Number 660 - 16th February 2013


The 61st Blackpool Convention opens it doors this Friday, and already dates for next year's convention have been released. They are Friday 21st, Saturday 22nd and Sunday 23rd February 2014, and the registration desk for 2014 is now open! For 2014 the organisers announce: "The 'Four F's' come to Blackpool! Obie O'Brien has for many years produced the famous close up convention 'Fechter's Finger Flinging Frolics' known affectionately as the 'Four F's'. We are pleased to inform you that Obie has kindly agreed to help to organise many of the world class close up performers who have starred at his convention. Expect big names galore. The registration desk for 2014 is now open. Pick up a registration form on the registration desk and book early so that you get a good seat. The cost of a full gold card registration which covers all 3 days and all the events including show tickets is just £95.00." To see this year's excellent programme Click Here, and for more information visit 16.2.13


Dynamo: Magician Impossible - Virgin Media Awards TV Show of the Year: "You voted in your millions in the first annual Virgin Media Awards, now it's time to reveal the results and find out how your favourites did." Click Here. "Dynamo wins TV Show of the Year at Virgin Media Awards" Click Here. 16.2.13


Mat Ricardo's London Varieties 2013 Season! February 28th Omid Djalili, March 28th Al Murray, April 25th Paul Daniels. The first three shows for the 2013 season of Mat Ricardo's London Varieties have just been announced. This year they've moved to the Leicester Square Theatre but all the features and surprises you loved last year will be back... bigger and crazier too! Mat Ricardo writes: "Just last like year, the interview from each show will be podcast, but additionally, an edited version of the show will be professionally filmed and put online so you can watch it at home! For free! I figured if TV won't make a proper variety show, then I will! And, as you can see, we've got some big names. Some of them you'll know, and some of them maybe you won't, but every single person on all of the bills is the absolute best at what they do, and I'm proud and - frankly - stunned to be welcoming them to The Varieties. We've got some bona-fide legends and heroes of variety and circus coming your way this year.


For the opening night we've got the hilarious Kev Orkian, the UK's funniest magician John Archer, the spectacle that is Craig the Incredible Hula Boy, and I'll be sitting down for a chat with the brilliant Omid Djalili - comedian, actor, and, recently, high diver! It's going to be special, and if you ever considered coming to one of these shows but haven't - now's the time! Get yourself a ticket to the first night and lets pack that theatre and show the West End that there's an audience for a knock-down, drag-out, no-apologies, no-compromise variety show!" For more info, dates and to book tickets Click Here. 16.2.13


Gregory Wilson Lecture, at the AWS. "Gregory Wilson is an American magician and a two time FISM Winner, who specializes in close-up magic, and is the subject of a chapter in magician Paul Harris's book, Art of Astonishment, Vol. 1. He is a regular performer at the Magic Castle in Hollywood, as well as large corporate events all over the world. In 1998, Greg was also awarded the 'Most Creative Magician of the Year' by the International Brotherhood of Magicians. He has contributed scores of original effects to MAGIC, Genii, Linking Ring, M.U.M., Arcane, Penumbra, Magic Menu and other magazines, as well as a full chapter in Paul Harris' The Art of Astonishment, a chapter in Harry Lorayne's Best of Friends 3, a chapter in John Lovick's Switch, and a chapter in the wildly popular Magic for Dummies. Just don't hold that last one against him! He has performed and lectured in 44 countries and 1,000 cities, giving him the experience to add to your own personal experience." Tuesday, 30th April. Doors Open 7.30pm. Visiting magicians welcome (£5 door charge). Host: Darren Holden. Venue: Woolston & Sholing Conservative Club, 74 St Annes Rodd, Southampton, Hampshire SO19 9FF (Map). 16.2.13


Matthew Wright Lecture - Coventry Magic Circle. Steve Clements writes: Two days after competing at the International Close Up Magic Competition at the Blackpool Magic Convention, two time FISM award winner Matthew Wright is visiting Coventry Magic Circle to lecture on Tuesday February 26th at 8pm. A full time working professional, Matthew is also Director of Magic at The House of Illusion in Spain and was the Head Magician at Illusions Magic Bar in the UK before that. Matthew brings all this experience together in an action-packed lecture which includes every aspect of performance including character building, movement, scripting and routining. The lecture will include many effects which feature directly in Matthew's working repertoire and will have something for everyone of all skill levels. Don't miss this opportunity to see one of magic's stars at Coventry Magic Circle; visiting magicians welcome, £10 entrance fee payable on the door. Coventry Magic Circle, Bentley Road Sports & Social Club, Nuneaton, Warwickshire CV11 5LR (Map) 16.2.13


The Berglas Effects - A limited number of signed copies are currently available directly from David Berglas. "This is a wonderful, wonderful book, as well as one that resonates with me very much personally. I feel a slight voyeuristic guilt being allowed in as much as this, into his hidden world, but also the joy of seeing so lucidly before me what seems now to be the ONLY way to present card material. Where the performer is all and there's no card 'plot' to follow along with. This is a unique delight to be reading." Derren Brown. Written by magic’s most experienced author Richard Kaufman. Foreword by Juan Tamariz, Afterword by Max Maven. Includes 3 feature-packed DVDs. Limited number now available here in the UK, signed by David Berglas. Click Here for ordering details. 16.2.12


Steve Evans wins Close-up Trophy for the second year running. Sue Oakley, Secretary of the WCM reports: On Wednesday the 6th February, Steve Evans deservedly won the Wolverhampton Circle of Magicians Close-up Trophy for the second year running. Steve also holds the trophies for the WCM Stage and pocket tricks competitions. The trophy was presented by president David Oakley. 16.2.13


Marcelo Insua (Mr Tango) Lecture, at the AWS. "Marcelo Insua is the owner of the Tango Magic gaffed coins factory. He has been a professional magician for more than 20 years and has the only magic bar theatre in South America, called Bar Mágico. Four years ago he invented a new gaffed coin called TUC - Tango Ultimate Coin, which allows you to perform the most difficult coin magic routine with just a few minutes of practice. In July 2012, Marcelo received the FISM Invention Award for his creation. His Stress Free Magic Lecture will include routines with coins, cards and mentalism." Tuesday, 26th February. Doors Open 7.30pm. Visiting magicians welcome (£5 door charge). Host: Darren Holden. Venue: Woolston & Sholing Conservative Club, 74 St Annes Rodd, Southampton, Hampshire SO19 9FF (Map). 16.2.13


Ian Keable lecture - Derby Magic Circle. Paul Sharp writes:  Ian Keable will be lecturing for the Derby Magic Circle on Wednesday, 27th February, at Breadsall Village Hall, Derby. In his lecture Ian performs and explains several tricks from his professional repertoire to illustrate not only how to, but also how not to, do Cabaret magic. Ian also talks about choosing Cabaret material, how to be funny, patter to avoid, dealing with hecklers, using assistants from the audience and other aspects of Cabaret magic which can only be learnt through solid performing experience. Above all the lecture is designed to be entertaining. He guarantees that even if you don't use any of his tricks or buy his lecture notes, you will still have a thoroughly enjoyable evening. Visiting magicians are very welcome at Derby, there is a small fee of £8 payable on the night. Please contact our secretary Allan Humphries on 01889 590 975 prior to attending. For more information about our programme for the remainder of the year please visit 16.2.13


One:Twist / Two:Fusion; ingenious new routines from Axel Hecklau. Axel writes: "There have been, in the past, numerous published versions of the torn and restored playing card. I was always fascinated by this effect but never found a version which leaves the spectator with an everlasting impression. At the end, you are only left with a signed, folded card on the table, without any emotional content, which will be rapidly disregarded. The probable reason is that a playing card has no particular value, either financial, ideal nor emotional. The only version I know of, where the card is worth a lot is the torn baseball card (Tom Assunder) from Chris Kenner which was performed by David Copperfield in his TV Special in 1993. But even in this version there is no real reason to tear the card. It is a general problem: to justify destroying something just to demonstrate that you have the ability to restore it..." To continue reading Axel's thoughts and watch some video demonstrations of his very latest effect visit: 16.2.13


Magicians wanted for 'Magic behind the Medicine', Thackray Medical Museum, Leeds. Lauren Ryall-Stockton writes: I am the assistant curator at the Thackray Medical Museum in Leeds. We are preparing to open our big exhibition for 2013 which is called ‘Magic behind the Medicine’, looking at the history of medicine and magical links. We received an Arts Council grant to enable us to produce this exhibition, and part of the overall project is a clinical trial working with young hospital patients to use magic tricks to help with their rehabilitation - In order to make the exhibition really come alive for visitors we are looking for people with magical skills, either professional or amateur, who could spend some time in the museum performing sleight of hand and close up magic. We especially wanted some people to do this at our VIP events on the 27th, 28th and 29th March 2013. For the launch events we will have the press involved and lots of people connected with the arts and NHS in Yorkshire, so it could be a good opportunity for networking and practising skills on a very varied audience. There will be families at all the VIP events as well as throughout the exhibition, and we are keen to hear from performers both young and old who are interested in taking part. Enquiries can be made to me directly at this email address and more information about the museum can be found on our website 16.2.13


The Wallet Transformer: An ingenious gimmick that turns any normal wallet (with at least one credit card slot) into a ‘Signed Card To Wallet’ utility wallet. The Wallet Transformer allows you to show a single playing card tucked inside your wallet. In the cleanest manner imaginable you pull the card out to show that it is the signed card belonging to your spectator that everyone believed was lost in the deck. Key points: The gimmick can be fitted into any wallet; The gimmick can be moved between different wallets in seconds; Makes performing ‘Signed Card To Wallet’ incredibly easy!; Fits in hip wallets, chequebook style wallets and dress wallets; The ingenious design of the gimmick will make you giggle. Find out more, visit 16.2.13


Look, no books! First the bad news, Look No Hands by Wayne Dobson has now sold out in its printed format. Now the good news, Wayne's just made it available as an eBook (PDF), saving you money in the process too. Look No Hands features ten incredible 'hands off' routines: "The one condition I set myself in developing these routines is that effects would not be diluted just because they were 'hands off' – in fact, if anything, they would become stronger. Well they did become stronger, much stronger! A couple of these routines have been published before however they have now been fully updated to become totally 'hands off'. For instance my 'Echo' routine is fully described with complete patter and a new finish. There are also lots of new routines that are all extremely commercial." For more information and to order visit (and remember to check out the newly published follow up book 'More Look No Hands' too!) 16.2.13



Kirkstall Hotel, Blackpool. 3 star guest house 2 minutes from the Wintergardens, fully central heated and recently refurbished. Good food, warm atmosphere, single rooms available, all rooms ensuite. Special offer B&B Friday and Saturday for £40 per person. Evening meals available on request. Late check-out. Flexible breakfast times. Please try us you will notice the difference. 25 Hull Road, Blackpool, FY14QB. Website: Tel: 01253 623077. 16.2.13


Hide & Seek: James Brown: "A superb collection of routines using James' version of an old Pat Page idea. Playing Cards, Credit Cards, Books and Phones are all used in a series of superb magic effects that will blow your audiences' minds. Best of all no gimmick or device is used to accomplish any of the routines! Russ Stevens of rsvpmagic said: 'This is the second of our big Blackpool Releases and I know that the magic featured will be used by most professional magicians once they see this DVD. We're also offering a special deal to purchasers of our unique ATW wallet. Buy the wallet and get the James Brown "Hide & Seek" DVD free! (limited time only).' You can see the trailer here:" 16.2.13


Magical comedian Dain Cordean has been asked to headline "Seaside Special" at Cromer Pier, Norfolk, for a second year running. Dain was the first magician to be asked to headline the show which has been running for 35 years. The show runs from the 15th of June to the 28th of September. To book tickets visit 16.2.13


AWS Open Evening: "The AWS are having an open evening on Tuesday 19th February. Come along and see what it is about, learn a few tricks along the way. The AWS is a friendly club based in Southampton, with members from all walks and levels of magical experience. Bring along your friends it will be a great evening for all. We've even got nibbles. 7.30pm. Woolston & Sholing Conservative Club, 74 St Annes Road, Southampton, Hampshire SO19 9FF (Map). For more information contact Nick Chandler (do not contact the venue itself). Darren Holden. 16.2.13


The Home Counties Magical Society. Robin Maddy writes: "The Home Counties Magical Society has a superb evening arranged for Thursday 28th February. Paul Hyland will be presenting his special evening entitled "The Art of the Impossible". It consist of two parts, "Pocket Cabaret" and "No Gaffs or Sleights (almost)". Magic for Close-Up, Cabaret and Banquet. Something for everybody at all levels. Not to be missed. The meeting starts at 8pm but the doors will be open at 7.30pm. Guests are very welcome at a fee of £10. Meetings are held at Shinfield Parish Hall, School Green, Shinfield RG2 9EH (Map). Look forward to seeing you there." 16.2.13


Packs Small - Plays Massive... "From one of the world's most successful cruise ship magicians, Jamie Allan, comes a brand new 2 DVD set "Packs Small - Plays Massive. Take your close-up magic to the next level and a whole new audience. Bigger crowds, bigger money and bigger successes will follow if you apply some of the routines and ideas that Jamie teaches on these two DVDs. Best of all, the magic all fits into your pockets! Russ Stevens of rsvpmagic said: 'It's taken me several years to persuade Jamie to do this project for us, as this is Jamie explaining just how to take your magic up several gears in just a few easy steps. Also featured and explained are several of Jamie's favourite routines that he uses every night. Learn not just the secrets to the tricks, but also why they work and get the reactions they do. There has been nothing like this on the market before.' Watch the trailer here:" 16.2.13


Mr Albert's Big Finish! - Blackpool. Jon Marshall's Magic Carpet Theatre are presenting their variety and magic show for young audiences and families, Mr Albert's Big Finish!, at Blackpool's Showzam Festival, from Monday 18th to Friday 22nd February. Mr Albert’s Theatre is about to close... Charlie the Caretaker wants to save it by putting on a variety show, but they need a Big Finish! Will the Safety Inspector let Charlie do something dangerous? Has Mr Albert got talent and will he perform the Fastest Magic Trick in the World? Can Charlie learn to juggle in time to save the theatre? There’s loads of fun and audience participation in this exciting show set in an old theatre, this colourful family comedy is a roller coaster ride of music-hall, magic and mayhem. 2pm daily And the show is accompanied by a daily workshop at 11am - Mr Albert's Trade of the Tricks. Ever wanted to pull a tablecloth from under a load of crockery? How about magically floating a glass of water in the air? You will be able to try these stunts and much more in this fun, 1½ hour workshop session. Make, explore and perform traditional variety act techniques, magic, comedy, slapstick and balancing things on your nose. The Grand Theatre Studio, 33 Church Street, Blackpool FY1 1HT (Map). Phone 01253 478222. 16.2.13


Italian mentalist Luca Volpe lectures at the Peterborough Society of Magicians on 19th February. The lecture focuses on the presentation of stage and close-up routines from his professional repertoire. The evening will be open to non-members (£5 including interval refreshments) and will start at 7.30pm at Millfield Community Centre, New England Complex, Lincoln Road, Peterborough PE1 2PE (Map). Luca then heads back to Italy for a Mentalism Seminar he is presenting at the Unicorn in Rome. From May to October he will be performing his new show for Princess Cruises. 16.2.13


The Order of the Magi Annual Dinner and Cabaret. Geoffrey Newton PRO writes: "The Order of the Magi (Manchester) are holding their 2013 Annual Dinner and Cabaret in their new premises, the Irish World Heritage Centre, 1 Irish Town Way, Manchester M8 0AE (Map) on Saturday the 23rd March. The cabaret features the comedy juggling of Steve Royle and the amazing illusions of Visage (photo). All this is in the very capable hands of compere Peter Moran. Later you can boogie away into the night with the music of ‘Oz’ a local DJ who is much in demand in the area. Every year The Magi puts a theme on their dinner and this time is will be Camelot. Come along and be part of the visiting nobility from this well documented legend from back in times gone by. You never know you may even meet Merlin! At only £35 per ticket it represents remarkably good value for money especially in this day and age. The Guest of Honour will be the International President of The International Brotherhood of Magicians John Pye with his Lady, Carol. They will be joined at the top table with Magi President Joe Abrahams and his Lady Sybil and the British Ring President John ‘Sly’ Smith and his Lady June. Further details on or contact" 16.2.13


Dundee Society of Magicians and Perth Magic Circle. Adrian Harris writes: Dundee Society of Magicians and Perth Magic Circle held a joint belated Christmas Dinner on 7th February at the Park Hotel Dundee. Now a regular event in both clubs' diaries, the evening was organised once again by George Tennant who also ran a free raffle and a quiz with a film theme. Strangely the raffle and the quiz were both won by a group of nurses who enjoy watching magic and came along for a fun night out! A company of approximately 30, which consisted of members of both clubs, families and friends, enjoyed a three course meal, before a Cabaret style show given by representatives from both clubs. The event was compered by Paul Cuningham and the artistes participating were President of the Dundee club, Harry Mudie, Craig Kirkwood and Albert Lawson who performed the act with which he won the Harold McMillan Shield in the Stage Competition at the 2012 S.A.M.S. Convention. Performers from the Perth club were Perth M.C.'s President Gus McGregor, Ian Dougall and Adrian Harris. 16.2.13


Paul Gordon lecture - Bolton Magician's Club. James Hodgkiss writes: Bolton Magician's Club is delighted to host Paul Gordon, one of the UK’s leading (and busiest) professional close-up magicians and entertainers. He is an award-winning member of The Sussex Magic Circle, and one of the country's foremost card magic authors. Paul will be presenting his lecture entitled 'Commercial Card Magic' at Bolton Magicians' Club on Wednesday 20th February 8.30pm. Paul's website is and the venue is the Doffcocker Inn, Chorley Old Road, Bolton BL1 5QD (Map). There will be an nominal entrance fee of £5.00 for visiting magicians from other societies, who are most welcome. For directions to the Doffcocker Inn visit or telephone James Hodgkiss on 01204 522651. 16.2.13


Britain Does Variety 2013. From the organisers: "Auditions start this weekend for Britain Does Variety. If you'd like your chance to perform on TV, at the O2 or in front of the exec producer of the Royal Variety Performance then head to our website and book your chance to shine! Good luck, The BDV Team" 2.2.13


Ian D Montfort Is: Unbelievable. Episode 3, 9.30pm on Thursday 21st February on BBC Radio Two. "Ian D Montfort, spirit medium from Sheffield, stars in this comedy showcase that will amaze as well as entertain. With broadcaster, presenter and cook Hardeep Singh Kohli." See TV Magic for listings. 16.2.13


The Magic Show, Nottingham. Freddie Wilkinson writes: "Just a quick update on last Friday's charity tribute show for Allen Tipton. The show was a complete sell out (many thanks to MagicWeek) and a great success. The M1 being closed all afternoon made life interesting by adding 3 - 4 hours to some peoples journeys, but come 7.30pm everyone was ready for a great night. One of the highlights was Marc Oberon premiering a new mind reading effect, that I believe he is going to launch at the Blackpool Convention. If he does I urge you to buy it no matter what the price, as it's amazing! The total raised was £1,086.71 for the local charity When You Wish Upon A Star. A huge thank you to everyone who helped and supported the evening." 16.2.13


Harry Mudie, President Dundee Society of Magicians, writes: On Sunday the 10th February Dundee Society of Magicians helped host a party for Fairy Box, a charity that makes life a little easier for sick kids. All the magicians in the Circle took part hosting the tables and performing magic. This was a dress up party and was also helped along with many Star Wars characters. Ravin from children's television was also there, along with Steve Cousins (Balloonatic). 16.2.13


Tonny van Dommelen. Gerard Scanlan writes: Tonny van Dommelen passed away on the 6th of February 2013. He won FISM in 1958. 16.2.13


News deadline for all submissions next week: 12 noon Thursday 21st February. 16.2.13


"Britain's Got Talent 2013: Magician James More impresses Simon Cowell" Click Here and "Britain’s Got Talent 2013 spoilers: James More moves from Penn & Teller to Simon Cowell & David Walliams" Click Here • "Magician watched on as five die in cruise horror" Click Here • "Magician mixes modern medicine with magic to heal patients" Click Here • "Revealing secrets of the magic arts" Click Here • You talkin' to me? "Derren Brown prepares to play more tricks on the mind at Birmingham's New Alexandra Theatre" Click Here • "‘Cups and Balls’ magic trick sheds light on neuroscience of illusion" Click Here • Founder of The Magic Castle and Santa Barbara Resident Reflects on His Legacy" Click Here • "Rochford magician organises major West End magic show" Click Here • Geoffrey Newton reports on the recent Order of the Magic Open Night, Click Here • "Acclaimed magician heading for Durham" Click Here • "Purley magician Lewis Swires looks to follow in footsteps of Derren Brown" Click Here • "Clarkson magician breaks world records" Click Here • Thanks for your news, always welcomed - see you next week, Duncan. 16.2.13