Cyril A Stevens

Forty three years ago a schoolboy walked on to the stage of Portsmouth Hippodrome to assist that doyen of all magicians, David Devant, giving his classic 'lesson in magic' at a children's matinee.

That schoolboy was Cyril A. Stevens, now well known in London Magical quarters as "Steve", and you see him featured on our cover this month.

From those early days "Steve's" ambition was fired as a magician and he gained, as a raw amateur, much valuable experience with army concert parties in the 1914-18 war. Since those early days 'Steve" has developed a strong comedy routine, and com ng to the Greater London area in 1937 was fortunate enough to meet Max who proposed him for membership of the Magic Circle, and he now holds the degree of A I.M.C. He is also a keen member of the I.B.M., British R:ng. He ranks as a well known semi-pro , with a sound connection gained without any extraneous advertising, all his work coming from personal recommendations.

Steve is not known as a silent finger fi nger so much as one who brings a gay, robust personality to magic. He uses mostly small props., and he enjoys his gags and situations no less than his audiences do. H s billing is "Magic and Nonsense" which speaks for itself, and he makes a feature trick of the dove pan for sophisticated audiences, while he takes a special delight in close up work in what he delightfully terms his "pub magic".

It is not generally known that Steve puts on a highly entertaining card act as well, specially suited for cabaret, where the bulk of his work lies.

In his spare t.'me our genial friend manages a busy suburban branch of one of the Big Five Banks, and he tours the country during the season to appear at most of the dinners and social functions in Bank ng circles. A real Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde in effect, for those who know Mr. Stevens in business do not realise how crazy he can be, while magicians cannot visualise him as a sedate man of affairs.

Another little known point about him is that he is always prepared to aid youngsters who show an undoubted flair for our art, and to pass on the knowledge he has gained in the hard school of experience over the years. He has two protegees, one who has already made the grade, and another is up and coming.

Whilst not claiming to be an inventor, Steve always implants his own ideas and bits of business into standard tricks, and this no doubt is what takes him out of the usual run of magical entertainers, for he puts entertainment value first, last, and foremost !




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