Number 442 - 13th December 2008


World renowned card magician Ben Earl launches his new magazine "Gambit" on Saturday, 17th January, at The Session 2009. Anyone attending the launch party will see an exclusive one-off lecture from Ben, and receive a copy of the magazine. As weekend tickets have been selling quickly organisers Andi and Rob have released a small number of 'Saturday only' and 'Sunday only' tickets. Sign up now to avoid disappointment! 13.12.08


South Tyneside International Magic Festival - March 2009. South Tyneside is set to be enveloped in all things magic for the sixth year running as magicians and magic enthusiasts from around the globe descend on the borough for the return of the hugely popular International Magic Festival in March. South Tyneside Council, The Customs House and past President of the Newcastle Magic Circle, Martin Duffy with sponsorship by MagicBox, have conjured up another fantastic line-up of first class magicians from around the world for the 2009 week-long festival that will take place from Monday 9th to Sunday 15th March. The enchanting festival will showcase a variety of magic acts across the borough with magic shows in schools and residential homes. The Customs House will also be hosting a Family Magic Extravaganza, two evening International Gala Shows and a three-day magic convention for budding and established magicians. Paul Daniels, David Williamson, Banachek, Russ Stevens and many more will be appearing at this year's convention. Visit for full details. 13.12.08


Nottingham Guild of Magicians - lectures and show. The Nottingham Guild of Magicians are staging An Evening of Magic on Sunday 1st February at the Bonington Theatre, 161 Front Street, Arnold, Nottingham NG5 7EE (Map) at 7.30pm. Starring: John Archer (The current Magic Circle Stage Magician of the Year), Amethyst (escapology and illusion), Kevin Burke (magic, mystery and illusion) and Tony Stevens (comedy and magic), with further acts to be announced. Doors open at 7pm. Tickets are £12.50 each and can be obtained from either the Bonington Theatre on 0115 956 0733 or Marcel Burn on 07789 693 906. In the daytime there will be two new lectures from Kevin Burke and Danny Hunt of Amethyst, starting at 2pm. Tickets are just £5 to see both lectures (via the numbers above). 13.12.08


Chris Cox: Control Freak, Southbank Centre, London. Wednesday 17th December, 8.30pm, Purcell Room, Southbank Centre, London. "Think you have free will? Think you can decide what you choose? Think fate can't be changed? Then think again, as Chris Cox (the mind reader who can't read minds) will change the way you think. An accomplished and much-loved performer, Chris does contemporary mind reading, by using a mongrel, hybrid mix of magic, psychology, body language and guess work to prove he is a mind-reader who can't read minds. Chris also created the magic for BBC 1's smash hit show Merlin." 13.12.08


Danbury Double in Dewsbury. John Danbury will present two different shows at the DAG Studio, Lower Peel Street, Dewsbury on Sunday January 4th. First John Danbury's Crazy Capers for Kids! at 2.30pm, featuring an hour of magic and mayhem. Children £2.50 Adults £5.00. And then in the evening John Danbury's Intimate Intrigues, at 7.30pm, "An Evening of Magic, Mind Reading, Music and Mirth." In support of Dewsbury Arts Group. John Danbury is one of the leading magical entertainers in the country - you will laugh, cry, gasp and gawp in amazement at this evening show suitable for all ages! All tickets £10.00. "Seriously good, annoyingly good!" HRH Prince William. Box Office: 01924 465 647. 13.12.08


The Magic Circle Young Magician of the Year Competition 2009. There is still time to enter The Magic Circle's prestigious competition, but entry forms need to be completed and returned by 31st January 2009. Competitors, (who should be young magicians between 14 and 18 years old on 1st January 2009), will be required to present a stage performance of magic, suitable for a family audience, lasting between eight and twelve minutes. The heats will take place on Sunday 19th April at The Magic Circle headquarters in London, the qualifiers going through to the final on Sunday 12th July 2009. PDF entry forms are now available from The Magic Circle website,, or by post from Dr Michael Colley, The Magic Circle Competition Secretary: 13.12.08


Mark Mason lecture - now booking. Mark Mason returns from the USA for the entire month of May 2009 and is now taking bookings for his lecture. "I cannot put it any more simple than this: Mark Mason is the greatest magic demonstrator working today." Richard Kaufman, Editor, Genii. "The best lecture I have ever seen." Al Cohen, Washington DC. "Congratulations, a standing ovation at the 4F." Obie Obrien. Magic clubs interested in booking Mark should email for details. 13.12.08


Five of Hearts Magic are featuring a range of special Christmas promotions right now - visit their website which includes high end collectables and 'credit crunch' discounts. If you have been thinking about buying some of their Signature Effects then now is the time to have a look and treat yourself to something really special! 13.12.08


Magic Memorabilia Auction. Potter & Potter Auctions (Chicago) is pleased to announce its next auction, a Marketplace sale of magic memorabilia, scheduled for January 18th, 2009. Absentee bids are accepted via fax and email and phone bids are welcome during the sale. Visit for more information. 13.12.08


One Enchanted Evening "Spellbinding magic that brings wonder back to life!" Tonight, Saturday 13th December, starring Mark Townsend. "Wonderful and heart-warming" Brian Viner, The Independent. 8pm at The Conquest Theatre, Bromyard. Telephone 01885 488575. 13.12.08


Presidents of Magical Societies in Scotland. Perth Magic Circle hosted the first ever meeting of the Presidents of Magical Societies in Scotland on November 18th. Jim Craig, the Perth president welcomed our guests and performed an intriguing cord of wand release which was an old, beautifully made Thayer prop! All the visiting presidents took it in turn to perform one or two of their favourite effects and it is great to report that there were no embarrassing mishaps! The President of the Northern Magic Circle, Jim Cuthbert 'gatecrashed' the meeting at our invitation which was a feat in itself as he had just flown back from attending a convention in Chicago that same afternoon, and showed no sign of jetlag. Unfortunately, Jim Boyd from Kicaldy M.C. and Greig Forbes of West Lothian M.C. could not attend due to family illness and Aberdeen M.C. was the only other club not represented. Pictured from l to r are (standing) Mike Archibald - Scottish Conjurors Assoc., Stuart Chalmers - Forth Valley Magic Circle, Dick McNamara - Kilmarnock Magic Circle, George Colvan - Glasgow Magic Circle, (seated) Margaret McLean - Paisley Magic Circle, Ricky McLeod - Scottish Assoc. of Magical Societies, Jim Craig - Perth Magic Circle, Jim Cuthbert - Northern Magic Circle and Albert Lawson - Dundee Society of Magicians. Reported by Adrian Harris (Hon. Sec.) Perth Magic Circle. 13.12.08


Zane's Magic Shop - Christmas Offer. Zane's Magic Shop are offering a 10% discount on any tricks and DVDs that are currently in stock up until December 31st. To benefit from the discount email them at the time of your order and mention the "Christmas Offer" in your email - you will then be refunded 10%. Visit to see what's new. 13.12.08


Blindspot - Don't believe everything you see! "J B Magic are proud to be working in conjunction with Bob Swadling, one of the world's leading creators of magic effects. Bob has created a revolutionary gimmick for performing the classic coin in bottle effect, we call it Blindspot. Every now and them something extra special arrives on the magic scene, this we know you will agree, is one of those times. Imagine holding a totally clear bottle, letting a spectator examine both the bottle and the cap, inside and out. Under these impossible circumstances you can still perform the coin in bottle effect. Blindspot is an incredible, brand new gimmick, that will allow you to perform the coin in bottle on a whole new level. No gimmicked bottles, no gimmicked bottle caps, any totally see-through bottle, no covering the bottle of any kind. Bottle and cap can be fully examined!" Watch an online demo Click Here. 13.12.08


Mark Raffles was on BBC Radio 4's Midweek last week. To listen to the chat (about 13 minutes in) for the next few days only Click Here. Mark can be seen in Ida Barr: So this is Christmas until December 23rd. "Former music hall singer turned elderly rap star and purveyor of her own brand of RnB Artificial Hip Hop, Ida Barr is leaving her retirement home behind this Yuletide to bring you a ‘flava’ of Christmas in this interactive festive delight. Get yourself comfy with a glass of warm sherry and a box of Quality Street, and enjoy some fresh rhymes and urban licks from ‘the People’s Pensioner’. With live mixing from hot young DJ Godslove, special guest Magician Extraordinaire Mark Raffles and featuring Comedy Ingenue Jess Robinson, a few rounds of Bingo for top (Poundstretcher) prizes and seasonal sing songs, this is a real Christmas cracker." Tickets £15.00. Box Office: 0845 1207511. 13.12.08


Super Scottish Magic Auction, Sunday, 19th April 2009. The popular annual magic auction, hosted by Perth Magic Circle will again take place in Perth & District Ex-Servicemen's Club, 8-10 Brown Street, Perth PH1 5QE. Doors open at noon for the receiving and viewing of items, and the sale commences at 1pm. Refreshments and bar facilities available. Admission £3.00 on the door, plus sellers only commission. For more information email 13.12.08


Steve Cantwell: Master of the Mind. February 20th at The Camberley Theatre, Surrey. "The first half of the show demonstrates various psychological techniques such as subliminal messaging, reading body language and mnemonics; the second half explores the ideas of fate and destiny. All wrapped up, of course, in a laughter-packed evening of audience participation." All proceeds to the Rushmoor Rotary's Freewheeling project, taking wheelchairs to Africa, and to PAG (Parent Action Group), providing activities for disabled youngsters to give their parents a small break. Friday 20th February at 8pm. Tickets £12.00. Box Office: 01276 70760 13.12.08


Variety Club Christmas Lunch. MagicWeek enjoyed a magical Christmas lunch on Tuesday as guests of and in support of Variety Club, The Children's Charity. Over 400 guests gathered at the London Hilton on Park Lane to enjoy a festive extravaganza full of entertainment, celebrities and, of course, Christmas lunch with all the trimmings. The excellent cabaret show featured impressionist Jon Culshaw, music from the cast of West End musical ‘The Jersey Boys’, stage pickpocket ‘The Man of Steal’ and rising star Martyn Rowland (photo), who charmed the entire room with comedy, baffling magic and a mischievous smile. 13.12.08


Stephen's got the X Factor. Stephen Barry is seen here with X Factor judge Louis Walsh at the O2 on Wednesday where he performed at the Capital Radio Jingle Bells Ball after show party. Earlier in the day Stephen entertained at the ICAP’s 16th Annual Global Charity Day which last year raised an amazing 9.2 million pounds, helping over 160 charities around the world. This year's special guest was Prince Harry. 13.12.08


Lez the Fez, Gary Jones and Sean East entertained corporate clients from the financial world in Central London last week. Lez said "it was great working with fellow Magic Circle members Sean and Gary, and despite the credit crunch Pershing Limited really laid on a lavish bash." 13.12.08


Chubby Harris will be appearing at the Marine Hall, Fleetwood, Lancashire on Saturday January 10th, as part of a Variety Gala Charity Show raising money for the North West Air Ambulance Service. Also on the bill, a comedian, singers and dance troupes. Chubby will be doing "meet and greet" with Branson Bear (he is always getting in a pickle), a 20 minute spot of mad comedy magic in the show, and some balloon modelling during the interval. Tickets are £5.00 for adults and £3.00 for children from the box office on  01253 771141, and the show starts at 7.30pm. 13.12.08


Derren Brown makes his television acting debut later this month, when he appears as Sir Roger Widdowson in Crooked House - see TV Magic • "Richard Dawkins discusses psychics with Derren Brown" Click Here • "And for his next trick... Gordon Bruce needs to find a home for the vast and highly valuable collection of books on magic that fills his house." Click Here • "Young magician’s talents are no illusion" Click Here • "Pamela Anderson relies on an old trick as she strips off for magic show" Click Here • "Edward VIII's links to a mystic" Click Here • Jason Steele and Joanne will be appearing as guest cabaret artistes onboard the MV Bretagne from December 24th - January 1st for Brittany Ferries festive mini cruises to Rouan • December's Scientific American magazine contains an eight page article titled 'Magic and the Brain' • 'Derren Brown Mindreader: An Evening of Wonders' at the Garrick has been nominated for a What's On Stage Theatregoers Award. To add your vote, Click Here • "All set for a magic Panto with Paul and Debbie" Click Here • News of upcoming magic events always welcomed - that's it for another week, see you next week, Duncan. 13.12.08