401 Website. 21.7.07


The 'Houdini the Musical' tour has been cancelled • Chubby Harris took part in Granada's "Tour of Talent" on Wednesday presented by Paul Croney. Although he didn't make it to the final part of his act was shown on Granada News • Christopher Williams presents his brand new lecture on Wednesday July 25th at the Babbacombe Inn, Torquay at 7.30pm. For more details contact Chris via • The new 12 part series of The Real Hustle starts on Monday 30th July at 8.30pm on BBC3 • Larry King Live with Chris Angel (YouTube) Click Here • Look out for Safire on "Granada Reports Roadshow" on Monday night at 6pm • "Prince does a David Blaine" Click Here • "Harry's game" Click Here • "Hat’s the way to do it!" Click Here • "Magician disappears with cash" Click HereThe Sorcerer's Apprentice ended on Friday (actually there is a 'recap' this morning) - I thought the show worked really well overall, presenting the performance of magic in a very positive light. That's it for this week, your UK magic news is always welcomed, see you next week, Duncan. 21.7.07