The Vampire Club

The last Friday in January was the occasion of another successful VAMPIRE meeting. The club room was filled to capacity, which is getting on for one hundred, and I believe many new members were signed on.

LENZ in opening the proceedings, introduced many visitors of whom I must make mention of one famous name. We were honoured with the presence of the son of that great name in magic of bygone days, CHUNG LING SOO. What a great artiste he was and how well I remember, as a young enthusiast, travelling to distant music halls to see his colourful show.

MAX had a few words to say about the progress of the VAMPIRE CLUB with special reference as to its value to those members wishing to try out new ideas. I am of opinion that this valuable facility should be exploited by members to a much greater extent. Let us have an evening occasionally, presenting new ideas and inviting the audience to criticise even at the expense of cutting the cabaret. We could all learn something, I am sure, by open discussion on our entertaining efforts.

LENZ called for three volunteers, that is volunteers in the army definition of the word—I think he said YOU, YOU and YOU. However, three bold types rose to their feet and held forth.

'TICH' (Mr. Weight) gave us a humorous exposition of the technique of the art of selling in the market-place, using such technical terms as PITCHING, GRAFTING, BATTING, SMOTHER YOU IN. DOUBLE UP, etc. If you don't know what they all mean—well I haven't the space to explain so that lets me out.

MYSTICO (Mr. Gow) spoke of the tricks both simple and complex with which his father used to confound him and summing up that, in many instances, the simple ones were the most effective.

PIET TOVENAAR had a few words to say on the importance of good printing, both for publicity matter and visiting cards. He pointed out that your printed matter was an indication of your character, and as such cheap, shoddy work was a very poor investment and likely to do you harm.

The cabaret which followed was in such good hands that CLAUDE MANLEY decided it would be quite safe to accept a booking elsewhere and earn himself some hard cash. I think this was the first meeting he has missed in years.

I need only say that when you hear a crisp, staccato voice alternating with "A LITTLE SWEET MUSIC" and "STOP THE BAND" your compere can be none other than VICTOR EARLE! Yes—VICTOR had, once again, come along to present his "Magic Circle" Discoveries. I heard someone ask "who discovered VICTOR?"

Well I don't know but he put on a show that left no doubt as to the wisdom of all the discoveries.

First to appear was CAYELLO with a charming young lady as his assistant. He included ropes, coin in glass, gramophone record from cover to envelope and finished with the colourful "Silks, Tubes and Liquids" Trick.

VICTOR EARLE butted in here to show his skill as a quick fire artiste with coins, cards and cigarettes. He brought the house down with his exceptionally tame bird MARTHA. The enthusiastic MARTHA, having dived into a hat to pick out a selected card, was overcome with excitement and swallowed the card. VICTOR performed a surgical operation and recovered the missing pasteboard!

DE VERE who followed, showed what could be done with one of those rings of black felt which in the hands of the expert can be coaxed into about a thousand different types of hat. It is known to magicians as Chapeaugraphy, of course.

With the aid of the said black felt, swords, pistols, telescopes, etc., he was able to introduce us to dozens of characters through the ages, both of reality and fiction. They ranged from NAPOLEON to that very important public servant, THE DUSTMAN.

Next came CURLY BARNES presenting a silent act paying homage in the main to Bacchus. True, he started with cigarette manipulation but soon switched to the drink trade, manufacturing home made wine from the grape, and many concoctions of varying colour. He concluded by proving that a newspaper can consume a glass of wine just as readily as the average human.

After the usual break for refreshments, which could not be conjured up but had to be paid for. ZICARDI took the floor. Opening with ropes he passed on to the selection of an invisible card from an invisible pack, the duplicate of which appeared reversed in a material pack. He also included card fans, sponge balls, and finished with burnt treasury note restored to wallet. The act was presented throughout in a pleasing and easy style.

MARTINEZ came on next, with a young lady assistant—sorry I mustn't call him Martinez any more—the act is now CARLOS & CHARLO. His show abounded in humour, including one crack that the club motto should be altered to PRO BONO MAX & CO!! He gave us the pound note from locked jewel box to sealed brass tube, and instantaneous change of wireless set to a tea-set. (Vampire Radio-Enigma). His humorous presentation of a balancing and floating match was. I thought, first class.

JACK DELVIN concluded the cabaret, opening with the giant card that never can make up its mind how many pips it is going to have. He gave us a good show in his comfortable breezy style, wi th billiard balls and that nice combination of his, cards to pocket and diminishing cards. As a finale he told us the story of his OOFFLE FLY HIVE.

We have to record our thanks for the generosity of Mr. Robinson, who presented to the members some lovely souvenirs in the form of elaborately designed Chinese style letterheadings. as used by Chung Ling Soo.

MAX concluded the evening with a vote of thanks to VICTOR EARLE and the artistes. VICTOR certainly provided a grand show.

See you next month.

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