13/06/2024 20:00
Matt Daniel-Baker Lecture

Our 70th year of magic
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Newsletter: 7
February 2005

Printable version.

Cheese and Wine Evening

December saw no meetings at the club, so our secretary very kindly opened his home for a cheese and wine evening. This was a very successful event, thanks to the hard work of both Gordon and Gill. Around 20 magicians and non-magicians alike were present, and as is inevitable in such a gathering much magic was performed and enjoyed. Alan Hatcher managed to fool me with a clever mathematical trick of all things! Gordon had even invited a magic dealer who was informally displaying his wares; I took the opportunity to replenish my dwindling stocks of flash paper. Incidentally, the dealer in question was simply a young enterprising entrepreneur who had set up his own eBay shop; I expect to see a lot more of these springing up in the future.

Members from the Sussex Magic Circle were present, but it was also great to see fellow magi and committee members from both ACES and the South Downs Magicians present; ideas and drinks were flowing. Such events do wonders to promote harmony between our local magic clubs, and this must surely be a good thing. Perhaps in the not-too-distant future we might even bring back the chop cup competition...

The evening was also a celebration of Gordon?s birthday (21st?). There was a lovely atmosphere, and Gordon and Gill?s stunning Christmas lights were a talking point! Thanks to Gordon and Gill for laying on a hugely enjoyable evening.

Andrew Jeffrey


Several people performed in front of the group. Matthew Parr did an ambitious card routine. Mike Pettit showed us a clever idea with a ?Christmas? theme. Mark performed a couple of comedy magic effects. Michael, a visitor from Portugal, offered a nice ?signed card to mouth? presentation. Arthur performed a funny ?coincidence? routine, and Andrew magically produced a perfect poker hand.
Second half was a free-for-all with a chance to catch up, swap stories and ideas, try out new tricks ? a great opportunity to learn.
We had a fire drill for ?Health and Safety? reasons! So, for future reference, we should write more neatly in the register, and, in the event of a fire, we are to congregate in the car park. Any jokes about ?blazers? and ?smoking jackets? are strictly forbidden.
With this said, we may now safely anticipate next months; ?Tricks with alarm noises?, and the inaugural ?Fire Magic? competition.


Thanks to all of the acts that took part in this years stage show competition ? The standard was very high and it was one of the biggest stage competitions for some years ? Give yourselves a huge pat on the back !
All of the acts were polished to a really high standard and hugely entertaining (making it difficult to vote!) but congratulations to Mike Pettit on a winning routine!
The acts were as follows:

Andrew Jeffrey ? Appearing semi-naked from behind his table proved a bit of a shock but (thankfully!) Andrew became fully clothed in less than a second (How on earth does that happen!). Andrew followed this with a little mayhem and craziness and a super fast Rizla to jumbo coin routine. Next up was a comedy head turning illusion involving nothing more than a cardboard box and Andrew moved on to a great act involving the eating of invisible chocolates to find a previously selected card. Andrew continued to reveal a predicted word in a dictionary (very nicely done!), gave a quick comedy cups and balls routine revealing just the finale fruits and then undressed yet again (He obviously enjoys it) to slow down time and catch a falling weight dropped by a spectator in a ?splat the rat? style routine. A great act full of comedy and fun!

Matthew Parr ? Matthew set the scene with a little mentalism and managed to send a random number to a spectator using mind power alone. To continue the mentalism theme Matthew revealed a selected card from under a spectators heel and after getting the trick wrong (or so we were led to think!) instantly changed the card into the correct selection which looked very impressive! Matthew then brought our attention to three paper balls laid on the table and a spectator was given a very fair choice to select a paper ball ? The spectator unscrewed the paper ball he had chosen to reveal the words ?You will choose this ball of paper? then went on to open the other balls which clearly stated ?You will not choose this ball of paper? A very clean routine! To finish the act Matthew showed us a sealed and unopened deck of cards which had been in full view of the audience for the entire performance. A spectator merely thought of a card before the pack was opened. Matthew proceeded to open the sealed deck revealing just one card reversed in the deck ? The chosen card! A really strong mentalism routine.

Andy Hart ? Andy gave his own version of how to bend spoons using the power of the audience which were divided into two halves and asked to think of the word ?Bend? ! Using the forces necessary Andy gave us proof that indeed he (and us!) had the necessary powers to make spoons bend?.Eventually the end of the spoon he was holding fell straight to the floor ! Andy then showed us a whole tray full of spoons and asked for a spectator to join him on stage and choose just two of the spoons on offer. After this was done the spectator was asked to test the solidity of the spoons by using rather a dangerous method (Hitting them on Andy?s forehead!). After donning a war helmet the rigidity of the spoons in question was verified yet Andy managed to bend the spoon with ease and eventually caused the end to drop to the floor! A really clever routine that was very entertaining.

Mike Pettit ? The winning act started with a well animated story of road signs and a great routine involving confusion over which way to drive ? Glad I wasn?t getting a lift home with Mike. Mike continued the act by producing coins from all over the place including a very ordinary ashtray. Mike continued the coin theme by getting the audience to throw invisible coins into a glass which clearly seemed to materialise as he caught them in the glass he was holding. Mike then demonstrated how to make more money by producing yet more coins from under a hankie! It was a good job Mike had made some money as the act continued to show him setting fire to one of his hankies and burning a large hole straight through the middle of it !?The hankie was then instantly restored to its former glory. Next was a Rubik?s cube puzzle that solved itself mid-air and a great four card monte routine with black and red cards jumping from one place to another. After showing us the magic Mike gave us the chance to teach ourselves a trick with quite a brilliant sucker routine involving the palming (or not!) and changing colour of red and yellow silks. A really fun act that was a joy to watch!

Brenda Trowell ? The final act was a musical and colourful collection of visual magic that started with the production of a white rabbit from a top-hat and the production of some colourful silks from a jumbo playing card. Brenda moved on to a great ?CD? routine with a clever ?zig-zag? trick chopping a CD into three moving parts! The colour from the CD was then magically vanished and turned into a shiny silver ribbon. The act moved on to producing numerous silks and boxes of flowers from an empty paper bag (which seemed impossible!) . For the finale Brenda vanished a large Indian silk in a cardboard funnel and finally revealed the silk tied between two other silks with the popping of a balloon. A colourful display that was very entertaining!

Again well done to everybody that took part in a great competition!

Jamie Clark

LAS VEGAS with Richard and Kate

A couple of weeks ago, Kate and I went to Las Vegas. What a place! It has got to be one of the most ridiculous Cities around. Forget the gambling, there are so many other opportunities to spend money. One of the best ways is to spend 19 hours non-stop in a fabulous biker-blues bar just off the strip. Mr Jack Daniels, we salute you! Another way, is to go to a Las Vegas show. As most do, I knew that as well as gambling, Sin City is famous for its large scale magic shows. Now I don?t really mind what people think of Penn and Teller and I know that opinion is divided, but I adore them and was really excited to learn that they were doing shows there at the same time as we were visiting. So, off we went.
The show combined elements and segments from many of their appearances and shows from the past with material that is specific with their new Las Vegas home. Penn rambled on with an endless discourse about a variety of topics, poking fun at everyone and everything, especially the typical Las Vegas performers. Teller remained mute and cute throughout the show, getting several opportunities to showcase and astonish us on his own. The audience was continually amazed and entertained. As with their TV shows, occasionally the audience was "let in" on a trick, but the outcome was always the same; we were equally entertained with the knowledge as we were without it.
Yes, they did the magic bullets thing. It is a good illusion, but the pace of the trick was completely different to all of the others. It was slow and required a lot of inspection and preparation. Additionally, if you have seen Penn & Teller on stage or on television in the last few years, you have seen this trick. We know the outcome, we know the patter, and as audience members the anticipation and surprise were gone. Because of this, the trick was a bit of a let down after having seen so many other wonderful things. It is a good illusion, but it doesn?t seem to be the best way to end the show. Having said that, Penn & Teller put on a great show. It was also nice to see them acknowledge and thank their staff and crew, something many performers seem to neglect.

Was it worth it? At $82 per ticket (about ?55) no, not really in a financial sense. However, I did have a great evening sitting with a bunch of loud Americans and joining in with that whooping thing that they all seem to do at any opportunity ?yeah, all right, whow, Jeese (which took me a while to understand that it was short for Jesus and not as I first thought, Cheese, which I just couldn?t fathom at all) high fives, yoh, etc?. It was nice to be able to sit in a posh show drinking lager out of a can as well and Kate must have found her seat particularly comfortable for about an hour and ten minutes of the show (but you will have to ask her about that). The highlight had to be after the show when we managed to get to speak to the mystical duo, grab autographs and have our pictures taken with them. So in time honoured fashion and knowing damn well that you are not in the slightest bit interested. Here are the holiday snaps. Check out just how big Penn is (don?t read those last two words too quickly). He is absolutely bloody enormous!
Richard Mark Le Saux

Forthcoming Events

10th February
Dealer dem Magical Wonders
Another chance to buy more props for your cupboards.

24th February
You can?t say we are not trying to get you involved. Perform an act in a show organised by a member.

10th March
Magic Of The Mind Competition
It?s that time again, but you knew that anyway.

Annual Dinner
White Hart Hotel, Lewes. 7.00pm for 7.30pm. Cabaret - Roy Davenport and Fluke, plus dancing, lovely food & our annual awards. ?30 tickets now on sale and going fast!
Tickets and enquiries: Mark Worgan 01273 401841 email:

24th March
Please attend. If you didn?t like something or have an idea, this is your chance to speak up.

Complied by: Gordon Burtenshaw