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Vampire Street Magician

To see our friend Claude Chandler's face gracing the front page of the Magic Circular for February, and dressed in the guise of the famous pantomime character "Abanaza", reminds me to voice once again in print the strong admiration I have always felt for those who dramatize the magic art. Incidentally Claude's impersonation was most impressive, as also was that of Ali Bey who played this part with great zest at the Chiswick Empire this season. It is a pity that pantomimes have died a natural death in many parts of the South of England at least, and I had to take the family fifteen miles to this one which was the nearest to Sunbury. David Nixon has scored a terrific personal success in his part as "Buttons", in London's only West End Panto this year at the Hippodrome, Cambridge Circus. I have seen more press photos and news paragraphs for him in this role than any other British magician can possibly have had in any recent six months. It says a great deal for the hard ground work David has had, with many years experience in Concert Party working the Summer Season at many seaside holiday resorts. The most recent notice 1 saw of him said that he came as near to moving the audience to tears as this character could do, which is indeed praise for his his-tronic ability.

Sorcar eventually ended his prolonged run in Paris and at the time of writing has achieved part of his lifelong ambition, to present his show in England. He played one week at the end of January at Folkestone. From the press cuttings received, all the publicity except one item relates to the news that he was opening at the local theatre next week. We did see however, a photograph of his Indian Company, which includes his musicians and the total number was twenty persons. The press did say that there was "one never-to-be-forgotten moment in the programme when the magician cuts off the tongue of a member of his company", but just what this egnimatical phrase means I know not. The rest of the write-up mentions tricks with sword boxes, baskets, productions of ail kinds of livestock and the inevitable sawing a lady. We certainly look forward to seeing the show in the London area.

We noted in the organ of the Swedish Magic Circle, that Max Hoffezinser, one of Europe's outstanding magical personalities, had passed away last September. So far as I know, his only work published in this country was the brilliantly technical book published by George Johnson at the beginning of the war, called "HoffzinSer's "Card Conjuring". He was 78 years old.

Incidentally—this Swedish Magic Circle are holding a three day Convention on the 2nd. to 4th. March inclusive, in Stockholm. Although they seem to be inviting foreign participation they have not had the forethought to translate their prospectus into either French or English. I cannot therefore give you any further information except that if any of you are contemplating an early vacation you may care to consider this. I am sure details in English could be obtained by personal application to the organisers, S.M.C. Congress, Postbox 16097, Stockholm 16.

Although the event is reported elsewhere I would like to add my personal congratulations to Victor Earle. for the presentation of his discoveries programme at the last Vampire Club meeting. There is no doubt that Victor does a great work here, in digging out potential talent from amongst the new members to the Magic Circle, and the practice they get from this round of club shows, together with the encouragement and guidance freely offered, has a great deal to do with the high standard achieved. The finals for the medals Victor offers each year, are currently being held at the Magic Circle's Clubroom, and we hope to report on this at a later date.

The Leeds 'One Day' Magical Convention was held at the Mecca Locarno Ballroom, on Sunday, 5th. February, and this extremely well organised affair lived up to its usual high reputation. I do not know the exact number of registrations but there must have been over three hundred and fifty and would have been more if the weather had been more promising. Being on our Exhibition Stand ail day, I am not in a position to give any further details, but am hoping to get this covered. From all points of view however, it was extremely successful, and a grand opportunity to welcome and meet so many of our northern friends again, particularly our hardworking editor, George Blake. Lenz and I spent a lovely evening at his home the night before, being hospitably entertained by his charming wife. And did we talk magic—or did we? This is a once a year affair we ail four look forward to very much.

I cannot recall if I have mentioned it before, but the next British Ring Convention will be held at Brighton, and the Headquarters Hotel is, as before, the Metropole. I understand from our friend Mr. Askew, who was in the Studio recently, and who has many friends amongst influential people, that the hotel has changed hands, and is now under the control of the same group as the Mayfair Hotel, London. I mentioned to him the

MEET PETER A. McDONALD

— Continued most magical journals. We saw no reason why the "Magic Magazine" should not be included in in his list, and in December. 1954, through the efforts of our Technical Editor, Peter was induced to write for us. Since then he has, so far, contributed no less than 16 worth while articles. You will do well to go back on these and read them again, especially if you have a liking for close-up and card magic.

We are happy to announce that a new series from his pen (or is it typewriter, in this mechanical age?) will commence with the new volume in April, under the title "Paste-board Prangers". so you card fiends have something to look forward to.

If you meet Peter, you will find him a very tall, fair, and quietly spoken man, with long fingered hands well suited to his art. He has always been popular with his fellows, and I found him very charming. Strangely enough we had corresponded for years before meeting, for he used to send me many manuscripts which were not suitable for marketing and at that time at the end of the War, I had no magazine in which to publish them. Good luck Peter, and keep writing.

unco-operative spirit with which we were received on the previous occasion, and he has promised to put in a good word for us with his friend who is a director. So here's looking forward to a grand time again, and to those of you who are our overseas readers, may I say why not give yourselves a real treat and come to Britain for a magical holiday at that time, which is 12th to 16th September. Reservations at the hotel can be made direct.

On the 26th of this month (Feb.) we are attending the Blackpool Magic Circle's One Day Convention, and as I shall be booked up with B.I.F. activities, I am determined to make a superhuman effort to dash up there.

Readers are reminded to notice the paragraph elsewhere in this issue showing the small increased price of single copy magazines, whilst the annual subscription remains the same. Also may I just add that the new Catalogue is expected as announced but if for any reason it does not arrive on a certain date please do wait patiently as things like this cannot possibly work to an exact schedule nowadays.

Well, here's to the Spring, and keep smiling.

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