Number 608 - 18th February 2012


"Derren Brown Svengali: The eeriest, most captivating, brain-baffling show I’ve ever seen" Click Here. Derren Brown Svengali is now on tour - see What's On or visit for venues and dates. If you've never seen Derren live then you've missed out on the very best! 18.2.12


Pete Firman: poster-boy for British comedy magic. "Pete Firman – chipper star of The Magicians – is out on the road touring from this week. He’s not letting the rabbit out of the bag yet, though, as to whether he’ll be having his notorious way with maggots, as seen on TV..." To read the full story by Dominic Cavendi in The Telegraph Click Here. "Could it be magic? Pete Firman on his baffling new show" Click Here. 18.2.12


Celebrity magician Paul Daniels. "When it comes to television and mainstream magic, no one’s had more success than Paul Daniels. As undoubtedly one of the most accomplished magicians in the world, and with a reputation as one of the most popular society and showbusiness entertainers, he continues to enthrall audiences with his fantastic tricks and comedy for people of all ages..." To read the full article by Vicky Robson in The Journal Click Here. "Paul Daniels: I got more of a response at the PA Awards than usual" Click Here. 18.2.12


Chris Cox: Fatal Distraction E4 Udderbelly, London, 29th May and 19th June 2012 at 9pm. Tickets now on sale. Chris Cox returns to London's Southbank with his award-winning show Fatal Distraction for two performances only at the E4 Udderbelly Festival. Fatal Distraction is the fifth brand-new show from the multi award-winning, five star, fringe sell-out, mind reader who can’t read minds, Chris Cox. He’s been on TV, toured the world and is somehow still getting away with it. Chris will be doing things he shouldn’t be able to do with the fringe brochure, performing tricks nobody has ever done before, controlling coincidence, probing theories of fate and answering the FAQ: ‘Can you use this stuff on girls?’ ‘Stunning.... has other magicians scratching their heads.' The Times. Tickets/info: / 18.2.12


Magician and musician worked together for years before marrying. "For Abigail Spinner McBride, the magic moment happened when she first laid eyes on her future husband, Jeff McBride. It just took a while to percolate. 'I saw him around the campfire one night,' Abigail said. 'I knew he was the one, and I knew I was not ready...'" To read the full story by F. Andrew Taylor in the Las Vegas Review Journal Click Here. 18.2.12


Kings Arms Magic and Mentalism Festival, Salford. The first ever Kings Arms Magic and Mentalism Festival will place at the end of March, as the Bloom Street venue plays host to 20 different magical events over 7 days. "A huge array of shows and demonstrations of the magical and mysterious will be taking place as part of the festival. From good old fashioned conjuring and close-up card tricks, through to mind-reading and hypnosis, to mediumship and ghost hunting. There will be plenty of opportunities for audiences to get in on the fun, with shows such as 'How Psychic Are You?' and 'The H Factor' and through afternoon workshops on NLP. Two of the best known names on the bill are John Lenahan and Fay Presto. A lot of the magical performers are local, but there is an international side to the festival. Italian Luca Volpe will be travelling to the North West to demonstrate the art of two-person telepathy with his assistant Rebecca Lea. Card Ninja Javier Jarquin originally hails from New Zealand but has recently been dazzling audience with his card stunts. And if Scotland does claim independence then we could also consider madcap magicians Douglas Cameron and Liam McLaughlin as from foreign climes. All events are individually priced but nothing will be more than £10 and most performances will come in around the £6 mark, which seems a small price for a whole week of entertainment magic." Venue: The Kings Arms, 11 Bloom Street, Salford, M3 6AN (Map). Dates: 26th March - 1st April 2012. Tickets: between £5 and £10. Booking: or 08444 77 1000. 18.2.12


Paul Gordon joins the line-up of artistes appearing at Magic UnCorked, the Irish IBM Magic Convention, in April. "Paul Gordon is well known in Irish Magic circles and we are delighted to announce that he will be joining us as part of Magic UnCorked. Paul is known for his expert sleight of hand technique, a skill which has made him one the top close-up professional magicians in the UK." Magic UnCorked will be held in Cork City, Ireland, on the 27th, 28th, and 29th April 2012. Sponsored by Soho Bar and Restaurant, this is the first time that the Irish Convention will be held in Cork and it is already shaping up to be a great event with a line up including Helder Guimarães, Luke Jermay, John Lenehan, Paul Gordon, Quentin Reynolds, Diamond Jim Tyler and now Paul Gordon. The Convention headquarters will be the 4 star Ambassador Hotel, with Gala shows taking place in the nearby, Triskel Arts Centre. For full convention details, including registration and hotel details, visit 18.2.12


Terry Herbert will be presenting a very special magic show for children of all ages full of fun, laughter and excitement on Friday 2nd March at 3.45pm at the Sevenoaks Kaleidoscope Library Museum and Gallery, Buckhurst Lane, Sevenoaks, Kent TN13 1LQ (Map). He will also be presenting a demonstration of some of his amazing mechanical toys that are on display in the museum. Tickets are available on 08458 247200 Booking is essential. 18.2.12


Ghost the Musical is currently booking until 13th October 2012 at the Piccadilly Theatre, Denman Street, London W1D 7DY, Monday to Saturday at 7.30pm, with Thursday and Saturday matinees at 2.30pm. Box Office 0844 871 7618, Ticket prices around £25 - £70 via 18.2.12


The Order of The Magi (Manchester) are holding a Jumbo Auction on Tuesday 28th February at The Irish World Heritage Centre, Queens Road, Manchester M8 8UF (Map) commencing at 7.30pm prompt but with viewing from 6.30pm. Lot numbers are now available - contact Max Townsend Entertainments Officer on 07800 618218 or email Details are on Door charge £3 for non members so do come along as there might be there the very thing you are looking for. Geoffrey Newton PRO. 18.2.12


An Evening of Deception - Cheltenham. Cheltenham's only live magic show, An Evening of Deception, is back for an extended run in 2012: "The show returns to The Everyman Theatre from February 22nd-25th 2012. Compère Steve Knibbs and magician Andi Gladwin will be joined by Derren Brown favourite, Peter Clifford, and the fabulous Kerry Scorah. The show completely sold out its last two runs as it brings live magic back to the birthplace of J N Maskeleyne." For updates follow the team on twitter @eodeception, join their new Facebook page Click Here or sign up to their mailing list Click Here Finally, and more importantly, to book tickets Click Here. 18.2.12


Edinburgh International Science Festival. Join psychological illusionist Derren Brown as he chats to Professor Richard Wiseman about the tricks of his trade. A rare opportunity to journey backstage and discover Derren’s thoughts about mind control, hypnosis, the paranormal, parrots and a whole host of other odd phenomena. No card tricks – and a packet of peanuts for the best question. 18.2.12


Lex Schoppi and Alina. The February 2012 issue of IBM's Linking Ring magazine features as its cover story the exciting quick change act, Lex Schoppi and Alina. The six page portrait of the couple 'Living for Change' was written by the editor Bobby Warren. More about Lex and Alina: Lex Schoppi has been awarded the title 'Author of the Year' for his books on the art of costume changing by the Magic Circle of Germany (MZvD). Right now there is a special deal on Quick Change 1 and Quick Change 2 if ordered together, 20% off from 18.2.12


Could it be Magic? Mike & Julie Evans perform their mesmerising show Could it be Magic? - a fast paced journey into the baffling world of magic - including mind reading, illusion, comedy and modern trickery. Described as "Fun, inventive and highly Entertaining" by The Stage, and A Mischievous Mind Magic Show, not only does it involve audience members, it astounds them too and promises to be a fascinating night! A special one-of performance takes place on Saturday 21st April at the Naphill Hall. Doors open at 7.30pm, and the show starts at 8pm. Tickets cost £10 each - reserve yours today. Ticket Hotline: 01494 565838 Naphill Village Hall, Naphill, High Wycombe HP14 4SX (Map). 18.2.12


Identity, the stage show. After a ten-night sell out tour of his show 'Use your Illusion' Adam Smith's all new show Identity will play at the Salomons Theatre, Tunbridge Wells TN3 0TG (Map) at 8pm on Saturday 21st April. "For a night of baffling magic and mentalism come along and see if we are really drawn to our own identity." Tickets £12.00. For further information and to book call the box office on 07920 772792. 18.2.12


Ian Adair's latest book 'Adair's Ideas on Kids' Magic' is published this week. Containing 182 pages, Ian has conjured up yet another sixty original kids' effects, all of which have been tried and tested in front of all age groups. Available from Practical Magic Ian's autobiography 'Dealing with Magic - The Rise & Fall of the Supreme Magic Company' recently went out of print, but a reprint has just been made and it is available again. 18.2.12


Britain Does Variety 2012 Auditions. From the organisers: "Are you entertaining enough to perform on TV? Do you have the talent to perform at the O2? Are you entertaining enough to share in a prize fund worth thousands of pounds?! Audition dates for Britain Does Variety 2012 have just been released and you can reserve your audition slot right now! Check out a video from the 2011 Grand Final here: Places are limited so we can ensure fair audition times, so don't hesitate or you might just miss out on your chance to perform in front of a huge live audience in some of the UK's best theatres ... more importantly, representatives from some of the UK's leading entertainment agencies will be watching for any new talent they think could take 2012 by storm and be Britain's next big thing! Three magicians who took part in Britain Does Variety 2011 appeared on Penn and Teller: Fool Us, and one very talented duo have now performed with Epic Creative, one of the UK's leading suppliers of cruise ship entertainment and a proud supporter of Britain Does Variety! There is a £5 reservation fee which is refunded if you're unsuccessful at your audition. This is to ensure you use your audition slot. Sign up now: Places and dates: Edinburgh 18th February, Birmingham 19th February, Leeds 4th March, Newport 10th March, Aldershot 11th March, Kettering 25th March, Maidstone 31st March, Exeter 1st April. Full details: 18.2.12


Captivity, Slavery and Survival as a Far East POW: The Conjuror on the Kwai. Captivity, Slavery and Survival as a Far East POW is the incredibly moving story of Gus Anckorn, a British soldier who was captured by the Japanese and held for over three and a half years. Before the war, Gus was a magician and throughout the war, entertained both fellow soldiers and Japanese guards with his tricks. Gus has a brilliant sense of humour and a 'tell it as it is' attitude which got him into a number of scrapes with both the Japanese and his own side. He has a remarkable humility to his character and is extremely endearing, both in the book and face to face guaranteeing massive media attention. Gus experienced terrible ordeals that no one should have to face. He should have been killed on four or five occasions, but remarkably survived due to quick thinking and good luck. Gus also reveals the heartache of leaving his fiancee behind and not knowing if he would ever see her again. Gus is still alive and active today, very publicity focused and well connected. He still holds the unique claim of being the youngest ever member of The Magic Circle and is now currently their oldest ever member. To order 'Captivity, Slavery and Survival as a Far East POW: The Conjuror on the Kwai' from Click Here. 18.2.12


Did you know magician Harold George Knowlton ('Haro') who lived in Portsmouth? Harold's daughter, Wendy Fowler (nee Knowlton), writes: "He died almost 40 years ago and had not been on stage for several years before. His main time as a magician would have been around the second world war. He was Harold George Knowlton, and lived in Portsmouth, Hampshire. His stage name was Haro. We cannot decide who is correct as I do not believe he was in the Magic Circle although other members of the family do. I seem to recall that after he died my mum said some of his tricks had to be returned to the Circle and I would really love to know the truth. I still have the costumes his assistants wore on stage (including a miniature one which I wore myself). These were black velvet with diamante motifs, similar to a large bikini with a small cape attached to epaulettes and a large full-length cape for wearing whilst not performing. Any help you could give me would be wonderful. Many thanks, Wendy Fowler (Mrs) nee Knowlton" 18.2.12


"The Houdini Experience: 200 ticket giveaway" Click Here • "Magician Jamie flatters to deceive" Click Here • "Talking Your Tech: Penn Jillette" Click Here • MagicWeek went up a little early this week - back to normal next week. Many thanks for your news submissions as always. See you next week, Duncan. 18.2.12