Baxter

Dear Max,

Yes, I know Tan Hock Chuan and have referred to him in an article which is appearing in the May Circular. We have had a session together with David Gilroy and George Jackson in Singapore.

After his season in India, Lyle writes me from Hong Kong, where he opened a few weeks ago. I am trying to persuade him to come to Singapore, where his big show would create a sensation, but so far without success. A show in the Lyle tradition with several tons of baggage and numerous assistants is not an easy matter to transport around the world, and it is necessary to have financial guarantees at each theatre. In these parts of the world there are big cinemas, but they do not as a rule possess the facilities for magic which you would find in an ordinary suburban music hall at home. So there are many snags to it.

I don't know whether you or John Bourne can use any of these items in your magazine, but it may interest readers — certainly the older ones — to know that the magician most often mentioned in Malaya is Max Malini. He paid several visits to Singapore in the days before the war and I am always meeting folk who ask me if I knew him. His effect which seems to be best remembered is the card on the ceiling!

I entertained the soldiers wounded in Jungle fighting, at Kinrara Hospital, which is just outside Kuala Lumpur with magic and ventriloquism recently. Very appreciative audience as you can imagine.

I hope to return in August when my job will be through. It has been a busy and trying time. In the last fortnight I have had to give six radio talks about the new National Service Bill which I came out to sponsor, and have taken part in two radio forums — one for Chinese and one for Indian listeners.

All the best,

Sincerely,

DOUGLAS CRAGGS. [Late Hon. Sec. Magic Circle, London.—Ed.]

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Excerpt from a letter from S. Rhodesia

I was requested to give an exhibition to a native audience of approx. 200 at a site, way out in the bush. All of the effects went over in a very big way, especially the rarebit saucepan, Funny-Funnel, Rice Bowls, Snuff Box and watch production (as a follow on to the old egg bag), but even though there were such a crowd of Africans collected, there was complete silence, and I was a little nervous. Production is the top-liner out here, which has to be of the kind that is fairly compact and easily transportable, for the distances are great, and a booking 50 miles away is commonplace! You will readily appreciate that I have had to feel my way, regarding types of illusions that go over well out here and, as I parted with my props before leaving England some years ago, it means building up gradually from scratch!

Thank you for your service and the very fine effects. A. V. WAY

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