President: Gordon Burtenshaw   Chairman: Matt Parro
Secretary: Justin Price   Treasurer: Simon Vertue
E-Mail: secretary@sussexmagiccircle.co.uk
Newsletter: 4May 2004

1st April – Showtime and Mini Auction

Mark welcomed new guests / members and made announcements on the recent AGM meeting declaring the election of new Officers.

There was an announcement of some sad news in that Pat and Bob, the catering staff, were finally to retire to Wales after 19 years service. Mark gave them praise for their contribution to the enjoyment of our meetings and promised that they would not be leaving “quietly”.
Mark told members that there will be a need to make alternative arrangements for tea & coffee and suggested that a rota could bedrawn up for each member to take in turn this activity or to find a volunteer, non – member to help the club. Any ideas would be welcomed.

George Smith announced, to spontaneous applause, that as it was his 18th birthday, cakes were provided tonight. A few selective jokes on possible ‘magic’ cakes made from mushrooms etc were heard being whispered around some of the members!
Steve Pratt, through Mark, announced the opportunity for providing a Topit tailored into jackets at a very reasonable cost of £30. Steve offered to give a demonstration of its use to individual members on request at the interval. Steve’s use of the Topit was very impressive and could be a must for those working tables, parties etc. Please contact Steve direct for more information.

The first part of the evening, hosted by Mark, was given over to senior members of the club to show their talents. Mark gave us a few ‘tall stories’ read from the Times newspaper before surprising us with his own ‘poll’ (with some Kaymar influence perhaps?)

Paul Leacey surprised himself in the first act when the disappearing keys (ball) did vanish. These were resurrected from his pocket amazingly attached to his key chain.
Next Paul went on to display a ring tied to some rope within a sequence of knots in the order requested by the owner of the ring in full view of all without actually doing any tying.
Finally, with bravery, Matt the volunteer had their card selected from the pack whilst holding the cards pressed to their forehead. Why was this brave? The selection was achieved by Paul stabbing the pack with a large machete. Not for the nervous or short sighted beginner to perform but expertly enacted by Paul to generous applause from the members.

Chris Nicholls demonstrated his laid back character by calmly opening his act by balancing a card upright in his palm – obviously not suffering from a nervous disposition.
We were then treated to Chris’ mental card transfer between luckless volunteers Paul Gordon and Steve Pratt. Seated so they could not see each other, Chris cleansed the minds of Paul and Steve of all knowledge using his own ‘Brain Un-blocker’. A card was selected by Steve and finally, after several attempts at thought transference to get the right card into Paul’s mind which was very amusing especially the throw away line ‘don’t nod now. You will tear his head off’, which can only be appreciated if you saw the routine. Paul eventually discovered the card and the old saying ‘Magic - It’s all done with mirrors’ is not far off from the truth.
Chris gave a version of ‘Find the lady’ or in this case with six spot cards and one Queen. All you had to do was select a spot card to win the bet. Guess who lost? The final hit came from showing seven Queens replacing the spot cards. Spooky!!

Andy Hart is our Derren Brown by demonstrating his mental ability to manipulate not only who would assist him in the performance but allow at random a page number, column and data entry details from a phone book to be declared in advance in a sealed envelope. Very professional – how did he do that!!

Stuart Harley finished off the evening with a bang. Well two bangs in fact. The first bang was activated by a pack of cards exploding to reveal the selected King of Hearts when Paul used a laser light attached to a banana to shoot the pack.
The second bang, more of a ‘phutt’, was made by Andy firing an air pistol. Taking every precaution to save himself from any injury, like holding a balloon in his teeth!, Stuart allowed Andy, who seemed to be very willing to be the ‘assistant’ to fire a selected and marked dart from an airgun into his mouth. The balloon must have had some effect as Stuart recovered the dart from his mouth to the amazement of all.

An excellent show by the senior members which was enjoyed by all and those not in the know were left with an ambition to further their skills and knowledge.

The second part of the evening was devoted to an auction of magic props left by the late Tommy Thompson and given to the club for auction. The proceeds will be going to a charity. The club managed to raise in excess of £100

Tom Sparks

Close-up Competition 22 April 2004

Competition night started with Mark explaining the new format. Although the night started slowly, lessons were learnt and next year the new format will be seamless, honest.

The competitors (in no order other than alphabetical) were:
Chris Nicholls - nice chop cup routine and great humour.
George - fire and card transpositions.
Mathew - coin productions and one card across.
Mike - a well routined dice act, including large dice production as a closer.
Sue - explanations of her jacket and driving test using hot rod and colour changing poker chips.

All entrants performances were very entertaining and a lot of thought and practice had gone into their acts.

As always there can only be one winner, and this year the honour went to Mike Pettitt for his dicey act.

SH

Derren Brown 2004 Live


Playing to a packed house, Derren Brown came to Worthing Pavilion on Easter Saturday. There were even hopeful punters forming a queue outside in case there were any last minute empty seats. Derren’s show consisted of two extraordinary and different acts. The first half consisted of live demonstrations that have made him famous as shown on his “Mind Control” TV Series. Duplicating drawings, a telepathy act between two members of the audience and involving the whole auditorium in the ‘guess which hand the pound coin is in’ effect. The first act was polished and performed at a pace, which kept the attention of the audience at all times.

The second half revolved entirely around the theme of a Séance, various members of the audience were invited up to become a ‘committee’ in order to observe close up. The rest of the audience could see what was going on by the clever use of overhead projection at the back of the stage, thus not missing anything. This act had the audience literally gasping as it unfolded. All I can say is that the Séance table must have cost him a fortune! Even David Clake (to those of you who knew him) would have balked at the possible price.

The audience were enthralled, entranced and thoroughly entertained. However if you own a copy of ’13 Steps to Mentalism’ by Corinda all the effects, apart from the technology, came from that book! This is a ‘must see show’ for mentalists and Magicians alike, if only for the presentation and showmanship skills of Derren Brown. To quote Joseph Dunninger, “Mentalism is Grown-up Magic”.
AH

COMING SOON

13th May Lecture by Martin Cox
How to perform Close Up Magic with tips on approaching tables, tricks and extracts from his act.

14th May Burnside Show
Once again we visit the mentally handicapped at Burnside for a great afternoon of magic and tea.

27th May An Evening With Bertie Pearce
Bertie is a great entertainer, knowledgeable and full of useful tips. Come along and learn about all sorts!

Compiled by: Gordon Burtenshaw