Number 338 - 16th December 2006


Smokin' Aces - opens in the UK January 12th. A dying mob boss takes out a $1 million contract on the life of his former protégé, a Vegas magician turned gangster who has agreed to testify against the mob. The FBI attempts to protect their key witness as an array of hit men and women descend on Lake Tahoe in a race to take the magician out. Starring Jeremy Piven, Ray Liotta, Andy Garcia, Ben Affleck and Alicia Keys. Smokin' Aces opens in the UK on January 12th and in the States on January 26th. Teaser Click Here. Official website (and another trailer) Click Here. A Working Title Films production. 16.12.06


The Twelve Scams of Christmas. The Real Hustle team present a special Christmas edition of this popular show. Alex, Paul and Jess demonstrate how easy it can be to con shoppers out of their Christmas spending money... expose some charity scams and airport scams, and then explain why it's so important to buy goods from reputable sources! See TV Magic for listings (repeated on Christmas Day). 16.12.06


An Evening of Magic and Illusion - Nottingham. On Sunday 28th January the Nottingham Guild of Magicians are once again presenting An Evening of Magic and Illusion at the Bonington Theatre, Arnold Leisure Centre, Arnold, Nottingham NG5 7EE (Map). Star of Monkey Magic and Dirty Tricks Pete Firman tops the bill, together with Marc Oberon, Scott Penrose, Vizage, Marcus Blake and Neil Haywood. Show time 7.30pm - 10pm, (Doors open at 7pm). Tickets £12 each, and they are selling fast! Marc Oberon, Scott Penrose and one more yet to be announced performer will be lecturing during the afternoon (2.00pm - 5.30pm) Tickets for the lectures are £6.00 each. Tickets for both events are available from Freddie Wilkinson on 0115 9614551 16.12.06


Andrew Wimhurst lectures at The Union Tavern, 52 Lloyd Baker Street, Clerkenwell, London WC1X 9AA (Map) on Wednesday 20th December. Doors open at 7pm for a 7.30pm start. Entrance fee £15.00 payable on the door. Nearest tube stations are Angel and King's Cross. For more information and to reserve a place contact Martin MacMillan, International Magic, 89 Clerkenwell Road, London EC1R 5BX. Telephone 020 7405 7324 16.12.06


Alice still works wonders. "English National Ballet has dipped into its back catalogue for a popular attraction with half-term family appeal — Derek Deane’s Alice in Wonderland. This colourful production, first staged in 1995, is revived for the autumn tour for the first time in six years. Apart from the perennial pleasure of Lewis Carroll’s fantasy, the other enticement here is music by Tchaikovsky. Not that he wrote such a ballet, of course, though an enthusiastic programme note suggests he should have done..." To read the full review in The Times Click Here. With illusions by master maker of magic Paul Kieve. Alice in Wonderland, London Coliseum, December 28th to January 10th. 16.12.06


Illusionist Craig Christian is currently appearing in Aladdin at the Gaiety Theatre, Ayr, Scotland presenting his slick magic act and also playing the part of Abbanazar, through to January 13th. Box Office: 01292 611222. 16.12.06


Magic Stars Poster. "This poster includes almost 70 magicians and their respective facsimile signatures. It is printed with the highest quality UV - pigmented inks to avoid fading; for the poster to last a lifetime. 17” x 23” on high quality canvas. Each print is individually signed and numbered by Norm Nielsen." In stock and available in time for Christmas! 16.12.06


Paul Zenon will present a dozen Christmas-themed tricks, including the production of a bottle of champagne for Des Lynam's last ever appearance on Countdown, during his week on the show (December 18th - 22nd). To coincide with the media frenzy(!), he's keeping the Special Offer on books ordered through his website open until the New Year - free postage on everything, everything signed, and all three books (100 Ways to Win a Tenner, Paul Zenon's Dirty Tricks and Street Magic) for just £27.50 post free - a saving of over ten pounds. Any orders received by or on Monday 18th will be shipped out in time for Christmas. 16.12.06


Decisions. "An incredibly organic looking test of precognition. A simple yet unbelievable demonstration of predicting your spectators actions! Using two cards one with the word NO and the other with the word YES hand written on the face, you set your spectator some simple challenges. No matter which way your spectator decides to go you are always able to correctly predict the outcome. Decisions is a self working mental miracle taking you back to what mentalism should be, simple, direct and pure! Each precision gimmick is beautifully hand made by the undisputed king of gaffed cards Rob Bromley. No sleight of hand required as the special gimmick does all the hard work for you, leaving you to concentrate on the presentation! Totally examinable at the beginning and end of the effect." Includes routines by Mozique, Peter Nardi, Looch and Simon Grant. Find out more! Visit (Half way down the "Hot List 2"). 16.12.06


Scrooge. Bill Kenwright presents The London Palladium production, starring Michael Barrymore in the Smash Hit Musical Scrooge. Following a sell-out season in the West End at London's most famous theatre, Scrooge returns bigger and better than ever. The heart-warming family musical based on Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol features spectacular sets and costumes and specially created illusions by magician Paul Kieve, who is responsible for the magical effects in the Harry Potter films. Described by critics as a 'smash hit, timeless, feel-good show' and packed with memorable songs and classic characters, Scrooge promises to be the most spectacular musical extravaganza of the season. "Sheer Magic - Harry Potter's illusionist Paul Kieve is the genius behind the show's special effects." BBC. Click Here for venues and dates. 16.12.06


ENvision. ENvision gives you the power to duplicate or describe any drawing or other design made on the back of your business card by a spectator. A card that you are free to leave with him or her as a souvenir at the end of an incredible demonstration of your telepathic abilities. ( kindly sent through a copy of this PDF and as ever with their products it is, in a word, excellent.) Available as a PDF download for just $4.95 (that's about £2.50) from 16.12.06


Final Night - Paul Daniels plays Scrooge! A Christmas Story at the Marina Theatre, Lowestoft. 2.30pm and 7.30pm Saturday show. Tickets: £7.50 - £16.50. Concessions available. Review Click Here. "Paul slams lack of brown signs" Click Here. 16.12.06


Husband and wife duo, Mike and Julie Evans were the outright winners of a talent show final, held at Huntswood Golf Club in Burnham, on 13th December. With all the winners of the eight heats battling it out in the final to win the £1000 prize money, it was an marvellous evening of first-rate entertainment. The four judges awarded first place to Mike and Julie after watching them perform their telepathy act and "cardboard box spike" routine. Jetting off to Jamaica in the New Year for four weeks, Mike and Julie will be performing again at the exclusive Sandals and Couples Resorts. 16.12.06


The Secret Life of Houdini: The Making of America's First Superhero was reviewed by Andrew Lycett in The Times last Sunday. "The American escapologist Harry Houdini may not have spawned a premiership eponym such as Boycott or Hoover. But, as confirmed in Cassell’s Dictionary of Slang by Jonathon Green, “pulling” or “doing a Houdini” is acceptable lower-division parlance for getting out of a tight fix. (According to this invaluable reference work, the name also doubles for marijuana, as in an aid to escaping reality.) The reason for Houdini’s linguistic longevity is that he was a worldwide phenomenon — a brilliant magician and publicist who focused on daring feats of escape at a time (around 1900) when the public had dollars and half crowns to spend and were looking for thrills during an entertainment lull between the music hall and the movies. Born Ehrich Weisz, the son of a rabbi, in Budapest in March 1874, and brought up, from the age of four, in Appleton, Wisconsin, Houdini fulfilled their fantasies, as he perfected an ever more exciting range of releases from chains, boxes, straitjackets, then a combination of the above, dangling from a bridge or submerged in a lake, and finally the Chinese water torture cell, where he was suspended upside down in a steel and glass cabinet full of water... "To read the full review Click Here. To order from Click Here. 16.12.06


Double trouble! "The Twins, the world's only identical twin illusionists, win freedom from BBC TV's The Slammer. The Governor (comedian Ted Robbins) is in charge of the prison where talented entertainers are incarcerated. Four exceptional acts perform in a 'Freedom Show' for the chance to be released. The Twins performed an astonishing levitation in front of an amazed and dumbfounded Parole Board of 50 children - who then decide which act gets released. Once the votes came in it was clear that The Twins had won the prize of freedom by a huge lead. One of the Parole Board members screamed 'they are twintastic!'" The Slammer, Friday 22nd December, 4.55pm on BBC1. 16.12.06


Stephen Barry can be seen on "Prank Patrol" part of BBC2's Saturday morning programme 'TMI' presented by Barney Harwood, on Saturday 23rd December from 10am. Stephen helps Jazmin fool a friend into thinking she has real magical powers... with amazing results! 16.12.06


Christmas came early for magician Paul Craven when he found himself entertaining his boyhood hero, musician Paul Weller and his band at two London venues recently, the Electric Roundhouse and the Forum. "Paul Weller has always been an iconic figure for me from the days when he was in The Jam - so it was huge fun to give him something back more than two decades later. He is still an incredible performer on stage. Just to put even one-tenth of the passion into my magic as he does into his music would be a challenge. Offstage he was great company - both interesting, and interested, in the magic. Indeed, one evening we even adjourned to the kebab house where the card magic continued!" That's Entertainment... 16.12.06


Peter Eggink, creator of AE, AE2, Touched by an Angel, Ripped-up and brand new effect Exit, will be lecturing in the UK, in Spring 2007. The lecture covers such topics as presentation, how to become a successful close-up magician and creativity. He also performs and explains some of his previously marketed material, together with brand new items. Following the lecture DVDs and effects are available for sale. If your club is interested, please either contact Christopher Williams in the UK, or Peter directly: 16.12.06


The Insect Circus. By popular demand, after sell-out shows in March, the Insect Circus returns to Hoxton Hall, London N1, for a two week Christmas season. All the old favourite Insect Circus acts will be presented, together with some new attractions. To avoid disappointment, book early! Hoxton Hall: 0207 684 0060. Click Here for more information. 16.12.06


Terry Seabrooke honoured. Derek Lever writes: At Manchester Circle of Magicians sell out Christmas Dinner last week Terry Seabrooke was honoured by being presented with the annual Life Achievement Award for services to magic over many years. Terry also "killed" with his hilarious cabaret act along with brilliant compere Arthur Casson and top of the bill, TV star comedian Johnny Casson who had the place in uproar for over an hour. Guest of Honour was Mark Raffles who received the Life Achievement Award last year. Mark is facing a very serious operation at the end of this month and your cards expressing support would be much appreciated. The next Manchester Circle of Magicians Jumbo Auction is on Monday 29th January, 2007 at 6.30 pm and already 11 Lots have been entered. The 2007 season will feature lectures by Jon Armstrong USA, Geoffrey Durham, Scott Penrose, John and Anne Davenport and Derek Lever. Details on how to join for just £10.00 are on 16.12.06


Jason Steele and Joanne will be appearing onboard MV Pont Aven and MV Bretagne for Christmas and New Year mini cruises for Brittany Ferries 16.12.06


Arthur Tivoli can be seen aboard the "Arion" in the Caribbean from the 24th of December to the 11th of March, presenting his one man show "Tivoli in Tivoliland" together with some close-up magic.. 16.12.06


Nice and Easy. Derek Lever writes: Blackpool Magicians Convention Registration Officer Arthur Casson is heading for "Pop Star" status as sales of his first musical CD gather pace. Called "Nice and Easy" Volume 1, Arthur sings 18 classic songs such as "I'm Stone in Love With You", "Wind Beneath My Wings" and "I Left My Heart in San Francisco" and proves that he has a great voice as well as being a fine musician. Priced at only £5.00 this great CD will provide some nice easy listening whilst you practice those new sleights! Contact Arthur on 01253 393688 or email: 16.12.06


David Blaine Street Magic - £6.99 from Click Here • "Houdini was America's 'first superhero'" Click Here • "Vegas Q&A: Is There Another Magic Burton?" Click Here • "Swap that thing for a wood? Magician must be nuts" Click Here • "Sleight of mind" Click Here • "Tricks of the trade" Click Here • Blockbookers Ltd email to say they are now using YouTube to promote their artist El Loco, Click Here • "Bio suggests Houdini killed by Holmes creator, psychics" Click Here • "Joker Joe's help for charities" Click Here • "Hit List: David Copperfield" Click Here • "Magic night with conjurer Paul" Click HereSnap, Crackle and Pop! A Brief Interlude with Fred Robinson, is reviewed by MagicWeek this week, Click Here • See you next week, Duncan. 16.12.06