President: Stuart Harley   Chairman: Matt Parro
Secretary: Justin Price   Treasurer: Kevin Peel
Newsletter: 6December 2004

CLOSE-UP DRIVE - Thursday 11th November

Having been a member of the Sussex Magic Circle for quite a few years, I have to admit that this was the first time I had ever attended a close-up drive.
I wasn’t sure just what to expect - close-up magic obviously, but what about the drive?
All was revealed on the night. With the evening organised by Andy Hart and nine willing participants it became clear the formula for this evening was ever so slightly complicated but nevertheless it worked!
The basis of the evening is that each magician has to perform to, and be assessed by, his fellow magicians. The spectators provide the audience for this friendly rivalry and most importantly, don’t move from their seats all evening. It’s the magicians that move as Andy explained.
Still perplexed, I couldn’t work out why we had the same participating magician, Mark Worgan at our table the whole evening - seemingly it’s all in the mathematics and allows each magician to be marked by the other competitors. Nevertheless, having Mark at our table led to some good running gags throughout the evening.
Magicians came and went as they circulated round the room. There was magic with playing cards (surprise, surprise) matchboxes and cigarettes and each competitor performed and entertained to the best of their ability.
When the evening was over, the votes were counted and the winner was Matt Parr with an excellent card routine.
There are no prizes or cups for this event, only the knowledge and satisfaction that ones fellow performers have voted for you. Well done Matt.
Thanks to Andy Hart for organising the evening and making sure the performers circulated in the correct manner and to all nine magicians for giving us an entertaining evening. A drive to remember!


On the 24th November the children’s competition took place. After a small mix up with the booking between a local choral group and us we started the meeting, a little late but in the usual venue.
Mark Worgan chaired the proceedings and after a few notices our competitors drew cards for their places in the contest.
Andy Hart was up first and started with the Silver Sceptre. With two children from the audience, Ettie and Matthew, via a Princes and Wizard trick he turned three different coloured ribbons into one multicoloured ribbon, this involved a lot of help from various magic wands. Before he finished with a Happy Birthday song, and a production of a live rabbit.
Chris Nichols, who was not competing, filled in with a rhyming card trick between the acts.
Mike Pettit also started with a Silver Sceptre but his had Snoopy on the end helping him get the children shrieking. He followed this with a routine involving a vase, filled with cotton wool and eventually becoming full of sweets. Ettie and Bee came up from the audience to help him with the disappearing rabbit before he finished with Jack Hughes’ Bonzo’s Kennel.
Mark Worgan did a quick trick with Knots on a rope.
Lastly, Paul Leacy refused to do the Silver Sceptre instead starting with a Wishy Washy Woo routine before letting Ettie help him with the sponge balls. He next performed a three-card routine with a hats theme and then got out Rocky Racoon who got up to his usual mischief. Scruff the Dog was next with Paul doing a vent routine, which lent itself to plenty of ad-libs. He finished with an Egg bag routine with a pink ball.
After the break Mike Pettit was declared the winner - well done to all of you.
Before the evening ended there was the usual sharing of ideas and routines. I was particularly taken by the thread routine which Mark showed us, the next day I ran out and bought an ITR, with the intention to practise over Christmas!

Tea and Coffee

We still need urgent help to continue the half time refreshments at our meetings.

Christmas Cheese and Wine

As there is no meeting at Southover Grange in December we thought that the few of you left would like a small gathering just to chat and swap stories and tricks. Please bring any bottle of your favourite tipple and your partners, we will provide cheese and nibbles. Come and look at our famous Christmas lights!
Some of you have kindly told me you are coming but a few of you have only intimated your intention - please let me have your decisions a.s.a.p. on 01444 232938 or email.
If you need a map let me know - we look forward to seeing you.
Gordon and Gill Burtenshaw

Forthcoming Events

16th December (confirmed)
Christmas Cheese and Wine Evening
Details above

13th January
New Years Party
Did you get tricks for Christmas, bring ‘em along, and lets have a party too.

27th January
Stage & Cabaret Competition
Would you like the prestigious Presidents Shield for a year? Enter the competition then!


Compiled by: Gordon Burtenshaw