the major British Ring IBM convention well over
and the Magic Circles' dealers day held in London
gone, other events dominated our magic scene
here in Britain. The forthcoming Blackpool Magician's
Club's 46th Annual Convention at the famous
Winter Gardens is almost upon us on 22nd Feb.
1998 to be exact, but now a three-day event.
of the passing of veteran magician and author,
Geoffrey Lamb (1904 - 1997) because of a road
accident shocked us all. Geoffrey was a schoolmaster.
His interest in magic involved the history of
the craft and was a member of the Inner Magic
Circle. He was in the past, a regular contributor
to several magic magazines especially the Magic
Circular, the magazine of the Magic Circle.
He wrote numerous books on the subject of magic
and was a master of Arts of the University of
London. I remember inviting Geoffrey down to
Bideford for one of our Supreme special weekend
conventions. He hated animals of all kinds being
exploited in circus and in magic and often dammed
such practices in his books. He once upset me
when I kept bringing out volumes of books on
the art of dove magic! He will be sadly missed.
LADIES TO BECOME MEMBERS OF THE INNER MAGIC
a few years ago ladies were not admitted or
even considered to join the Magic Circle. Just
recently, popular close-up and cabaret performer,
Fay Presto and all-round entertainer, Janet
Clare (a member of the British IBM committee)
were awarded this honour.
INTERNATIONAL MAGIC CONVENTION
Martin MacMillan's popular convention will be
over by the time this report reaches Joe for
publication. This year conventioneers will witness
three great lectures all held at the famous
Kennedy Hotel of which I have enjoyed many a
stay. Many famous stars of magic will be appearing.
Names such as Cellini, Burger, Camilo, ) Marshall,
Bongo and scores more (I didn't even have to
mention their first names, did I?) will be featured.
There's also a superb Gala Show staged at the
famous Her Majesty's Theatre.
DOBSON STILL ON TOUR.
television magician, Wayne Dobson, is still
touring. I had the pleasure of seeing his full
two-hour show at our Queen's Theatre here in
Barnstaple, Devon, England. His show is a real
mixture of comedy magic and illusions, and his
beautiful wife is part of the 'secrets' act
which involves two other superb women, all presenting
their magic in an elegant way. Wayne always
comes out at the end of the show and meets up
with the public. Suffering from M S he remains
seated during his performances, but his patter
quips and lines are way above most young magicians
of his age. We wish him well in the remainder
of his tour.
superb event is to take place on the 24th and
25th of January of 1998. Held in Brighton, Davenports
is the oldest family magic business in the world.
Gala Show, close-up sessions of distinction,
Champagne dinner party, star lectures are just
but a few things which registrants will cherish
and share. Paul Daniels, Jay Marshall, Steve
Bedwell, Ali Bongo, Roy Davenport, Maxim, Tomoyuki
Osaka, Larry Parker, Richard Griffin, Lennert
Green will be just a few of the huge cast of
international stars to appear.
COMES TO LONDON
news! Silvan, the well known and respected Italian
magician of stage and TV, a great friend of
mine, will be appearing on the international
magic Convention organized by Ron and Martin
RAFFLES (pick-pocketer) at LONDON PALDIUM
always the dream of any magician here (and it
rarely happens) that he or she is engaged to
appear at the famous London Palladium. Mark
achieved a long-lasting ambition by treading
the boards of this superb theatre of distinction!
I remember 20 years ago, appearing on the stage
of this theatre, but then, alas ... I was asked
to come on stage as a volunteer by the greatly
known British comedian and singer, Max Bygraves.
At least I wasn't a stage floor sweeper!
COPIES AND NOT OUT!
the number of copies Abracadabra ( abbreviated
as Abra) has published through 50 years. During
that period the magazine, now edited by Donald
Bevan has never been late. We just cannot but
wonder how he and his very small team do it
every week as well as serve customers with books
through mailorders and at conventions.
IN MAGIC DEALING HERE IN BRITAIN
Dealers are feeling the slump, the lack of sales
and many are going out of business. Far too
many magicians, mostly semi-professional, retire
early from their day jobs and automatically
become magic dealers. A business card, catalogues
of a few pages, a few props and an appearance
at one or two magic conventions seem to automatically
make them the latest magic dealer of the age.
At one recent British Ring convention, some
64 dealers were on show! Many were selling the
same props, numerous items imported from India,
all at different prices. Knock-down prices on
certain goods is becoming a day-by-day occurrence
and confusing in the end. When we send through
the post, the original high prices exist. Perhaps
it will change but even advertising in British
magic magazines is not working as many of my
dealer friends have told me.
OF THE LAMBS
star Sir Anthony Hopkins revealed on a top British
national TV programme that he based the film
and the Hannibal Lecter character on the late
comedy TV magician Tommy Cooper. Makes you think,
TV show which appears three times each week
on our screens has given me the chance to show
my 'collection' - magic of course. This consists
of many different goblets used in Cups and Balls
including the last set which the late Burtini
presented to me, a major maker of chromed cups
so many years ago. A magic wand, presented to
me by David Nixon, then a great popular TV magician
and a fez given to me by the same Tommy Cooper
I have just referred to. But what I do cherish
is a pair of handcuffs used by the later Harry
Houdini. Sets of magic old and new, old books
and posters and lots of magical memorabilia
will be shown on the programme which goes out
to several millions.
MAGIC CIRCLE PRESIDENT TO QUIT
Berglas stated that he is standing down as being
the President of the Magic Circle. Having been
president for years he has done an excellent
job. Attending so many functions, conventions
and the weekly meetings too, as well as committee
ones, he is well respected for being a figure-head
in magic. David is writing his exclusive story
why he is standing down in the magazine called
WRITING FOR TV
now. I'm right in the middle of yet another national
soap opera programme on TV. It pays much, much
higher than writing reports, writing up tricks
for magic magazines and all that! And... wait
for it..... more than 15 million, perhaps more.
A little more than numbers who read my articles
nevertheless, it is always a pleasure to write
my report from Britain and I'll look forward to
being with you again!