Secret Assistant

The Monk Transposition

The Spirit Cabinet is over but the volunteers are still on stage. David reflects on what the audience has just seen as eerie music plays in the background. I don't know whether you really believe in spirits or not but certain places in the world seem to have the reputation of being haunted. Monasteries high in the mountains for instance where stories of ghosts and demons scare away curious visitors. My theory is that the monks just want to be left alone. They create an atmosphere of fear to...

The Table Lvitation

Levitating Woman Stage

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...

The Berglas Effect

This presentation has unquestionably achieved legendary status. It is an effect so impossible that it has had the best brains in magic scratching their heads in search of a solution. Some refused to believe the effect existed at all, that it was mere rumour, mis-reporting or perhaps even a hoax set up by the publicity master himself. In fact, the creation of the legend was a surprise even to David. He has been performing what is now widely known as The Berglas Effect fox many years, both on...

The Picture Post Challenge

David Berglas

In June 1953 David Berg las received a call krom Frank Dowljng, the editor of Picture Post magazine, Britain's most prestigious weekly news journal. I le wanted to put David's magical skills to the challenge. Did he think he could come up with a stunt worthy of inclusion in Picture Posts pages It was an offer no magician could refuse. It wasn't the first time that David had dealt with the Picture Post team. In 1952 they had photographed him at the British Ring Convention in Hastings. Over 400...

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...

International Man of Mystery

Lenguaje Corporal Internacional

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....

Technique For Tackling Cresta Run Shuttlecock

'Bobsleigh Berglas to Ride Again' reported Abracadabra magazine in 1954. David had returned to St. Moritz in Switzerland to try and improve upon his own bobsleigh record set the previous year. He was no stranger to St Moritz. The Berglas family took regular skiing holidays there and, at the age of seven. David had attended a local boarding school called Belmont. It was located halfway up the Piznair Mountain and could be reached only by a cog-wheeled train, a kind of chain driven cable car. So...

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...

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,...

Breaking the Chain

Hands Breaking Chains Png

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...

Final Thoughts by David Berglas

When discussing this book with Jim Steinmeyer in his home in Bi rbank, California, I asked him what he thought I should put into my Final Thoughts. Interestingly, he pointed out that this would be the first time the reader would hear from me personally. I had not thought of this because 1 have been thoroughly involved in the preparation of the book with David Britland, referencing my diaries, notes, clippings, videos and photographs. It has been a long and time-consuming task. The manuscript...

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...

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...

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...

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...

The Newspaper Prediction

The Newspaper Prediction has been part of David's repertoire for many years. He has worked it in clubs and theatres on television and even radio. It is the most impossible version of this effect ever performed and it has baffled not only layman but also expert magicians. The best-known marketed version of this type of effect is Fogel's Headline Hunter but David's routine has its roots elsewhere. His presentation began not with Fogel but with Peter Warlock whom he saw perform a newspaper...

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 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...

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...

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...

Kenny Baker in the 1950s at the time of his harmonica act

Next time Kenny did the act it was preceded by an offstage announcement, Ladies and gentlemen we are privileged to have that virtuoso of the harmonic Mr Kenneth Baker. The stage was in darkness but a spotlight picked out the face of Kenny Baker holding a harmonica to his lips. He immediately went into an energetic rendition of the Sabre Dance, an exciting number that soon had the audience applauding. What the audience did not know was that Kenny was standing on a chair and because the spotlight...

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...

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 Mind of David Berglas

Against the fantasy background of a fairy-tale castle, David Berglas will be inviting distinguished guests and viewers alike into his sumptuously furnished library, equipped with electronic wizardry, sliding panels, hidden compartments, video screens and laser disc players, for a unique demonstration of the power and potential of the human mind. Tyne Tees Press Release for The Mind of David Berglas television series 6 x 45 minutes and 1 x 60 minutes Christmas Special Christmas Day 1985 saw the...

Berglas on Cards

The Berglas Effect, 527 Any Card at Any Number, 527 Jazz Magic, 529 A Foundation for Miracles, 531 The Bridge, 533 Expect the Unexpected, 535 The Psychology of Numbers, 536 On Stage, 537 Pointing the Effect, 538 A Different Presentation, 538 Sheer Devilment, 539 An Interlude, 540 In Conclusion, 541 Final Thoughts by David Berglas, 543 Mystery and Imagination, 543 Style and Image, 544 The Impossible or Too Impossible, 545 Reaching an Audience, 546 The Television Medium, 547 Creating...

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...

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...

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...

Box over Regent Street

Magic Apparatus

Now is the time for Rudi to open the envelopes and take out his passport. There are a few moments of fumbling and the sound of rustling paper. Then a gasp of surprise from Rudi and the audience. His passport has gone. What do you mean, gone asks David But the whole audience saw it put there. The cellophane bag is indeed empty and the passport nowhere to be seen. But if the passport isn't there, where can it be David turns his attention to the Admiralty men in Regent...

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...

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...

Blindfold Drive

One cold January lunchtime in 1966, a television crew from the BBC's Late Night Line-Up met David at Queen Mary's Gardens in London's Regent's Park. They were accompanied by a committee, which included Dr John Napier and Dr Stephen Black, sports commentator James Tilling and World Champion racing driver Graham Hill. They were there to conduct a test of David's claim that he could drive while completely blindfolded. First the materials to be used in the demonstration were carefully examined by...

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...

Contact Mindreading

At a Magic Hands convention in Germany David asked Paul Daniels to think of any person he could see. Why asked Paul. Just think of one, replied David, it's an experiment. They were standing in the great hall outside the convention theatre, surrounded by hundreds of other magicians so there were plenty to choose from. Paul scanned the crowd and then said he had someone in mind. Good, said David, now come with me. They walked across the hall where he introduced Paul to an unprepossessing German...

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...

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....

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...

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...

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 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 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,...

Riddle of the Sands

I'll do anything to sell Southport, said local councillor A. E. Townend before he was elected Mayor but he had not envisaged that it would involve him taking his first plane Hight at the age of seventy-five. Mis wife Florrie was understandably worried. The occasion was the 1955 convention of the British Ring of the International Brotherhood of Magicians and the local newspapers contained stories of a publicity stunt that would launch the event. David had devised it and it gained a lot of...

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...

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...

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...

Rocking Horse

When David returned to London in October 1962 he had an exciting new venture in mind. He was -convinced that a version of his German television series, Grenze des Wissens, would be equally successful in England. Full of enthusiasm for the project he contacted Associated Rediffusion and made an appointment with the Controller of Light Entertainment, Elkan Allen. The meeting did not go as planned and far from being excited by David's passion for the format, Allen seemed distracted and his mind...

Number Three is ESP

David explains a little of the history of psychic research and Raj brings on a long slate. It's about 2 feet long and 16 inches wide with Roman numerals 1 to 5 marked along its centre. She holds it vertically with number 1 at the top. David takes five large Zener cards, mixes them and then arranges them backs towards the audience along the left side of the slate, each card against a numeral. Then he shows a second set of five Zener cards and says he will try to influence the audience in a...

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...

Tilting Ship

Secret Affirmation Magic

David was giving a lecture on the Nif.uw Amsterdam cruise ship and nearly five hundred people had gathered to listen. He had already mystified them with his cabaret show the previous evening and now he was giving a lecture on Personal amp Mind Development that included positive thinking. The lecture was almost finished and David was reiterating The mind really is an incredible thing. And then, as if it was an afterthought, he added, If you all concentrate on something, it will happen. Should we...

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...

Beating the Odds

Finding no consolation in the textile business David went to Juan les Pins, in the South of France, w here his I 'ncle Alex had a villa and a speedboat, a tempting combination for a young man. Alex's son was the same age as David and they spent a large amount Of their time driving the boat and w ater skiing. Together they won several slalom competitions and enjoyed a great bachelor lifestyle. The South of France, with its many casinos, was a fine location to put a very unusual idea to the test....

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...

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...

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....

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...

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...

Mini Metro Launch

Just around the corner from the Centre of the Magic Arts, the Magic Circle's headquarters, in London, are the offices of David Ball and Jan Kennedy. They are experts in the art of corporate promotion and have worked with many of Britain's largest companies. David Ball has been in the business a long time and has seen innumerable product launches come and go, all designed to promote an assortment of industries with varying degrees of hype, sophistication and ingenuity. One campaign is a...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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 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...

Introduction by Paul Daniels

For vie, David Berglas was n early hero. As a young man. he birst onto television with magic that was unlike the magic being performed by anyone else. That is a lesson in itself. Sure, he was good looking, but that isn't always enough. He really knew what he was doing. So, to get a book like this, from a professional magician, is wonderful because it reaches you not just the methods, but also the thinking behind the methods. Study the thinking and you are taking a big step along the road...

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...

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

In 1960 David was performing at the Beach Hotel in Durban, South Africa. It was a brand new hotel with a luxurious nightclub located in the basement and featured many famous British artistes, such as Tommy Trinder, Ted Ray and Max Wall. Television personality Bob Holness, a local radio presenter at that time, lent his services as compere in return for a chance to meet the celebrities and a slap-up meal each night. As soon as David arrived, the hotel owner, Max Jude, asked if he could come up...

Piccadilly Circus in London where David stopped time

Cameras were set up all around the area. One was on top of the Swan and Edgar department store now the site of Tower Records located between Regent Street and Piccadilly. It gave an aerial view of the traffic as it wound its way around Eros. Other cameras were arranged at street level to get shots of the flower seller and newspaper vendor and the hundreds of people who promenaded up and down one of London's busiest tourist areas. From a roof garden on top of Swan and Edgar's store,...

Turning the Clock Back

David featured this unusual routine in his television series Modern Magic. It's a strong and entertaining combination of what at first glance appear to be familiar magical routines. On closer inspection you'll see how the magical has been transformed into the miraculous with the addition of several artful strategies and a theme inspired by H.G. Wells. The routine begins with the compere introducing David to the viewers and studio audience. Ladies and gentleman will you please welcome...

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...

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 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...

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...

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...

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 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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

Coloured Discs

Thinking that he needed something colourful for his upcoming I tv, M th amp Magic show, David devised the following routine. It was another example of Thinking big, combining as it did two well-known dealer effects in order to produce an entertaining item with plenty of production value. It was featured in the first part of the show, subtitled The Psychology of Man, and was introduced with some remarks about the influence that colour has on our lives. Four volunteers are asked to join David on...

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,...

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...