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...

Matchmaker

Many magicians in the UK will remember David performing this on his Channel Four television series, The Mind of David Berg as. Inspired by the standard Card in Balloon effect David has devised a routine that is colourful, impossibly baffling and has immense production value. This latter quality is often lacking in the performances of magicians and mentalists who want to carry the minimum amount of props yet expect to work large venues. Cards in Balloon gives the audience something to look at as...

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

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...

Info

Everyone has a twin, or so we're told. For a magician, that can be a boon. People often told David that someone they knew was his exact double. Sometimes he would meet the person concerned and was always disappointed that the resemblance was not what he had hoped. But on one occasion the man, a dentist, did look uncannily like David. What gave the resemblance some magical momentum was that the dentist was a keen enthusiast of amateur dramatics. It wasn't a case of pressing someone into service....

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...

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...

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

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

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...

The Blindfold Routine at the Embassy Club Rotterdam

This photograph is in colour and was taken about three years ago. No, says the owner of the photo, a young girl in the front row. Well, it was certainly more than a year. Yes. And it is in colour isn't it Yes. I think this was a happy occasion. Yes. You were on holiday. Yes. Probably a Mediterranean country. Somewhere sunny. Yes. Actually I don't know where it is. Where was it It was taken in Italy, says the girl. Where abouts Near Venice. I thought it was a Mediterranean country,...

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...

Tilting Ship

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...

The Picture Post Challenge

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...

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...

Sweetings

In 1986 David created a special presentation to launch a new nightclub in Bedford called Sweetings. It was a two-storey building with a disco on each floor and a state of the art lighting system. The lighting was hung from tracks that criss-crossed the ceiling. Remotely operated, the lights could travel around the disco, spinning and changing colours as they went. Part of David's brief was to promote the club's unusual and exciting lighting facilities and so he decided to incorporate the...

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...

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,...

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...

Opus

Magic Sword Suspension

Without a doubt Holland gave David some of the most dramatic nd memorable moments of his career. It was there, in the land of tulips and w indmills, that he starred in a pioneering television show entitled Opus 13. The opportunity arose when Henk Vermeyden, one of the panellists on David's German television series Grenze des Wissens, approached a Dutch television company, Vara, with a view to producing a similar show in Holland. Vara didn't want to duplicate the German show but they were...

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...

Cresta

'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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...