The London Festival of Magic 2013

11th - 15th November 2013

Reported by Roberto Forzoni

The Magic of Magic Monday 11th November
Street & Alfresco Magic Tuesday 12th November
Mentalism Wednesday 13th November
Card & Coin Magic Thursday 14th November
Characterisation & Stagecraft Friday 15th November


Day Three: Mentalism

Today saw a mixture of mind readers from a number of countries (inc Germany, America, Canada & UK) with very different philosophies and styles of delivery, from serious to the comedic, obvious to the sublime.

Session one: Inside The Minds Eye Pete Turner

This was an exceptionally strong lecture to start the day. Pete’s philosophy was that it was all about the effect – “How can I make it as strong as possible?” – and boy did he deliver. He started with a video introduction showing his preferred performance style of adding emotion and storytelling he adds to his mentalism. He spoke about valuing people’s time and wanted to leave his spectator and the audience with a special memory from the performance – it was a reason to do his magic. Pete demonstrated two impressively strong direct mind reading effects that had the audience of mentalist and magicians jaws agasp. The first demonstration used three random spectators for an ACAAN effect and was delivered so well that most of the audience were left totally bewildered; this was followed by a brilliant display of direct mind reading that was absolutely mind blowing whereby he casually selected a member of the audience and simply read his mind…over and over and over again. It’s a wonder he spends most of his time consultant to top performers all around the world.

Session two: Mentalism of an Eccentric Nature Charlie Frye

In total contrast with Pete Turner’s seriously strong Mentalism, Charlie had a much more light hearted approach and started with some neat spoon bending (and juggling) effects; he then went on to demonstrate a number of short amusing routines predicting time, lottery/bingo ball numbers, along with a twisted sisters type effect. He also demonstrated a neat watch routine based on Barry Richardson’s ‘reversed hand watch time’ but with a classic hand-held watch, before going on to an ESP prediction effect with a spectator. He finished with a T.A. Waters random number effect.

Session three: The Kufference Patrick Kuffs

From Canada Patrick’s style was totally different again – a more visually and verbally creativity mentalist – he shared one of his favourite principles and his favourite published effects. I loved his manner. He started with an amusing impossible object prediction with a member of the audience – it could only could have been done here and with that person – who had no idea what was coming! Patrick then shared two lovely variations using the Tossed out Deck principle. Very clever indeed. The first involved three spectators selecting cards and then using a dartboard with 52 cards and throwing darts at the three cards they had selected! He followed with a Rubik's cube effect again using three separate spectators selecting colours on a cube and revealing all three colours. A drawing duplication effect (which was made even funnier because the spectator drew something Patrick had a tattoo of on his shoulder!) was demonstrated with some real clever ways of peeking the image. Patrick went on to demonstrate a creative variation that could be used on stage whereby a spectator simply drew something using his back as a table. He shared a great tip on using foil as a blindfold too - buy his DVD to find out how creative this routine is. Thank you Patrick. You are an entertainer – and a good one too!

Session Four: Transmission of information Morgan & West

After giving a beautiful demonstration of direct mind thought transmission taken directly from their show, Morgan and West gave an informative and very creative lecture about working in a partnership and how to transmit information during your show. This was another masterclass. If you had never thought of using coding in your show / act you might well have changed you mind during the course of this lecture. The duo first offered some tips on working as a partnership (including respect, trust, don’t hate your partner!, have the same goals and be as dedicated as each other). They spoke about mentalism effects in general being based around 3 or 4 basic stages of information creation, acquisition (& transmission) and finally revelation. There were sneaky ways to encourage people to think of certain things (e.g. a card) and a number of methods to acquire this information and likewise reveal the information – their creative minds just made these processes so much fun.

The main bulk of the lectured focussed on how information may be transmitted between two people on stage and their insights were thoughtful, wonderful and so creative; they spoke about coded and un-coded transmission, verbal and physical code, written and unwritten – they really dispelled some misguided pre-conceptions I had on the limited potential ways in which coding could be used - some of the methods were so bold as to be worth putting into your show just for the hell of doing them! Really interesting thoughts and concepts of how and when you might use coding. A really useful, entertaining and informative lecture and exactly the reason you might attend the Festival of Magic. If you are considering using coding, or currently use coding, in your act, contact Morgan and West for the notes to this lecture. You wont be disappointed.

Session Five: Mind Reading from the Country without humour Florian Severin

Florian started his show by giving away some sweets to spectators (using concept of reciprocity) so they might start liking him (as they may not at the end! He tries to be risqué in his shows and will go close to being unconventional – whilst understanding the dangerous and difficult line he takes. He opened with a dating agency routine – pick a lady which had a reason and rationale behind it. He spoke of story telling and having a reason for the effects (so using cards of women from dating agency rather than ESP cards!). Parts of the routine were designed to lower expectation in order to help elevate the next effect and make it even more strong. He wanted to make his magic visual. Florian spoke about how he would offer a free show in return for feedback and even asking if they had any idea how a trick was done (which, incidentally, gave him possible ideas on how to do in in a different way) and also allowed him to build in scripting to avoid other people thinking the same thing. A two people routine of one reading each others mind, using a development from a Larry Becker idea followed, and he finished with an effect he called Psycho – another take on Al Koran’s medalian.

Evening Show

A mind reading basis to tonight's show following the days lectures, with some added magical spice and compered yet again and sounding fresher every night (must be drugs) was Noel Britten, who continued to bring the audience to tears (in a pleasant way) with his highly humorous delivery.

Florian Severin opened with mind reading German style… demonstrating an amusing routine of injustice and revenge with parking warden – making one disappear! Wish I could really do that…

French Canadian magician Patrick Kuffs followed after making a funny entrance direct from the underground! Patrick has great comedic value and is a very funny and very entertaining; there was something about that French Canadian accent that elevated the whole performance – see this man if you can. Pete Turner ended the first half with a display of great display of direct mind reading that had an audience member in quasi hysteria! Strong mentalism.

Florian Severin returned to open the second half for some life-threatening dangerous mindreading – the tension. The brilliant Alan Hudson ended the show. What a strong show.


© Roberto Forzoni, November 2013