The Series

Today everyone talks about the power of the computer. In fact tonight Tm going to talk to you about a computer available right now. It's self propelled, can be mass produced by unskilled labour and it's very economical, fuelled by little more than a spoonful of sugar a day. It weighs between two and a half and three pounds and there are no moving parts. Now before you run off to the store to get one, stop to think, you're using it right now. That's right, your brain. So begins the first episode...

The Christmas Show

This was the first show to be broadcast and a great teaser for the forthcoming series. The set was especially decorated for the season with a huge brightly lit Christmas tree extending from the studio floor up to the minstrel gallery from where David made his introductory speech, welcoming the audience to the show. Good evening and a Happy Christmas to you. My name is David Berglas and my special interest is in the mystery and magic of the mind, your mind, in which nothing is impossible. The...

The Personalised Birthday Square

David has used this effect at a number of special events where he was asked to pay tribute to a friend. For instance, at the 80th birthday dinner for Caroline Ratcliff, the mother of his good friend, John, David stood up and gave the following presentation. He began by recalling that every time he met Caroline she would ask him to show her a card trick. He took out a pack of cards as if about to show magic but instead took time to explain the parallels between a deck of cards and a calendar,...

Cryptomania

Another mathematical presentation that David has often used involves a special Code Board in which the letters of the alphabet are arranged below the numbers 0 to 9. It's a simple and well-known cryptography aid enabling him, for instance, to translate a name, letter by letter, into a number. On the board illustrated the name of a volunteer, Carol for instance, can be translated into the number 20,741, which happens to be ideal for the Today's Date. The effect therefore is that the volunteer's...

Todays Date

This is the number routine that David uses more than any other. It works well on stage, in cabaret and as a close-up presentation. It is also extremely versatile and is especially useful in corporate and promotional work. Call out any single digit number one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine or zero. He is holding a large write-on wipe-off board and a marker pen and addressing his request to the audience. Someone calls out the number seven and David writes it on the board. And...

Method

The best way to understand this is to try it. Write down the numbers noted in our example. Starting with the top row and working your way down, choose one number from each row, cross it out and write it down to generate a new four-digit number. Each chosen number is written to the right of the previous one. That's your first four-digit number and it is probably different from the one given in our example. In the same manner choose four more numbers to construct a second four-digit number under...

Add Infinitum

It's a cabaret show and David has asked someone in the audience to call out a three-digit number. He does, 382, David writes it on a board. Three more members of the audience call out three-digit numbers and these are written down beneath the first to form a sum, for instance Add Infinitum from the 1974 Swedish television series, Man of Mystery. David immediately writes something down on a smaller board and sets it aside. It's a prediction, he says. But if I had just predicted the total of...

Mathemagic

David has a fascination for numbers and it manifests itself in many of his routines. Spend any length of time with him and he'll point out all manner of numerical oddities that you never noticed before. For instance, that the 19th of September 1991 can be expressed as 1991991 or 19.9.91, which as a palindrome reads the same forwards as backwards. While working on this book he asked if I'd noticed anything unusual about the date. It was the 9th September 1999, otherwise expressed as 9999,...

Tearing the Paper

The lady is finally holding a double sheet of paper. David asks her to tear it in half and then hand one half to him. If it is page 35 36 he makes this her choice and asks her to throw the other half away. If he is handed page 3 4 he throws it away leaving her with the force page. He then asks her to choose either side of the page. It doesn't matter which side she selects, 35 or 36, as it has no consequence for the routine but it appears to be yet another major decision. If the prediction is...

Choosing the Page

David now opens some of the other papers on the table to show they are all different and then drops them on the floor so that anyone who is curious can examine them later on. The lady unfolds her newspaper. He asks her to call out its name and also the date of publication. As soon as she has done this David catches her off guard and asks her to name a small number. Again she doesn't have much time to think. Most volunteers name the number 3 or 4 and David asks her to remove that page from the...

The Performance

David hands the prediction envelope to a man in the audience and then asks a lady to join him on the cabaret floor. His first task is to force her to choose one of the duplicate newspapers, The Daily Telegraph. She is standing a little way from the table and David asks her to go up to the newspapers and point to one. Most times she will point to one of the duplicate papers because the newspapers are placed in the optimum position for this to happen. It is a psychological force that works 80 of...

The Proof

The Proof' is what David calls the final prediction, the coda that distinguishes this routine from all others. It is the front and back page, of The Daily Telegraph. Inside is just one sheet, sides 35 and 36. On page 35 David has circled the prediction phrase with a thick felt marker. The Proof is placed into an envelope and left openly on the table with the spread of newspapers, where it is seen but never referred to. ivtuu ouuain wu ttuta 'm otkowcuai VUCU. (tu UMlGW Meiu .im luuntuu

The Piece of Paper

We'll start, paradoxically, with the ending of the routine, the final piece of paper chosen by the spectator. It must have print on both sides but only one side has a bold phrase that easily stands out. David guides his volunteer to this phrase by asking her, for example, to Read out any words that makes sense. Or alternatively, as the volunteer is examining the paper, Is there any paragraph or obvious start to a sentence That is the phrase David predicts and writes on the back of the...

Info

When someone asks David to do a trick at a party he never says, I'm sorry I didn't bring anything with me. That's not the way he works. What is there for a magician to bring Does he confess to leaving his thumbtip or some other special apparatus at home David believes that magic works best when it's done on the spur of the moment with any props that are to hand. Some of David's favourite party stunts are designed to give the impression that he can do magic with just about anything, anywhere....

Questions and Answers

The audience certainly had lots of questions. All the volunteers have by now returned to their seats and David says, I hope you've enjoyed the evening. No doubt you have many questions and we do have time for a few. So if you would like to ask me any question about anything you've seen tonight, or anything that has been triggered off by what you have seen, then now is the time. Questions poured forth. Anyone who read through the programme saw that the Question and Answer session had been...

Put Your Best Foot Forward

Another volunteer from the line-up is asked to come forward. He stands facing front, feet apart. He's told to look straight ahead. David touches his left foot with his own left foot. I am touching your left foot. You can feel that can't you The man says he can. David touches his right foot. And you can feel that's your right foot Again the response is yes. He touches the left foot again and then the right, each time asking the man if he can feel it. Raj brings on a large square tile. On it is...

Razor Sharp

Now it's the turn of one of the men to help. David picks out a volunteer and shows him one of the postcards the ladies were holding. Look at this. It's just a postcard isn't it Feel the edge. Is it sharp Would you believe me if I tell you I can sharpen it David scrapes the card against his open left hand as if sharpening a cut-throat razor on a leather strap. The microphone picks up the sound of the card as it brushes back and forth over the palm. It sounds uncannily like a razor being...

Shock Tactics

The nurses return to their seats and David asks for some more volunteers, lots of them. Anxious to participate, nine men and three ladies are welcomed onto the stage. The ladies step forward and David hands one of them a postcard. He asks her to hold it between thumb and forefinger but cautions her to look straight ahead as she does so. She holds the card and suddenly David whips it out of her hand, saying, Not so tightly. She takes it again between thumb and forefinger. Hold it looser. She...

Your Finger on the Pulse

A group of nurses from a local hospital have been invited to the show and two of them now come up on stage. They are dressed in their uniforms and stand either side of David as he tells the audience about some of the superhuman feats of the fakirs, fire-walking and buried alive stunts. But it's not generally known that we have the ability to control some of our bodily functions to an amazing degree. Heart rate, breathing, temperature, sweating and even crying. For instance, as you know, the...

Seeing is Believing

The curtain on the Spirit Cabinet is closed again on the entranced volunteer and immediately the instruments on the table begin to play. David opens the curtain but nothing seems to have changed. The instruments lie undisturbed on the table. The curtain is closed and the audience hears moaning and groaning from within. The curtain is quickly opened. The audience see the young man still tied to the chair with ropes binding his arms and crossing his chest but his jacket has gone Somehow the...

Sance

As originally performed at the Hendon Classic, the second part of the show featured an elaborate s ance routine combining a Ouija board session, a Spirit Cabinet, David's Table L vitation and a startling illusion. David, now dressed in a smart smoking jacket, begins by telling the audience that everything they are about to see is done purely in the name of entertainment and not to encourage any belief or even scepticism of the paranormal. But watch closely and you may just see something weird...

Memories are Made of This

David hands the deck to one of the men and asks him to shuffle it. He does a fancy shuffle and David quickly says, No not that much The audience laughs and David explains that he was just kidding, the man can shuffle to his heart's content. He hands the cards to David who passes them to the second man and asks him to cut the deck on the table and complete the cut. He is then asked to turn the cards face-up. David spreads the cards in a wide arc. I'm going to look at these cards and try to...

Can You Solve this Puzzle

David asks one of the two gentlemen to point to someone in the audience. He nominates a lady and she is asked to call out the name of a playing card. It is the Two of Diamonds. The second gentleman is asked to choose someone else. That person is asked to call out a number. They choose seventeen. David draws attention to a pack of cards that has been lying on the table. If I went to that pack of cards, opened it, and counted to seventeen and found your card at that position, that would be a...

Shall We Open the

One of the volunteers is asked to empty his pockets and put the items onto the top of an ornate cocktail trolley that serves as a small table. He's come up with quite an assortment. A tie-clip, wallet, watch, comb, chewing gum, a coin, keys, pen and so on. As he arranges the items on the trolley Raj brings on a small wooden box. David asks the man to eliminate a few of the objects and then choose just one. He chooses the watch. I think I anticipated that because believe it or not I put my own...

A leaflet for Man Myth Magic 1971

TELEVISION'S INTERNATIONALLY FAMOUS MAN OF MYSTERY illusions), the title changed once again, this time to Man, Myth & Mystery. The original title, Man, Myth & Magic, achieved national prominence when a magazine publisher contacted David and asked if they could use it for their new magazine on the occult. David gave permission and even came to an arrangement by which they could sell subscriptions to the magazine at his shows around the country. At the time he did not realise what an...

The Hendon Classic Show

David Berglas had been performing one-man shows for years but it was only in 1971 that he gave it a set format and permanent title, Man, Myth & Magic. It was a long show, three hours including two intervals, showcasing a selection of his best routines and introducing some new novelties, notably a stage s ance. Each of the three sections of the show took its name from a portion of the title, Man, Myth & Magic, a situation that seemed ideal at the time. The different sections of the show...

David in the Lions

As PART OF A 1963 TOUR OF ISRAEL DaVID HAD PLANNED a NUMBER OF PRESS CONFERENCES and publicity stunts. A press conference usually consisted of a civilised performance before an audience of journalists over cocktails. The publicity stunts were an altogether different affair. In Tel Aviv David had a busy schedule, three stunts in one day. In the evening he would perform his Table Levitation out in the open, in a public square. In the afternoon he would drive a scooter blindfolded around Tel Aviv...

Creda Cookers

In 1963 David toured England with a special presentation he had devised for Creda who were promoting a new cooker. It was an ambitious campaign that took him around Britain even gaining a favourable notice in Abracadabra magazine when Goodliffe and Fabian saw the show in Birmingham. It was one of David's First corporate engagements and was to set the benchmark for many more. It was also the First time he used a special portable stage he had devised that could be erected in any hotel, turning a...

And the box is closed

That the television show was just not going to happen. The euphoria of the pilot had slowly faded and David found himself at a low point in his professional career, with no money and little sign of any work on the horizon. His agents, Lew and Leslie Grade, thought they had the answer. Another tour, this time in Israel. None of this can disguise the fact that the illusion with the rocking horse is one of David's all time favourite effects. Few people saw it but those that did will always...

Davids routine of Turning the Clock Back from the television series Modem Magic 1961

And there's no telling what the men thought. From the audience's point of view David had handed the coins back and the men had, by their actions, confirmed that they had received them. David continued with the card effect producing the selection between the sheets of glass. The Television Frame was then reset for the repeat. Each signed selection was palmed away before the pack was handed back to the spectator. Next was the Clock Dial effect. David had the arrow in his...

Whales Cats Plants

D id vppe rf.d on Eamonn Andrews' television chat show, in the early smcnmcs . he cm there with a plan in mind. A plan that if carried out successfully would resnltnnianlvinasceiimd appearance on the show but also a tidy bit of newspaper publicity. It depended on David being able to manipulate the conversation and turn the usual inacifciun session into a seemingly impromptu challenge. The show began with a discussion aim Dwifsdog. Tricky, and how he had been trained to do all kinds of unusual...

Magic Fingers

This is one of David's favourite items. He devised it in the 1950's and it is every bit as magical now as it was then. That it has remained unseen for so long is remarkable as it must be one of the most unusual and startlingly visual compere items ever created. He used it on his Modern Magic television series and if you were watching it at home you would have seen a caption, shown full screen, reading, Introducing David Berglas. That done, you'd expect the camera to cut to David. It doesn't....

Box over Regent Street

It's August 1959 and two sandwich board men are walking up and down London's Regent Street, near Piccadilly Circus, the billboards strapped to their bodies advertising the BBC radio show Holiday Music Hall. One of the boards, mounted on their shoulders, features an arrow pointed skywards. You look up and see a black metal box suspended fifty feet above the centre of the road. It is held aloft by cables that stretch from one side of Regent Street to the other. There's a bold question mark...

David with a different twin a cardboard one outside the Pigalle in Picadilly 1959

When they open again, out steps David complete with his time-stamped entry form. It wouldn't be an instant transposition. That would be too impossible. So he planned to wait a few moments. He merely had to emerge from the cabinet early enough to beat the fastest time. The pause would allow plenty of room for press speculation as to how he managed to travel from London to Paris so quickly. Some of the forms had already been procured courtesy of the RAC magician. They had been pre-stamped at...

The famous Fabian initialling the small brass tube which was used in the bill transposition

Fabian wrote his initials on it and then held the tube between his thumb and forefinger. The initialled sticker was in view at all times. Indeed what the viewers saw was a split screen shot of both studios, the first time the technique had been used in a light entertainment programme. On one half of the screen they could keep an eye on the tube in London. On the other half of the screen they could watch the cigarette case in Manchester. On the count of five, said David,...

The Man in the Glass

Although it is popularly said that money can't bl y happiness, many people still live their lives as if they believed the opposite. Being rich and successful has little to do with overall contentment. We are happiest when we feel in charge of our own lives, have high self-esteem. enjoy a close network of friends and family and believe we are doing well, rather than being incompetent or ineffective. In a recent survey, asking people what makes them happy, the last reason given was money. Being...

An Interlude

This may be a good moment to mention one effect that David includes in his stage routine with cards that is absolutely devastating and direct. A card has been named by one of the volunteers on stage and David says to him, In a moment I am going to ask you to walk up to the table and cut the cards like this. David demonstrates by cutting the pack into two packets. What the audience do not know is that he is cutting exactly at the named card. He can glimpse the face card of the cut portion to be...

The Knights Tour

The Knight's Tour is an ancient chess puzzle, the aim of which is for the Knight to travel across the chessboard visiting every single square just once. Mathematically speaking there are literally thousands of solutions. But in practice it is almost impossible for anyone not in the know to uncover even one of them. As a result, magicians have sometimes used the puzzle as a demonstration of prodigious memory and calculation. David has always felt that it was an impressive feat for the right...

Breaking the Chain

I'd like you to take the ends please, it's quite heavy, it's galvanised steel. That's what they tow trucks with. He hands the chain to the men so that there are three on each side with him in the middle. As you know, the weakest part of any chain is its weakest link. Gentlemen, just pull to see that it is strong. Is it strong Of course it is. They tug at the chain and find that it is what it appears to be, thick, heavy galvanised steel. Unbreakable unless you happen to have a pulling power...

Finale

David asks all the men to step forward, stand in a line and hold hands. It's apparent that they are a little self-conscious but they do it anyway. Taking a postcard he walks along the line saying to each man, To you this is just a card. To you this is just a card. And as he walks the line he brushes the card against his hand as if sharpening it. When he gets to the last in line we see it is the volunteer he used earlier in the razor demonstration. The sound of the card being sharpened sounds...

Christmas Card Prediction Finale

After watching the Suggestibility Routine we return to the festive set. David asks the guests to each choose a present from beneath the Christmas tree. All the presents are children's toys and they are asked to select one that would suit the child they chose earlier. As you can see, we have a lot of presents here. If it's a girl, make it suitable for a girl. Just look at the toys and choose one each. Actually pick it up and bring it with you to the table. The guests do as instructed and place...

Think of a Card Plus

David has made a well-deserved reputation from his handling of Think of a Card. He's been picking thoughts out of the air for fifty years and it's no surprise that he's found more than one way of discovering which card you are thinking of. The following is one of his best-kept secrets. He's feeling in a generous mood. You've watched him perform Think of a Card but he senses some scepticism. Maybe you think that because lie is holding the cards there is some kind of sleight of hand going on....

Clubland

By 1952 David had returned to England, once again wondering what he should do with his life. One curious business venture involved selling novelties, music boxes and fancy goods to the shops at seaside resorts. I le would hire a hotel room and invite the local traders along to a coffee morning where they could see his wares and be treated to an unexpected demonstration of magic and mind reading using the musical tankards he had for sale. For a brief time he even persuaded fellow magician Alex...

Finally an opaque scarf is thrown over his head to cover everything The readings continue in greater detail

You can check it out when you get the photo back. And I think a rather unexpected thing happened on this boat. Something or someone fell overboard at one point. It's something you always associate with this boat. Is that right Yes, says the girl, absolutely astonished that he could know this. He repeats the demonstration with several more photographs, revealing details not onfy of the picture but of incidents and memories connected with these mementoes. How could he know He...

The Albert Memorial

In 1966, when Da id signed his contract wi th vara television in Holland for Oris 13, they sought to publicize the show as much as possible, and had a Dutch photographer take pictures of their star in London settings. As David's always had a light touch when it came to publicity, he couldn't help but notice that his comic poses around the Albert Memorial in Hyde Park seemed to suggest a particular story. David's tale of how he became enshrined among the great British thinkers was included in...

Spirit Message Modern Style

The cabinet curtains are open and the young man is still in his trance, the noise of the spirits having failed to awaken him. In days gone by, says David, during a s ance they would have an old school slate and the spirits would produce ghostly writing in chalk. Tonight we're going to try a modern version. A book is chosen from the dozens on the trolley and someone selects a page and some words from that page. David draws the audience's attention to the typewriter in the cabinet. It's sitting...

Te Bah Pla and Name Discovery

That's Alp-hab-et backwards and is a demonstration that David performed for guest Peter Cook on the second show of the series. It's one of those unusual mental party-pieces like Day For Any Date or Lightning Calculation that enhances the performer's image as a mystery man. In this case David uses it as an introduction to a piece of mind reading in which he tries to divine a name that Peter Cook is thinking of. Except he can't just read his mind. Telepathy, after all, has yet to be proven. No,...

David with the Creda View a television set inside the cooker

David changed the channel again and this time, Charles Braithwaite, Creda's extremely popular sales manager, appeared on the screen. Braithwaite, realising he was on air, began to look attentive. David introduced him and said that he had an important announcement for the audience. Braithwaite began by saying, This is a unique opportunity for me to be able to address you in this new and unusual medium and I would like to tell you something about the new Creda View. The speech was formal,...

All in a Flash

The cuttings did not impress his father. He gave no sign that he was interested in Davids career as a therapist, hypnotist or magician. Years later Da id discovered, from others, that his father was not quite so immune to his son's successes and would actually take great pride in showing off Dav id's posters and clippings to any visitors. But at the time he hoped that Dav id would show some interest in the textile business. Instead he used the money he had made in Cape Town to create an act...

The Beach in South Africa

The locals were superstitious and he knew that he could use that to his advantage. The routines he performed within the sophisticated atmosphere of the hotel would take on a far darker meaning if performed elsewhere. One thing that attracted his attention was the work of the local shark fishermen. When they caught sharks in their nets, they were crated in long wooden boxes and then taken via truck to the fish factory for processing. The truck was of unusual...

Tricky the

I 1955 David was walking past Palmers, a pe t shop in Camden Town, London, when he spied a litter of beautiful puppies in the window. One, a tiny cute black and ran dog, caught his attention and he went in to buy it. Unfortunately it had already been reserved by a newly married couple who said they would collect it later that afternoon. David was disappointed but the manager of Palmer's was an old friend and told him to come back later. Who knows, maybe the couple would change their mind. David...

Movies

Being filmed at Britain's Pinewood Studios. In addition to his skills as a magician it also made use of his expert knowledge of casinos and gambling. David has always been fascinated with gambling. Not just the mechanics but also the lifestyle, which fitted in well with his own. He is, even now, a nocturnal creature and a late night show in London could be followed by a meal and a session at one of its many casinos. He had followed the development of casino gambling in England since its...

This Glass Contains Spirits

David recruits some brave volunteers from the audience to help in the experiments, about twenty in number, and they join him on stage. Also on stage is a spirit cabinet made up of curtains hanging from a frame, a trolley full of books and a round wooden table. One of the volunteers is handed a write-on wipe-off board and asked to think of the name of someone no longer living. She writes it down and holds the board close to her chest so that no one can see it. As she does this, four other...

Pickpocketing The Watch Finale

In 1954 David was performing an act in which he divined all kinds of information about people from the audience. He told them their age, height, weight, shirt collar and shoe size. Some of these feats were genuine, he could make good guesses about their age, weight and shirt collar size while other information was gained by a variety of methods including one that is not often used by magicians pickpocketing. During the performance he would skilfully dip into the volunteers' pockets, extract...

The Powers of Darkness

Despite the title this was not the routine marketed by Corinda, it was David's version of the Spirit Cabinet. The cabinet is a four-sided affair made up of curtains hanging from a frame. It is set upon a low platform. Inside the cabinet is a table on which are several musical instruments, mostly percussion, and, surprisingly, a typewriter. With this simple apparatus David will attempt to contact the spirit world. But first he needs a volunteer. A young man hesitantly steps forward from the...

Front View

Large sign which says, My Chair Six chairs, six choices and David predicted every one. There are a few routines that David is not explaining in this book and this, his Chair Routine, is one of them. Over the years he has used many variations of the effect and the arrangements of numbers on the backs of the chairs at the finale has been used to predict everything from ages (See Opus 13) to randomly generated totals and dates (See The Mind oj David Berglas). The examples below show the chairs...

Oicy

This procedure is repeated with the Month (in this instance, 5), the Century (19) and the Year (58) but with minor variations in the calculations. The diagrams should make everything clear. The final result is a magic square in which any column or diagonal (or any other of the traditional cell combinations) add up to the same number, in this case 98. Significantly, 98 is also total of the four numbers in the birth date ie 16 + 5 + 19 + 58 The kicker is that the four corner cells of the Magic...

Hot Foil

In the third part of the show David asks two of his guests, Freddie and Graham, to each take a foil-wrapped sweet from a large shallow bowl on the table. He tells the guests to unwrap them. Put the chocolates down and keep the foil. Makes a change, it's usually the other way around. David crumples the wrappers into loose pellets and asks them to hold them. Freddie and Graham are sitting on a sofa. David is standing behind them. He tells them to close their hands around the sweet wrappers. Close...

Voodoo Witchcraft or

After the Spirit Cabinet, the young man is applauded for being a good sport and then rejoins his fellow volunteers on stage. The next item is David's famous Table L vitation. He uses the round wooden table that is already on stage. The alphabet cards, which are only lightly stuck down, are removed along with the glass tumbler. The presentation is similar to that discussed elsewhere in this book. It not only provided some wonderful spooky entertainment but also distracted the audience from the...

Time and Light

Magicians have a tradition of exploiting technology long before the public gets to hear about it and it is a tradition David proudly upholds. His own personal enthusiasm for gadgetry led to the construction of several routines that David was able to use before the underlying technology became public domain. One favourite feat was often used in the middle of another routine. David would ask a spectator to choose any time between one and three minutes. Give me minutes and seconds, said David. The...

Robby the Robot

From time to time David becomes obsessed with an idea and spends countless hours and sometimes a great deal of money developing it. This was the case with his Flash Act in 1950 and the musical curiosity known as DRUM in the 1970s. Another idea that took up a major part of his life was Robby the Robot. Robby was the result of much work and invention. David had envisaged assembling a simple robot in full view of the audience and then having it interact with him like a live character, taking part...

Introduction

A small band (on this occasion keyboard and drums) plays as the audience takes their seats. The atmosphere is good. It's a One Man Show and the man they have come to see is David Berglas. They are looking forward to being baffled and entertained. The audience settle, the lights dim and there's an offstage announcement, Ladies and Gentleman will you please welcome that International Man of Mystery, Mr David Berglas. Warm applause greets David as he walks onto the stage. He's smartly dressed,...

The Vanishing Piano

Don Play Softly Piano

Every year the Toboggan Club of Great Britain held a dinner in London. In 1954 it was held at th Park Lane Hotel and they asked David, who was a member and by now something of a celebrity, to make a speech. I Ie decided to do something more. Something spectacular. But what A visit to the Hotel ballroom, where the event would take place, gave him the answer. He would make a piano disappear but he would do it without a covering of any kind. One minute it would be there, the next it would be gone....

The Press Club Prediction

In 1972 Thk London Press Cu b celebrated its 90th anniversary with a party aboard a brand new, 10 million cruise ship, The Spirit of I ,ondon. The event was organised by David's agent at that time. Lew Grade, later Lord Grade, and broadcast on television. David Berglas had prepared a special stunt to entertain. I remember it well. I watched it on television and it was the first time I had seen David perform. I've had to wait until now to learn how I, the viewers, and hundreds of Britain's top...

Part Three

The third part of the show, Magic, features Magic of the Mind. David walks out onto the stage and asks for some volunteers. He shows three lightweight balls, marked A, B and C. He turns his back to the audience and tosses the balls over his shoulder to be caught at random. Who got A asks David. A lady stands up and David asks, Would you mind if I look at you And if I mention some personal details about you, would that worry you The lady is now looking a little apprehensive and wonders where...

Think of a Card

David k ns a pack of cards and holds it up towards vol. Think of card, any one. You scan the faces of the cards noting that they are all different and settle on the Jack of Clubs. Have you got one asks David. You have and he closes the fan. cuts the pack and places it on the table. You wonder how he plans to find a card that you are just thinking of. But it's too late. He already has it. What was your card he asks. You name it. Turn over the top card. You do. It's the Jack of Clubs. Magicians...

Variation The Mechanical Band Opening

It's show time, the lights in the theatre dim and a voice says, Ladies and gentlemen welcome to Man, Myth & Magic. An evening with David Berglas. He thought that before the show starts you would like to see his latest invention, the electronically controlled and highly computerised mechanical band. The curtains slowly open on a bizarre tableau, a collection of life-size musical automata, standing in a pool of greenish light. For a few moments there's an eerie silence and then suddenly the...

Predicting the FA Cup Final

In 1956 David decided to predict the outcome of Britain's most prestigious foot-ball match, the F. A. Cup Final. That year Manchester City and Birmingham City would play at London's Wembley Stadium before a cheering crowd of one hundred thousand supporters. Britain is and was a nation of football fanatics. The entire country comes to a halt when the final is played. The prediction of the result was sure to guarantee nationwide publicity. Or so David thought. What he hadn't reckoned on was his...

The Watch Steal

David takes a coin out of his pocket and hands it to Freddie Jones, asking him to close his fingers around it. Now put it behind your back like this. Freddie does as instructed, holding his fist clenched behind him. David asks him to open his other hand and then hold it closed in front of his chest. The trick is to try and get the coin from the hand behind your back without you feeling a thing and putting it in the hand in front of you. It sounds like a party trick. It also sounds impossible. I...

The Book

Rigid Thinking

David Berglas had thought about writing a book for a m ibkr ok years. Hi mentioned it to me way back in the early nineties when we both worked on The Secret Cabaret. a television magic show for Channel 4. He told me some, but not all, of the details behind the Picture Post Challenge. And he outlined the concept of a television series he had devised and the incredible Rocking Horse illusion it featured. I admired the daring behind the stunt, the ingenuity of the series and the cleverness of the...

Variety

With the help of his agents he had at last achieved his ambition of working the Variety Theatres and, following his skiing holiday in Switzerland, his first show was to be at the Blackpool Palace Theatre. In order to drum up some business he concocted a publicity stunt, sending a sealed letter from Switzerland to Blackpool and predicting the results of the local football club's match to be played on the Sunday prior to his opening night. The captain of the winning team opened the letter during...

By Jim Steinmeyer

It took mf. ten seconds ro decide that I wan i ed to pi bush this book. Of course, I try not to make many impulsive decisions, and that's why. for a full ten seconds, I read and re-read the sentence in David Britland's message, David Berglas feels he might do a hook of his material. mulling it over carefully in my mind. I weighed all the options. I considered the principal players involved. And ten seconds later I made my decision. 1 consider this a dream project. David Britland is well known...

Dolt Yourself

In the i-vi e 1950's Do-It-Yourself, or DIY s it is usually known, became fashionable in Britain. Home owners everywhere were encouraged to build their own shelves, repair their own guttering and turn themselves into master carpenters and plumbers, guided by a number of monthly magazines and drawing on a plethora of raw materials available from a growing number of DIY shops. David, not adverse to a little DIY himself (he had made numerous magical modifications to his Hat that got a lot of...

Constructing Magic Squares

Much has been written about magic squares in both magic and mathematics but David was the first to incorporate four specific numbers (a birth date in our example) into the presentation. Magicians usually use a secret formula to enable them to work out which number goes into which cell of the Square. David's method also uses a formula but one very different from anything previously described. The method for building this remarkable square was worked out by David with the help of his friend Brian...

Christmas Card Prediction

Any magicians tuning in to see if David lived up to his reputation could not fail to be baffled by David's Christmas Card Prediction. It is beautifully constructed and awesomely baffling. It begins with the guests sitting on the Chesterfield sofas arranged either side of a low table. David places a large Chinese bowl onto the table. Inside are dozens of Christmas cards in envelopes and he asks each guest to reach in and take one. I'm not going to tell you what they are at this moment. What I...

Card on the Window

Do you want me with or without asked David. He was talking to Ronnie Cass who had invited him to a party and he was wondering whether he was required to perform some magic or could he relax with the rest of the guests. Ronnie Cass is a well-known British songwriter who David has known since 1952. He is an Ivor Novello Award winner, wrote musical revues and has worked extensively in television. He also gives interesting parties and David and Ruth Berglas are always on the guest list. Surprise...

Magicians Choice

A keystone of david's work is his handling of the forcing technique popularly known as Magician's Choice. It can he found in many of his stage routines and is at the core of one of his favourite impromptu effects. Traditionally the Magician's Choice is often presented as a process of elimination and all too often the method is transparent rather than invisible. To further complicate matters many laymen have encountered party tricks that depend upon a form of the Magicians Choice and are quite...

David Berglas by David Britland

David Berg las has been performing magic for over fifty years. His career as an entertainer has encompassed night clubs, variety theatres, radio and television during which he has mystified audiences and been acclaimed by his peers. His magic remains distinctive, baffling in the extreme and inexplicable even to those well versed in magical techniques. His publicity stunts have garnered untold inches of column space in newspapers and magazines. David Berglas performs the impossible there is no...

Chair Balance

There is one routine in David's repertoire that he has always been reluctant to perform, the Chair Suspension, which he calls the Chair Balance. But David realised long ago that if you perform only tricks that you like, you are entertaining no one but yourself. He first tried the Chair Balance out in the 1960's, has carefully crafted it over the years and it remains a feature of his act. Audiences remember the effect long after the details of far cleverer presentations have been lost in the...

Are You Sitting Comfortably

For my first presentation I will need quite a few volunteers, says David. Lively music plays and about two dozen people get up from their seats and make their way to the steps at the bottom of the stage where they are met by Babs. She helps arrange them into a line and keeps them there until they are required. May I have my first guest please The first volunteer, a man, walks up the steps and joins David on stage. The stage lights are turned up and the house lights faded down. The audience sees...

ESPacology

Whenever anyone asks David if he believes in ESP he emphatically says yes. ESP is the name of his long established corporate entertainment company, Entertaining Sales Presentations, and the routine to be described now has been a feature of his corporate work for many years. It is a tremendously strong presentation and unbelievably versatile. Anything that can be shown in pictures, words or numbers can be adapted to the routine and he has used it to promote motor cars, holiday islands, chocolate...

Regulite

In September 1955 the first British commercial television service was broadcast. Unlike the BBC which relied on a universally levied licence fee for its funding, the new commercial service, Associated Rediffusion, was paid for by advertising which appeared in the breaks between programmes. On the second day of transmission the first commercial television series was broadcast a magic show called Focus on Hocus. David was the chairman and each week performed several routines. Regular guests...

In Town Tonight

In Thirteen Steps to Mentalism Corinda mentioned what he thought were some of David's more outlandish ideas for publicity stunts such as vanishing Nelson's Column, a famous London landmark, or stopping all the traffic in Piccadilly Circus. It took me three days to talk him out of the last fantastic scheme, wrote Corinda who feared that causing chaos in Piccadilly might land them both in jail. Readers probably thought Corinda was joking. But Corinda wasn't joking and neither was David who not...

International Man of Mystery

In the wake of Variety other forms of work opened up, notably corporate presentations in which David used his magic at product launches and sales conferences. For David the trend began in the early sixties with a promotion for Creda Cookers, which he toured around the UK, installing a portable theatre at different hotels. Its success led to further work for English Electric, Glaxo, Rank, Ford, IBM, ICA, General Electric and most of the top pharmaceutical David with Kalanag and panel member Dr....

Off Stage

David retired from performing professional magic on the 20th of December, 1993. He'd made the decision ten years earlier, not wanting to be one of those acts who, though their technical skills may still remain, look to the audience as if their best days have past. The word retirement is perhaps misleading. David has always been the busiest of men with many different interests. In January 1963 he was accepted into The Grand Order of Water Rats, the world's leading show business charity whose...

Television

Because of his appearance on radio David quickly became a household name. Television cemented his reputation as one of England's leading wonder workers. His first appearance was on The Charlie Chester Show in 1953. Intent on distinguishing himself from other performers he had a short-sleeved sports shirt especially tailored for the occasion by Mervvn Conn, now a top impressario, and wore it while performing his cigarette manipulations. This was a bold move given the formal attire usually worn...

Would You Make a Reliable Witness

It's strange how different personalities interpret things differently. For instance let me show you a simple word. David takes a large card, walks to the right hand side of the stage and asks a man in the front row to tell him what the word on the card says. Reality, comes the answer. Absolutely, says David, That's what it says, perhaps somebody else can see it He holds the card up so that the people close to the man can see the word. It's 'Reality' because that's what we're going to deal with...

Magic Squares

The literature of magic is replete with descriptions of magic squares but few magicians have ever made a success of them on stage. Magic squares, like memory feats and oddities such as the Knight's Tour, take exceptional presentations to render them entertaining. David's stage performance of the Magic Square is without doubt the best you will ever see. It transcends an audience's fear of mathematics and offers up a clear and dynamic demonstration of the performer's mastery over numbers. It...

Man Myth Magic

White, says the man, again disagreeing with the fantasist on the other side of the theatre. So you see, in your mind's eye, black lettering on a white background. David takes the card to Mr Fantasy. He agrees that the word is 'Film.' But insists he sees white where the other man sees black and black where the other sees white By this time the entire audience is laughing. Now it's no use laughing, says David, It's just the way they see things. Let's see if you can do any better. Raj brings some...

Early Days

Apparatus War

David Berglas was born on the 30th of July, 1926. His father Alfred Berglas, the youngest of four brothers and two sisters, ran the family textile business, empire really, as they had factories throughout Europe. With a business spread over such a large area, David became a globetrotter at an early age, moving with his parents and being educated in a variety of different countries. His first encounter with magic was through his I nele Alex, a glamorous figure who seemed to be everything a young...

The Quizzing Glass

Back to the show and a subtly reworked version of the paperweight prediction which appeared in every show. It begins with David handing out a gift box to each of his guests, Ingrid Pitt and Christopher Lee. I've got a little souvenir for you. May I ask you not to open it for the moment. Turning to Christopher he says I'm going to show you something that will surprise you. I've collected some of the significant things that you have used in your many films. The guests are standing beside a...

Ten Shilling Note

In 1954 Robert Harbin asked what chance working magicians had if David Berglas continued his forays into the realms of the miraculous, creating ever more impossible effects. Specifically he mentioned a routine in which David borrowed a ring and made it vanish from one radio studio and appear in another. Harbin's remarks were made in the pages of Abracadabra magazine where he and others had expressed concern at the speed with which the new medium of television consumed material. There was...

English Electric

Hairdresser Peter Sellers

It was the next best thing to working on a film set and a refreshing change from stage and cabaret. Each promotion or conference presented a different challenge and generated new possibilities. The portable stage he had created for his Creda Cookers tour was also used to sell a new washing machine for English Electric. The machine was called the Reversomatic and it heralded a technical innovation, a drum that revolved one way and then reversed during the...

Uri Geller

Lahore Steel Bending Style

In 1973 David received a call from a friend in New York. He told him of a party attended by a variety of socialites, musicians and scientists, including Dr Lyall Watson, a specialist in anomalous phenomena. Also at the party was a young Israeli who had performed the most remarkable effects. I lis name was Uri Geller. This was the first time that David had heard of llri. He was intrigued by the mention of unusual effects but had no idea that this young man would soon play an important part in...

Underwater Magic

A long running television series in the USA called YOU ASKED FOR r claimed that they could find anything no matter how bizarre. Viewers sent in requests and if someone asked to see a parachuting great grandmother then one was sure to appear on an upcoming episode. In 1956 David received a call from his agents asking him to meet with the producers of the US show because someone had written in asking to see a magician performing underwater. Apparently this would prove that nothing was up his...

Revues

Revues were very popular in Britain during the 1950s and 60s. They were entertaining theatre shows based around comic sketches and featured many well-known actors, singers and dancers. The best of these were written by Ronnie Cass and Peter Myers. A successful revue could run for many months in London's West End and between them Myers and Cass had notched up a series of notable shows, including Intimacy at 8 30, For Amusement Only and The Lord Chamberlain Regrets, a show that ran for nearly two...

Coin in the Bottle

On his radio shows David used and devised effects in which the use of sound had to be a key element. In one instance he performed Coin in Bottle. Although listeners at home could not see the trick it was one that was easily imagined. They knew that even a small coin could not normally fit through the neck of a glass bottle. What's more they could hear the moment it penetrated the glass and clinked inside. That together with the confirmation of the studio witnesses was enough to make it a...

David Berglas

The Mind amp Magic of David Berglas Copyright 2002 by David Britland and David Berglas Photographs from the collection of David Berglas Published by Hahne 514 South Parish Place Burbank, California 91506 Information and Catalog of Hahne Publications at www.jimsteinmeyer.com Thanks to Spyros Melaris and Bill Elgin for assistance with graphics and photographs. Descriptions of ESPacology, Newspaper Prediction and Matchmaker have appeared in lecture notes bv David Berglas. The Author, David...

The Table Lvitation

Some routines rk so remarkable they can change a man's mind. That is the case with David's Table Levitation and the man in question was Dr Christopher Evans. Evans worked for the National Physical Laboratory in England and in December 1968 was appearing as a guest on Irish comedian Dave Allen's television chat show. So too was David Berglas. In the hospitality room, before the show, Evans said that he'd heard David was going to make a table levitate. Evans was intrigued because many years ago,...

David on his Lambretta Scooter he drove this through an obstacle course in Manchester while blindfolded

If this man can drive it blindfolded, then anyone can do it A similar stunt in Nairobi resulted in a newspaper advertising campaign for the Triumph Herald featuring a blindfolded Berglas. It was notable for the fact that it was the only convertible car in the country at that time, 1960. The headline of the advertisement read, David Berglas Amazed Nairobi. The Triumph Herald Amazed David Berglas. David has driven just about every kind vehicle while blindfolded. As President of...