The Magic Circle

Monthly Concert held at King George's Hall, Saturday, March 27th.

The Magic Circle Concerts are renowned, and quite unique. For those who do not know, and have not had the privilege of attending one, we can tell you that no charge is made as they are not open to the public. Admission is by ticket only, and members and friends flock to see this all magical entertainment. So successful has it become since the War, that the average capacity of the hail was always exceeded, and today two performances are given on the same evening, totalling an audience of about 1,000 people.

This particular show was entitled "Up the Garden Path", and set out to give us 'deception from all angles'.

The first artiste to appear was Derrick Speight, making his debut He had a clean style and confident manner, with good voice control. His items were few but entertaining with the Indian Rope used as a running comedy gag. Mr. and Mrs. Green was nicely presented, and then a cod hypnotised table to finish with Even this fell to pieces when lifted . . . that is, all except the small table top which was stuck to his hand, and the curtain came down on him struggling to release himself. A sound of banging off stage, and as he took his curtain call, he was seen to be holding the table top with the reverse hand, the other sleeve being empty, and on the table top was stuck . . . the hand—severed at the wrist ! ! Not gruesome—very entertaining and this certainly justified the rest.

Bertram Mi&lidge, M.I.M.C., presented Magic Old and New. Here at once, for even the uninitiated to see, was an older man who was obviously by his touch, a past master of the art. His Silk Penetrations, through a chair back, through a solid steel ring, were fast as light, and much too fast for the eye to follow. This is really supreme magic ... as it is seldom seen ! He followed this with three coloured ribbons tied in front of the audience, into looped rings, which he then unlooped a la Chinese Rope R'ngs. Strangely we then saw the same effect in steel, the Chinese Rings, and lastly the Rising Cards from an isolated pack centre stage, with a Production Birdcage from Silk as a surprise finale.

Fred Castle M.I.M.C., "Up from Zummer-zet", was indeed a true to type West Country Yokel, and his make up and garb were really fine. He gave some excellent monologues and patter, and then a version of a giant three card trick, followed by an original routine with the Passe Bortles. His piece de resistence however, was a Box Trick. Members who know their magic books no doubt recognised it, but it was the first time I had seen it presented. The front door was opened and any article put inside. When the box was turned round on its own pivot stand, the reverse door was opened to find a similar article, and strangely enough the original article was brought out from the far side! Obviously this magic box would double anything put into (Continued on Pa^e 50)

LEFT: Fred Castle, Bertram Millidge, Elizabeth Warlock, John Napier.

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vampire G IL y IB

The Vampire Club meeting on March 27th, was, as usual, attended by an enthusiastic gathering of members. Max gave his usual cheery welcome with special reference to newcomers of which there appeared to be a goodly number. The time will come. I think, when the present room will be unable to cope with the ever increasing attendance.

Fred Hawkins was then called upon as he had kindly promised to give a talk on magic without apparatus. He gave a wonderful quick fire demonstration—one could hardly term it a talk—embracing silks, cards, liquids, thimbles, ropes, rings, balls, newspapers, etc. It was a wonderful display and he didn't tell us how to do a single trick but perhaps we knew the hidden secrets of most of them. The production of a chosen card from an invisible pack was most amusing to watch.

Lenx then took over to run through the varied range of Max Andrews' products which are always so temptingly displayed on these occasions. I cannot, of course, detail all the items shown but, if you do not possess the latest Max Andrews catalogue, well, I should waste no more time in remedying that deficiency.

Len* gave his usual—oh so easy—demonstration of the latest handkerchief to cane, square and circle sponge and Chinese rope rings. What a lovely variation is this latter effect of the old classic—Chinese Rings.

To do all that used to be done with three ordinary pieces of rope is indeed good magic. I bought a set there and then.

After the usual break for refreshment the remainder of the evening was handed over to Claude Manley for his cabaret, which was up to usual standard. He must be a very persuasive fellow to get so many good artistes to come along and entertain us. I must say at this stage how nice it was to hear Claude announce that two Vampire members were to make their first appearance. This is what we like to hear and shows the true club spirit, so a special word of appreciation to Les Hall and Geoffrey Dawe.

Les Ha'l opened with "Indian Moon" and passed on to a somewhat argumentative routine worked with the assistance of Percy Press and a lady—how careless of me—I forgot to ask the lady's name. At any rate all three of them appeared to have quite a good time with the egg bag. He also presented "Coins to Class" and "Cards to Pocket".

Next came Edwin with real quick fire stuff and a fine background of humorous patter which soon had us all laughing He opened with the "Six card repeat" and "Diminishing cards". The "Chinese compass" was presented in a new guise to the story of how things went wrong whilst he was doing a job painting road signs. He concluded with "Uncanny Hankies" and a splendid "Giant four ace" effect. Full marks for an excellent show.

Syd Marchant made much of the simpfe colour change handkerchiefs—I said simple but in his hands it looked highly complicated and very mysterious. He followed on with the "Sympathetic silks" and other silk effects presented with style and good patter.

Geoffrey Dawe concluded the cabaret with another good spot of humour. His skit on several magic magazines was great fun and an excellent pull of the Max Andrew leg. This item alone must have meant many hours of careful preparation. He gave a new twist on "Anti-gravity glasses" and finished with an amusing cocktail story which embraced not only cocktails but light ale and Guinness (sorry—no advertising).

So ended another enjoyable evening of good fun and good club spirit.

BEWARE OF GHOSTS by len belcher

You will find here a happy little combination of a Spirit Slate effect and the o!d cord and bottle: it is designed for children, and forms a routine that runs for about five minutes.

To present it you will need any of the standard methods for the bottle part, a pair of slates and flap, and you will have to doctor one slate as I have indicated in the diagram. This isn't a difficult proposition at all, and you surely don't need -to be any great shakes as an artist to knock up a decent picture of a ghost.

For the preparation you fold up the ghost picture and pu,t the flap on top of it, then the unprepared slate is laid on top. The bottle and cord and the necessary are close by.

You begin by saying that you have a little gnome in the bqttle who sometimes sends you messages. However, he has such a tiny voice that everybody has to keep very quiet, or you can't hear what he says. This brings you ,to the bottle, and you listen at the top, but of course you don't hear a thing. You then reckon that you will have to bring him out of the bottle, and get him to write his message on something. The audience can be reft to suggest just what that something shall be, because you keep lifting the slates and putting them on one side in your hunt for a piece of paper.

The slates are cleaned and laid down again, being reversed in the process, so that the fake slate is underneath. Now you begin to try to get the gnome out of the bo,ttle, but with no success. Suddenly you have a bright idea; perhaps if you drop a rope down the neck the little chap will be able to take hold of it and you will be able to pull him out. You do this, but he must be in a playful mood; he hangs on to the rope, and you can't get it out again. All the usual moves with the bottle are done but built round the new patter angle.

At last, of course, a volunteer from the audience is able to get the rope out, and you pretend to ,take the gnome from the end and pop him between the slates.

When these are separated again after suitable business it is the "Beware of Ghosts"

playing up by looking under tables and behind curtains and so on. In the middle of all this the ghost picture is allowed to fall open, but the performer doesn't see it, and only when ithe rising tide of shouts from the audience becomes too noticeable does he do a double take on it, and then hurriedly packs it away, before passing on to his next item.

If you play up this interlude properly there is a great deal of fun to be extracted from it. The mechanics, weight, packing, and re-setting are all of little account, and this is very important to hard working magicians like you and me.


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