ZduC and fii

Editor's Foreword.—This effect should be of the greatest use to the practical conjurer requiring a comedy item for presentation before either adults or children. The reader must realise that the secret of a successful performance will lie in the acting ability of the performer. Whilst the mystery of the egg bag divorced from good presentation might prove effective it is a matter for doubt. The climax of the effect is something that has been needed for many a day. An important point is that the accessories require no special preparation, and the set-up for the effect is a matter of minutes. Notice the repetition of the ivord " Constantinoplean," which can almost become a tongue-twister at certain places.—P.W.

I think it is best to give first the articles required, followed by their disposition. The presentation all then describe the necessary will then descrío actions and moves.

Requirements .—One

" Abdul's Fez " (marketed by Zaharee), two large silks, a lemon (artificial or real), three celluloid or wooden eggs, a few trinkets, and an Ostrich egg (the latter should not be difficult to obtain as there is generally a surplus at local museums and often the curator is only too pleased to get them out of his way). At one end of the Ostrich egg a hole is carefully made of such size that it will accommodate the second finger of the right hand. Besides the articles mentioned a scroll on which are written some arabic symbols will help to give colour to the effect. This scroll is mounted on a rod, one end of which carries a clip. The purpose of this clip is to attach it to the side of a chair (see illustration).

Disposition of Articles.—Scroll and rod are clipped to side of chair and the large silks draped (see illustration) so that they form a screen. This illustration also shows how the eggs, lemon and trinkets are placed. The Ostrich egg, with its opening to the left of the chair, is placed behind

I think it is best to give first the articles required, followed by their disposition. The presentation all then describe the necessary

the screen formed by the silks. To prevent any possibility of the egg rolling it is advisable to have a sheet of sponge-rubber or felt on the chair. The fez, the conjurer either carries or it is placed on a table. A table or chair is on the prompt side. It is on this that the eggs are placed

The Lines.—Once upon a time there was a Turk named Abdul, who lived in a suburb of Constantinople. On the second Tuesday in March his wife decided that he should go into Constantinople and do the shopping. So off (at this point conjurer puts on the fez) Abdul went in a Constantinoplean way to the market in Constantinople. (Conjurer at this point is at prompt corner of stage, and putting down his head he makes heavy going of walking to the chair, which should be just off centre and towards the O.P. side.) There he saw a beautiful shop like this. The thing though that caught Abdul's eye was an egg ! He picked it up (actions accompany the words), looked at it gloatingly, placed it down, picked up the other articles in turn but in the end, in a true Constantinoplean manner he returned to the egg. He took off his fez (as readers who have one of these almost standard props will know a feature is that the egg can be thrown in the fez, the latter being then turned mouth downward. This move is now used), picked up the egg and dropped it inside (conjurer takes off his fez, picks up the egg and drops it inside). Then Abdul in a true Constantinoplean manner (here fez is taken by the tassel and allowed to drop mouth downwards, the egg, of course, being quite safely hidden. The conjurer, with the fez thus dangling, walks half-way towards the front corner of the prompt side), started his journey back home. At the City gate he was stopped by one of the guards, who said " What

ABDUL AND HIS EGG — continued from page 9

ABDUL AND HIS EGG — continued from page 9

have you in your fez ? " and Abdul, in his urbane Constantinoplean manner, replied, " Nothing at all, nothing at all " (here the fez is turned inside out and shown to be empty). Abdul then proceeded home (conjurer takes another couple of steps and stops). His wife met him at the door and said, " Well, Abdul, what have you bought indeed from the Constantinoplean market ? " and Abdul, with Constantinoplean wistfulness, said, " Well, my dear, I looked all the way round but finally fancied this egg for myself! " (the fez is turned mouth upwards and the egg is removed and shown. Abdul's wife then said, "Have you. not brought anything for me ?" Abdul, in a Constantinoplean manner, shook his head. His wife screamed " Then go back thou lazy dog " (the conjurer places the egg on a table or chair). So off Abdul went once more. The whole of the preceding is repeated ; Abdul first looking at the egg on the chair, picking it up, putting it down and then taking it again and returning.

On his way he is again stopped by the City guard, and, likewise on his return home, he is chided by his wife and told to return. He leaves the second egg on the chair. And so, for the third time, Abdul went in his Constantinoplean way to the market. He stopped at the stall; he looked at the trinkets (conjurer picks up various items ; more can be done here by facial expression and mime than by speaking), but always his eye came back to the egg (the egg is picked up and quickly placed down in the manner of one forcefully overcoming a great temptation). He looked at the silks from Hispahan ! (Here comes the vital move : at this stage the fez is held by the fingers and thumb of the left hand, mouth upwards). Because of the stiffness of the material used the fez keeps its shape. The right hand, thumb on top and fingers underneath, apparently feels the texture of the silk. The hand moves up and down the silk, finally coming to rest at a point opposite the opening of the egg. The second finger of the right hand enters the hole in the ostrich egg whilst the first finger and thumb feel the surface of the silk at this point. The right hand picks up the silk whose draping completely conceals the Ostrich egg. The silk is now brought across the left arm, and in mime, as though emphasising its beauty, the conjurer draws it across that part between the wrist and the extremity, so that for a few moments the opening of the fez is covered. During this brief space, the Ostrich egg is allowed to sink into the fez. And so Abdul decided that he would take the silks back to his Constantinoplean wife (the silk he is holding is pushed inside the fez down the side of the Ostrich egg, the other silk now being picked up and placed on top of this). When he arrived home (the conjurer walks towards the prompt side) his wife asked for the third time what he had bought from the market, and this time, Abdul was able to say in his best Constantinoplean manner, " I have bought for you the most beautiful silk from the land of Hispahan " (the silks are slowly removed and displayed). " And for yourself ? " said his wife, " Ah, well, I still had to bring myself an egg ! " (at this point fez is turned upside down on to the left hand, the right hand gently pulls on the tassell, allowing the Ostrich egg to be seen resting on the right hand).

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MODES FOR MENTALISTS

No. 1—" THINK AS I THINK "—This is an effect, where, instead of the performer receiving the spectators' thoughts, they receive his thoughts. Every detail has been attended to so that this makes for a perfect presentation.

VOLTAIRE, after seeing it demonstrated wrote as follows :—" I would like you to accept my admiration of the effect ... in which members of the audience appear to read your mind. In my view it is one of the most brilliant of mental effects that I have seen . . ."

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