Number 1073 - Saturday 16th January 2021

 

Siegfried Fischbacher, Magic's Greatest Showman, dies aged 81. Growing up as a teenager in the 70s and wanting to be a magician, Siegfried & Roy were my Beatles. At first it was just pictures in Genii, their show poster from The Stardust reproduced on the cover of a Tannen's catalogue, and later seeing them on television. Then finally, some 20 years on, it was seeing their incredible show live at The Mirage in Las Vegas in 1994. Siegfried & Roy truly were 'The Superstars of Magic' and Siegfried's death marks the end of an era. DT.

"Siegfried Fischbacher: Member of magic duo Siegfried & Roy dies aged 81" www.bbc.co.uk

"Siegfried Fischbacher death: Siegfried and Roy star dies aged 81" www.independent.co.uk

"Illusionist Siegfried Fischbacher, of Siegfried & Roy, dies aged 81" www.theguardian.com
"Illusionist Siegfried Fischbacher - one half of the legendary duo Siegfried & Roy - dies aged 81 in Las Vegas after a battle with cancer" www.dailymail.co.uk

"Siegfried Fischbacher, surviving member of the magician duo Siegfried & Roy, dies in Las Vegas aged 81" www.standard.co.uk

"Legendary illusionist Siegfried Fischbacher dies from cancer" www.reviewjournal.com

"Siegfried Fischbacher, illusionist of Siegfried & Roy, dead at 81" www.cnn.com

Photo: Duncan Trillo/MagicWeek. 16.1.21

 

Siegfried & Roy: The Magic and Mystery. This week on The MagicWeek Video Archive Siegfried & Roy: The Magic and Mystery, from 1994. See The MagicWeek Video Archive. To catch up with more from The MagicWeek Video Archive Click Here. 23.1.21

 

Sawing a Woman in Half - 100th Anniversary. This Sunday evening at 6pm online. The Magic Circle will host a free online event on the anniversary of the day in 1921 that PT Selbit stunned the entertainment world with an illusion that has fascinated audiences ever since: Sawing a Woman in Half. The event will be open to all. Debbie McGee, Paul Daniels’ partner on stage and in life, will speak of her experience as the woman who found herself dismembered on numerous occasions. As Noel Britten, the president of The Magic Circle, said last week: “Debbie has been sliced, diced, cremated, crushed, divided and decapitated more than most, so has a great story to tell.” The evening will chart the invention, history and development of this effect with magicians, magical historians and social commentators giving their take on the twists, turns and variations that have been seen over the years. It has been the cause of numerous feuds, deceptions and downfalls over the years. Would PT Selbit, sawing through a seemingly simple wooden box have envisaged Copperfield sawing himself in half in full view on a Las Vegas stage with a massive circular saw? Magician Simon Drake, historian Mike Caveney and David Copperfield himself will offer their perspectives. The event will be streamed on The Magic Circle Unlocked Facebook page (open to all) at 6pm GMT on Sunday, 17th January. www.facebook.com/themagiccircleunlocked.

 

Radio coverage during the week:

BBC Radio 4's Woman's Hour "To mark the centenary of the infamous ‘sawing-a-woman-in-half’ illusion, Emma Barnett talks to Debbie McGee and Dr Naomi Paxton" iPlayer (starts at 20m 48s).

BBC Radio 5 Live's Up All Night with Dotun Adebayo "...your calls and discussion through the night, with Danny Hunt of Amethyst" iPlayer (starts at 3h 19m 50s).
BBC's 5 Live Breakfast with Clare McDonnell and Rick Edwards "with guest Dr Will Houston" iPlayer (starts at 53m 10s).

BBC Radio 4's Today "100th Anniversary of magic's most iconic trick, with Michael J Fitch and Magic Circle President Noel Britten" iPlayer (starts at 2h 21m 30s).

 

In the papers:

"A trick of two halves! She's been sliced, diced and decapitated. Now, 100 years after the first woman was sawn in half on stage, Paul Daniels' widow Debbie McGee reveals what it's like to pull off this eye-popping feat" www.dailymail.co.uk.

"Split in two: magicians to celebrate 100 years of sawing people in half" www.theguardian.com.
"How to saw a person in half: 100 years of a sensational illusion" www.irishtimes.com

"Magicians mark 100 years of sawing people in half" www.nbcnews.com. 16.1.21

 

This Morning. "This weekend marks the 100 years since the first person was ever sawn in half as part of a magic act. So what better way to kick off the show than by giving the trick a go? We're joined by Debbie McGee who tells us about her experience with the magic trick over the years." With Richard Cadell and Sooty too! See YouTube. 16.1.21

 

What do you mean you've never seen Houdini?! Houdini - The story of how struggling performer Harry Houdini became a success in Europe and, following his return to the USA, began to establish himself, by way of his death-defying feats, as the greatest escapologist of all time. Starring Tony Curtis and Janet Leigh. 1953. Late Sunday night, 24th January, on Talking Pictures TV. Screen shot: Houdini 'sawing a woman in half'. The See TV Magic for details. 16.1.21

 

Video Chat Magic - The Lecture. In this two-hour lecture, Will Houstoun and Harry De Cruz will share some of the best material from www.videochatmagic.com, a project by Will and Steve Thompson featuring tricks, tools, essays and technology specifically designed to enhance your performances over Zoom and Skype. You will learn brand new visual and mental effects, devious methods, and cutting edge concepts unique to this exploding field.

Whether you are a professional getting bookings for shows on Zoom, or a hobbyist who wants some amazing magic to share with your friends online, this is the lecture for you. "Harry and Will’s lecture was the best one I’ve seen using Zoom… if not the best overall on any subject. The lecture was on magic for video chat, but even those who don’t and never will use Zoom will love it. Recommended!" Martin Duffy. To book the lecture for your magic club or private group contact Harry directly harrydecruz@gmail.com.
16.1.21

 

Mark Raffles has recently been honoured with a wonderful portrait of him by Maltese magician and artist, Vanni Pulé. World famous pickpocket and magician, Mark, who will be celebrating his ninety-ninth birthday on Friday 22nd of January, whose first professional engagement was at the Queens Park Hippodrome, Manchester over eighty years ago, has performed worldwide from the London Palladium to Las Vegas, with many television appearances to his credit as well.

 

With the onset of war, due to a health problem, he was drafted to ENSA, The Department for Entertainment National Service Association. He performed for troops in the UK and then on the fall of Europe, in France and Germany. He was awarded a Citation for his work for the Forces. This thought occurs – he must be the only person to have received an honour for Picking Pockets! 16.1.21

 

The first Sawing in Half illusion? David Britland has written a fascinating article on the origins of most famous of all illusions, Sawing a Woman in Half. See www.cardopolis.blogspot.com. 16.1.21

 

Pete Firman - Tonight at the London Palladium. Bradley Walsh returns to the famous London Palladium stage for a new series of the variety show. Featuring music from multiple BRIT Award-winner Emeli Sande, the amazing skills of the Chinese State Circus, a beautiful performance from Phantom of the Opera, magic from Pete Firman, and the very first TV performance of the brand new single from Steps. (Repeat) See TV Magic for details. 16.1.21

 

Mark’s Monthly Message Audio File Compilation 1 – All the Audio Files 1-6. Listen to all the Audio Files 1-6 in this compilation. Even better value when taken together in one collected Audio File. The contents are: Checking Up On Technique, Coping With Nerves, Dealing With Mistakes, Developing A Performing Personality, Magical Self Awareness, Making The Most Of Practice. See www.markleveridge.co.uk. 16.1.21

 

Magicians Advice Podcast - How to join The Magic Circle. Hosted by Phil Taylor and Ian Brennan. Episode 143 "How to join The Magic Circle with Robert Pound". In this episode Ian and Phil chat with Robert Pound about how to join The Magic Circle. Robert is the examinations secretary at The Magic Circle and in this episode we go through, step by step, how to become a member. www.magiciansadvice.com. 16.1.21

 

The E-Video Newsletter January 2021. As always a new month brings a new edition of the Mark Leveridge online video presentation featuring magic, ideas, advice and fun! This time there are two routines to enjoy and learn, one being a strong two deck coincidence effect, and the other a puzzling routine using 10 cards in which a spectator appears to create an impossible outcome. There's good advice on the importance of technical proficiency, the Review Corner offers a critique of a mentalism book, and Mark offers dems and background info on his two Web Offers for this month. Finally, in 60 Seconds To Success, Mark explains why giving assisting spectators clear instruction is so vital. To watch the complete 45 minute programme you simply have to be signed up for Mark's free E-Club Lite. Membership gives you a monthly newsletter which is full of offers, information and ideas, as well as the link to access the E-Video Newsletter itself. To register go to www.markleveridge.co.uk where you can also watch a trailer of the latest programme. 16.1.21

 

Productions from Silks - Zane's Magic Shop. Walk on stage holding 3 large silks in one of your hands. One at a time each silk is tossed into the air. Bunch the Silks together as a group and immediately pull a full size champagne bottle out of the grouped Silks! See www.zanesmagicshop.com. 16.1.21

 

The History of the London Society of Magicians. Robert Pamplin writes: Information needed, I am updating the History of the London Society of Magicians, I am therefore asking if anybody who has won one of the LSM competitions since 1995 could they please let me know so I can update the files. Although I have this information, since I moved, and the LSM moved from Davenports, it is in a box somewhere. Please email bob@lsmmagic.co.uk. 16.1.21

 

"Gerry Cottle: Somerset circus star dies with Coronavirus" Click Here • "Dalton mindreader moves 'stunning' shows over the phone in lockdown" Click Here • "Magician to the Stars, Gregg Diamant, Launches Live Interactive Virtual Magic Show" Click Here • "Master Illusionist Teller on the Return of His CW Show and What He Misses Most About Philly" Click Here • "Israeli Illusionist Bends Spoon While Getting Vaccinated For COVID-19 To Raise Awareness" Click Here • "Carol Vorderman reaches out to Debbie McGee as unearthed Paul Daniels clip emerges" Click Here • Your UK magic news is always welcomed - see you next week, Duncan. 16.1.21

 

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The UK Directory of Magicians: www.corporatemagicians.com

Directory of local children's entertainers: www.childrenspartyshows.co.uk

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Number 1072 - Saturday 9th January 2021

 

David Copperfield - headline interview for The Magic Circle Unlocked celebrating the centenary of the first public performance of the art’s most iconic illusion - Sawing a Woman in Half. On Sunday January 17th The Magic Circle will host the free online event on the anniversary of the day in 1921 that PT Selbit stunned the entertainment world with an illusion that has fascinated audiences ever since. The event will be open to all.

 

Debbie McGee, Paul Daniels’ partner on stage and in life, will speak of her experience as the woman who found herself dismembered on numerous occasions. As Noel Britten, the president of The Magic Circle, said this week: “Debbie has been sliced, diced, cremated, crushed, divided and decapitated more than most, so has a great story to tell.” The evening will chart the invention, history and development of this effect with magicians, magical historians and social commentators giving their take on the twists, turns and variations that have been seen over the years.

 

It has been the cause of numerous feuds, deceptions and downfalls over the years. Would PT Selbit, sawing through a seemingly simple wooden box have envisaged Copperfield sawing himself in half in full view on a Las Vegas stage with a massive circular saw? Magician Simon Drake and historian Mike Caveney among others will give their perspective. The event will be streamed on The Magic Circle Unlocked Facebook page (open to all) at 6pm GMT on Sunday, 17th January. www.facebook.com/themagiccircleunlocked. 9.1.21

 

The magic of...podcast with Paul Roffman. Episode 25: Billy Kidd. Billy Kidd discusses magic, showmanship and creating her theatrical magic experience. Billy knew she wanted to become an actor by the age of 5. Every day after school she trained extensively in ballet, jazz and tap dance as well as Piano, Saxophone and voice lessons to help further her acting career. By age 11 she was getting paid to play. She was a working actor in theatre, film and TV for many years. In addition, she also educated people worldwide about a lost instrument called the Nose-Flute. Billy proceeded to train, teach and perform with her group the Slappyfeatherwhistle Nose-Flute Ensemble to critical acclaim in theatres, radio and TV. When she turned 18 she was accepted into the top theatre schools in the UK and Canada including RADA and Trinity College in London, the National Theatre School and the BFA Acting programs in Canada. After graduating from theatre school she was lucky enough to still be making a living as an actor. Everything was going according to plan until she saw street magician Nick Nickolas... Then she went into a deep depression, sat in the dark drowning in tears because she knew she had to become a magician. This was not the plan! On Apple podcasts: www.podcasts.apple.com Spotify www.spotify.com and YouTube (Excellent podcast this one, and on YouTube too. DT). 9.1.21

 

The Dodo! New issues out now: The Dodo contains mainly card magic and humour that some will find very offensive. This issue is very limited in number and purchase must be made by end of January. For ordering/payment details, email jerrysadowitz@hotmail.com. 9.1.21

 

Britain's Got Talent 2021. "Britain's Got Talent 2021 is scrapped as Covid-19 lockdown scuppers plans for nationwide auditions... but bosses hope series will return in the autumn" To read the full story in the Daily Mail Click Here. 9.1.21

 

An Evening with Adrian Lacroix via Zoom, 13th January, The Newcastle Magic Circle. Tony Junior writes: The Newcastle Magic Circle invites you to join them live on Zoom at 7.30pm on Wednesday January 13th, for 'An Evening with Adrian Lacroix', an evening of extraordinary card magic. The fee is just £5.00 per person for visitors who are members of any magic club, or £10.00 for non-members. Adrian is amazing and attracted the largest crowd to date for his recent online lecture for The Magic Circle. Full details are on our website: www.newcastle-magic-circle.co.uk/zoom. If you would like to attend please contact Tony Junior via nmcsecretary@outlook.com. 9.1.21

 

Rajan - Zodiac Zoom Lecture - January 13th. William Spencer writes: Watch Rajan’s Killer New Ball and Coin Lecture on 13th January at 8pm on Zoom. Learn a beautiful one coin routine, with tips on direction and misdirection, using an ungaffed coin. Rajan will also teach a killer one cup and ball effect ending with ‘loads from nowhere’. His new lecture shows well worked material and has something for all abilities. If you’re looking to add a little coin magic to your close-up magic then this is one not to miss. The lecture is free for Zodiac members or £10 for non-members (or free if you go on to join). The Zodiac normally meets weekly in west London, but now attracts magicians nationwide over Zoom. If you want to watch this lecture please email membership@zodiacmagicalsociety.co.uk or visit www.zodiacmagicalsociety.co.uk for club info. 9.1.21

 

The MagicWeek Video Archive. A new magic clip or show every week! This week, Alan Shaxon on ITV's 'Five Magic Minutes' from 1980. See The MagicWeek Video Archive. To catch up with more from The MagicWeek Video Archive Click Here. 9.1.21

 

David Kaye (Silly Billy) online Lecture, 2nd February, South London Magic Society. Simon Rossllie writes: Learn how to use child psychology techniques to make the kids love you and want to see you again and again. If you do kid shows or are just starting out you must attend this lecture. What you learn will result in repeat bookings many times over. Even if you don't do kid shows this lecture is funny and entertaining and you will be able to apply his theories to your own magic shows.

 

David Kaye, performing as Silly Billy, is considered to be one of the best magicians for children in the US. He has performed at the White House, Lincoln Center, and on many television shows. In addition to being a full time performer, he was a columnist for Magic magazine for eight years and is currently a columnist for Genii. David’s book, Seriously Silly is considered to be the bible of kid show magic. He was recently awarded the prestigious Performing Fellowship from the Academy of Magical Arts, in Hollywood, California. He was also named Magician of the Year 2019 by the New York chapter of the Society of American Magicians. David is one of only a handful of magicians in the world who has appeared on the covers of seven international magic journals. He has lectured at magic conventions in 30 countries and has created many original products for the professional children’s magician, used by children's magicians around the world. Tuesday 2nd February, 8pm-10pm, online. £10 for non-members of South London Magic Society – email me if you would like to attend: simonrosselli@themagiccircle.co.uk. 9.1.21

 

White Magic on Crackerjack! Sam Nixon and Mark Rhodes host another entertainment-packed Crackerjack! Guests include Joe Tasker, Harpz Kaur and Kidz Bop. There is an amazing contortion and magic act, White Magic (Michael White and Hulan) plus lots of games and prizes for the contestants to win and comedy from the Crackerjack Players! 6pm on Friday 15th January on CBBC. See TV Magic for details. 9.1.21

 

The E-Club Pro Live Open Event. Mark Leveridge's brand new Zoom lecture has already been seen by a number of societies around the country, but for those magicians who are either not affiliated to a magic society, or whose club are not providing Zoom lectures, an opportunity to see the complete lecture is now being offered via an Open Event. The lecture will take place at 7.30pm on Wednesday 10th February 2021 and will comprise of a 2 hour Zoom presentation of a selection of top ideas extracted from Mark's E-Club Pro archive. Mark will perform and explain in full a variety of straightforward to do magic suitable for close-up shows, commercial performance, stand-up and even mentalism. Everything is performed with everyday objects or commonly available magic props (such as sponge balls etc.), and the methods are practical and useable. The cost for a ticket is £10.00, but provided registrants attend on the night, afterwards they will receive a MLM Credit Voucher worth £10.00 to spend on any product from Mark's range, thus making the lecture itself effectively free if the voucher is cashed in. For more information and to book your place right now, see www.markleveridge.co.uk. 9.1.21

 

Magicseen, January 2021. From the publishers: Make your lockdown experience just a little more bearable by investing in the latest issue of the UK's only independent magic magazine. Issue 96 of Magicseen is full of great articles and personality interviews. We talk to cover star Gaetan Bloom, whose creativity shows no signs of abating, and Graeme Shaw, the current holder of the UK Family Entertainer Of The Year award. Connie Boyd explains the situation for many women in magic, while Romany reveals her own lockdown trials and tribulations. Luca Volpe takes us behind the scenes of his new online show, and Vinny Sagoo offers some start up advice for those contemplating commercial performance. As usual we have a couple of effects for you to learn in the Masterclass, and our resident expert reviewers evaluate the latest products to hit the marketplace, plus more. You can receive your copy via a printed or download subscription (6 month, 1 and 2 year options are currently available), or simply by ordering the issue on its own from www.magicseen.com. 9.1.21

 

The Complete Magic Party E-Book - Mark Leveridge Magic. The Complete Magic Party is a highly detailed book dealing with many aspects of entertaining children with games and magic and it provides children’s entertainers with a huge amount of information based on my 30+ years experience of providing lively, marketable parties for youngsters. The book is divided into sections: Advice, Games, Warm Up and Magic. The Complete Magic Party is packed full of information which will help both experienced and novice children’s entertainers to get the most out of their paid work at children’s parties. 189 pages, over 70 illustrations, 10 warm-up routines, over 40 games, 20 magic routines. Find out more. Visit www.markleveridge.co.uk. 9.1.21

 

Phil Lawson 'The Magic Researcher' takes a look back at the recent magic history in his home town of Preston, Lancashire. In this article he shines a light on some of Preston's finest magicians, with a quick look at the neighboring town of Blackpool, home of the world's largest magic convention. As ever he uncovers some lesser known facts on his tour around this Proud Prestonians home city. Houdini, Hart, Raffles, Thompson, Mason and more... Click Here. 9.1.21

 

The Mystery Agency is a brand new collection of mystery puzzle experiences delivered to your door, created by Henry Lewis, co-creator of The Play That Goes Wrong. Every package contains an original and atmospheric mystery story, told through authentic objects and documents. www.themysteryagency.com. 9.1.21

 

Mind Lock - Merlins. Show a 4 digit combination padlock, and open it to show it is set to 0000. Reset the lock code, without anyone seeing, and have a borrowed ring fastened locked. You now have a four digit number selected. The lock is set to the 4 digit number, and amazingly it opens, so the spectator's ring can be returned. Comes with specially made lock and full instructions. A very easy to perform effect which has a strong impact on the spectator. www.merlinswakefield.co.uk. 9.1.21

 

Disability: A New History - Freaks and Entrepreneurs. In Touch presenter Peter White examines modern ideas about disabled people who exhibited themselves in 18th and 19th-century freak shows, many of whom in fact became wealthy entrepreneurs and also challenged society's expectations of what they could achieve. He discovers how dwarves were delivered to people's doors in boxes, and studies the artist and magician Matthias Buchinger, who was born without arms or legs but performed for royalty. 15 minutes past midnight, tonight, on Radio 4. See TV Magic for details. 9.1.21

 

No Tear -Torn & Restored Newspaper by Mark Mason - Zane's Magic Shop. "The classic No Tear torn and restored newspaper now comes complete with a full instructional DVD. Show several torn pieces of newspaper (and read out a few jokes), then in the blink of an eye the pieces restore into a full newspaper. The paper can be shown both back and front, this looks amazing! The included DVD takes you through everything step by step. Chapters include performance, explanation, bonus tips and a chapter on jokes/gags, that are perfect for this routine. Comes complete and ready to perform with the newspaper and routine! www.zanesmagicshop.com. 9.1.21

 

"KFC owner hits back at TV magician Dynamo’s chicken ‘food poisoning’ claim" Click Here • "Conjuring under Covid" Click Here • "Corsham magician Chris Hiscock hopes to perform on Britain's Got Talent" Click Here • "Theatre Review: James Galea’s Best Trick Ever" Click Here • "Caledon magician pursues Guinness Record for most tricks in a minute" Click Here • "Ashley Morrison magician from Abertillery in lockdown" Click Here • That's it! Thanks as always for your UK magic news. See you next week, Duncan. 2.1.21

 

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