Books

MAGICIANS' DIARY & YEAR BOOK, 1954. Published by the Penshaw Press.

Although through the course of more years than we care to remember, there has been an outcry for a special magicians' diary, it was not until last year that the demand was met. The travail of its birth brought forth many blemishes, typographical errors, wrong data, etc. We are therefore happy to see that this year with more time in hand, the publisher has produced with the aid of Messrs. De la Rue & Co., Ltd., an excellent product. The information in the front of the diary is most helpful. Of particular interest are the details regarding insurance of props and also various risks that may befall the wielder of the wand. There is a marginal index for each month and at the end of the diary part are a number of blank pages for jotting down ideas, patter and so on. All in all something that those interested in magic cannot afford to be without.

MARTIN GARDNER'S MOTHER GOOSE MYSTERY. Published, bygGeorge Armstrong Price 7/6. Considering the fact tbat with this trick you get a book of Mother Goose Rhymes which is specially printed so as to allow for certain predictions,"much^after'the style of the Stanley Collins's Book of Verses, the price of 7/6 is very reasonable indeed. The means for choosing the word and page are very clever indeed, one being based on a Stewart James theme. The effect is brief consists of two predictions and to these George Armstrong has added an extra routine in which the book prominently figures. Well recommended.

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WE ARE writing these few words after seeing and hearing that great Wagnerian soprano Kirsten Flagstad. We have watched and heard a great artiste and above all we have noted something that applies to all art whether it be as lowly as magic or as great as music. That something is restraint, or the ability of the artiste to use art to conceal art. . . the means for arriving at the desired result without any apparent exertion.

Too often in magic one is all too aware of a performer's cleverness for he makes no attempt to conceal it. Often in so doing he strains his technique beyond its performing limits and the result to say the least is manipulative chaos. Notice the fact that we have written in italics, performing limits. We know only too well that those whose interest in magic is pure, can, in practice sessions achieve far more than they ever will in public performance for the nervous factor evoked by the trappings of theatre and audience is something that is in most cases bound to have an effect on those who use manipulation as a means to an end.

By the time these words appear in print the Magic Circle Festival of Magic will be a long way behind. It was a happy backstage and our prediction that the Compaens would prove the most novel act in the show came true with the result that they will open at the Dorchester this month for a four weeks' engagement. A charming couple, we are pleased to reproduce a previously unpublished photograph on this page.

Some time back our friend Goodliffe in his Abra editorial gave some excellent reasons for the inception of sponsored TV. We were certain that it would bring more controversial arguments than it did. Actually we believe only Fabian, his part ner in crime, came up with any criticism. Our own feeling is that only sponsored TV. will ever do any good for magicians, for however good the quality of the magic offered, TV. producers as a whole never seem to be able to present it as it should be presented. Just before the Circle TV. show in October we have memories of seeing a continental conjurer in Cafe Continental bad background and bad camera work killed the true illusionary nature of the entertainment for the viewing public. The Circle TV. show which contained al! the magical ingredients for a successful presentation was spoiled artistically because imagination was lacking. The novelty of TV is a novelty no more and if the highest standard a magical programme can reach is that in which no exposure takes place then there is no purpose to be achieved by TV presentation. Bad lighting predominated throughout and the background used could have been bettered in most Church huts. We are finding no fault with the magic or the magicians and we understand from well informed quarters that the O.B. Department of the B.B.C. considered it a great success. If they did we can only think that they have some special kind of monitor set with a rose coloured screen having special compensatory device for bad lighting, unimaginative camera work, breaks in sound transmission and uninspired production.

TV. is not new, and its general background of instruction is the 2-dimensional cinema film. The camera man working for a film unit is a highly paid technician his pay reaching as high a figure as £150 per week. He doesn't just sit behind a camera and press a button ... he is responsible for lighting and other technical matters ... he is the imaginative producers right hand man ... he has a certain measure of artistry in him. His opposite number is required in TV.

MARTIN GARDNER'S

MOTHER GOOSE MYSTERY

An easy to do yet baffling book test. The performer hands out a booklet of Mother Goose Rhymes and a spectator selects a word and a page in such a fair manner that the selection seems obviously to be governed by chance, yet the performer can immediately name the word chosen (or he can predict it beforehand If preferred).

This can immediately be repeated and a different word is chosen

Added to the full presentation of this baffling double effect is a triple prediction by George Armstrong, which •hows how the book of rhymes can be used in other mental effects.

Supplied complete with four page printed folder of instructions and presentation, and the neatly printed book oT Mother Goose Rhymes.

Price 7/6: Postage 3d.

aving about the naw tvan't already seen a

NOW READY THE THIRD ISSUE OF THE NEW GIANT SIZED

MAGIC WAND

47 TRICKS AND SLEIGHTS BY 25 AUTHORS PLUS SEVERAL INTERESTING ARTICLES

THE MAGICAL WORLD is rai styla Magic Wand, and if you haven' copy wa strongly advise you to sand for one now, bafore they go right out of print. Already tha March issua is fetching 12/6 or 15/- a copy where a copy can ba found!

The third (October) issue contains so much really worth-while material that we cannot possibly list it all here, but a list of a few of the contributors will indicate the value of the contents: A. Brian Macarthy, Edward Victor, Jim Merlini. Ken de Courcy, the late Nelson Lyford Douglas Francis, Harry Latour, A. C. Newitt, Roy Green, Charly Eperny, Jack Lamonte, W. C. Weber, Tom Sellers, Peter A. McDonald, Toni Koynini, etc. etc.

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