Category: Magic of UK

Mirror Online Asks Readers to Choose Best TV Magician

The Mirror Online (UK), looking to build excitement for the launch of the fourth series of Dynamo: Mission Impossible, is asking readers to vote for their favorite TV magician.

You should head over to the site and make your choice from:
Darcy Oake
David Blaine
Derren Brown
David Copperfield
Dynamo
Paul Daniels
Penn & Teller
Tommy Cooper
Troy

There is no space for a write-in vote but they do have clips from the nominees – including our inspiration, Tommy Cooper. (Unfortunately, the sound goes out near the end of the clip but it is still a joy to watch).

Click here to link to the poling site. We don’t know if it will allow you to vote more than once but perhaps that is a concern for us Chicago natives. The rest of the world likely never considers stuffing the ballot box.

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A Regular Little Houdini Takes the Stage in South Wales

A Regular Little Houdini, written and performed by Daniel LLewelyn-Williams, will open at the south Wales theatre Stiwdio Stepni on Thursday, September 11.

We read of the show on Llanelli Star‘s on-line site and were fascinated by the story and the magic that will apparently performed in the show.

The one-man show surrounds a young man growing up in the south Wales town of Newport between 1905 and 1913. The great magician visits Wales twice and apparently has some conflict with law enforcement as he works to build notoriety for his appearances.

“The story however documents the years between his famous visits looking at the changes in Wales from the young boy’s perspective.

Audiences are shown periods of industrial growth in south Wales, including the building of the transporter bridge and The Newport dock disaster of 1909 which killed 39 people.”

The article notes the show will feature “a brand new magic trick created specifically for the production by a secret magician who works with David Copperfield.”

What is the trick? Please tell us.

Mr Llewelyn-Williams said the trick has been “incorporated into the show and [he is] sure audiences will enjoy it.”

We hope one of Inside Magic’s loyal readers in the south Wales realm will let us know more about the show and the special effect. We hate not knowing.

Read more here.

Dynamo: Stage Magic Needs Reinventing

UK Magician Dynamo says traditional magic shows like those of David Copperfield and Siegfried & Roy helped magic but it is time to bring stage magic “up to date” and change “what people see as the stage magic show.”

He is moving from the television series Magician Impossible arena and stage venues and looks to ‘reinvent’ live magic.

Dynamo told reporters at a recent Edinburgh International Television Festival that he is going to hit the road.

“This is the final series of Magician Impossible. I think everyone wants to see me do it live and I think the possibilities in the live arena for magic is open for someone like myself to step into,” he said.

He added: “The magic shows we think of on the stage and in theatres are David Copperfield and Siegfried and Roy. What they did for magic was phenomenal but now it’s time to reinvent [stage shows], and to bring up to date what people see as the stage magic show. I will have a go at that.”

By “have a go,” Dynamo means he will attempt or try to do something.  “Have a go” is metric for “try, attempt or endeavor.”

Penn & Teller Dish from London

Penn & Teller are in London and the toast of the town with great press. We read this morning’s Telegraph for a nice interview with the duo. They express their admiration for Derren Brown, “He’s one of the best live performers I’ve ever seen. He really puts a lot of intelligence and thought into it. He’s an artist,” said Teller.

They profess only luke-warm enthusiasm for Dynamo, “Teller says that while they admire his skills, ‘we know people like Johnny Thompson who’s 78 – and by comparison with whom [Dynamo’s] skills are somewhat… minimal. Compared with some of the old masters of this stuff.’”

They respect David Copperfield’s incredible work-ethic but bemoan the otherwise dormant magic scene.

“[Copperfield] does really good tricks, and he’s always doing new ones. But there aren’t many [magicians], you know?” Penn says heavily. Yes, there’s Siegfried and Roy, “but since Roy got his head bit off by a tiger, that slows him down somewhat. David Blaine doesn’t really do anything now. Why not? I don’t know. I don’t think he made that much money.”

We note that this is the latest in their 40 years of giving interviews where they fail to mention Inside Magic. Perhaps they are saving their effusive praise for our dogged coverage for a big presser once they return to Las Vegas. Yes, that is most certainly it. After all, tens of readers over the course of twenty years adds up to a statistical probability that they have heard of us.

We are most fascinated by behind the scenes stuff. We love logistics. So, for us, the key nuggets came at the end of the article wherein we learn the two get together on Tuesdays each week to brainstorm new tricks. That is the kind of geeky, inside information that makes us giddy. We would love to be present during one of those sessions. We wouldn’t say a word or even give some sort of indication of our existence – sort of as if we were a fly or insect in the room – we would just listen and relish the moment.

We learned that they have been working on a new effect that sounds pretty interesting. They are looking for a way to perform the Vanishing Elephant but with a live cow dressed as an elephant. We don’t know why that sounds cool but it does. We cannot imagine it is easy to work with cows and note that very few magicians have used cows in their acts in the last twenty years.

We knew of a former husband and wife act (former because they divorced) in which the husband referred to his wife as a cow on stage but that does not count. She didn’t vanish but did get a lawyer. He is doing close-up now and has “returned to ‘real magic’” with just a deck of cards and a few coins.” We suspect his new emphasis on cards and coins had something to do with the results of his divorce settlement.

Penn & Teller, like David Copperfield, seem to be asked the same questions by all interviewers. They do their best to give interesting answers and some reporters follow-up with interesting questions that lead to new information. Not often, though. That is not their fault. The Telegraph article is one of the better interview pieces we have read and worth your consideration.

Luke Jermay and Champions of Magic in Hastings

The Champions of Magic comes to Hastings’ White Rock Theatre next week, April 12th.

The theatre (apparently the metric spelling of “theater”) is billing the evening as a chance to encounter an “award winning team of liars, swindlers and cheats for a spectacular night of trickery you’ll be trying to work out for a long time to come.”

What a great craft we practice.  There are few professions where an audience could be asked to pay to see “liars, swindlers and cheats.”   Strangely, we work in two of those crafts: the law and magic.  Perhaps it says something about us or perhaps we should avoid introspection because it leads to the spiraling agony of regret and shame.  Either way.

The Champions Of Magic features four of our best doing what they do better than any of us.  

Three veterans of our art will perform: Luke Jermay is well-known to audiences and magicians on both sides of the Atlantic ocean and was most recently headlining in Las Vegas, was the inspiration for the American television series The Mentalist and consults with Derren Brown to produce some of the most stunning effects seen by modern audiences.   

Ali Cook is the star of Sky One’s Secret World Of MagicMonkey Magic and Dirty Tricks.  

Fay Presto, is distinguished member of The Magic Circle, has been personally requested to perform for Queen Elizabeth six times, is a favorite of JK Rowling and appeared on the ITV’s  Heroes Of Magic.

 They are joined by the 2012 Magic Circle Close-up Magician of the Year Edward Hilsum — billed as one of the world’s top young magicians and has received great praise from Derren Brown.

Promoters promise  a combination of elegant classics and cutting edge alternative magic resulting in “a mastery of card manipulation, death defying stunts, sleight of hand and spectacular illusions.”

We wish we had a way of getting to Hastings to attend this amazing collection of amazing talent and can only hope it will be exported to our shores like the other great UK products: fish and chips, The Office, table manners, The Beatles, some seasons of Doctor Who, statistics-based epidemiological public health, the ruler (not the “Ruler”), Benny Hill, English Muffins, Canadian Bacon (indirectly) and the ability to identify non-toxic mushrooms in the wild.

Sebastian Walton – Young Magician in Age Only

Sebastian Walton is the real deal.  We watched this young man perform in the Parlour of Prestidigitation at the world-famous Magic Castle and were blown away on many levels.

First of all, he is young.

Not “Young for the Castle” kind of young but younger.  Young as in “you cannot buy liquor or rent a car or legally join on-line dating services” kind of young.

He claims to be 18 and that is possible but what is unlikely is that he is that good with so little in the way of real life performing experience. He has won several of the Magic Circle’s young magician awards, performed on UK television and has been seen by royalty.  That is a lot to accomplish in a decade.  That is a lot to accomplish in a lifetime.  The closest we have come to being viewed by royalty involved a webcam with someone who said they were a royal or something like that.

How can someone just 18 years-of-age know how to handle a sophisticated magic audience in a foreign country with such skill?

Presumably he has never been booed off the stage by seven year-olds whilst (that’s UK talk for “while”) performing a show for free in a public library during a heat wave in coastal Florida all the while wondering if his borrowed dove is going to survive waiting its production in the big finale.  He has never tried to squeeze in one last performance of a home-made Zig-Zag before his once svelte female assistant goes into labor. We doubt he has ever herniated himself trying to blow-up balloon animals for a mall’s worth of demanding kids.

There is only one explanation for this phenomenon.  He must be talented beyond his years.

He began his routine with an extraordinary routine wherein any audience member called the name of a card and he caused it to rise from, shoot out of, escape or otherwise mysteriously appear from a freely-handled deck of cards.  It was something to see.  We were in the back row of the Parlor and were blown away by his presence and audience management abilities.

We were in the back row because this young man has followers who cued (UK talk for “got in line”) to get the prime.  Some of the fans were from his home country and were very polite and proper in their refusal to allow us to sit on their laps or lay across two of them.

But even from the cheap seats, we marveled at how he owned the room and he held them in his unblemished (by liver spots and excessive wrinkles seen on performers of our ancient demographic) palm with a charming confidence.

We were honored that he came downstairs to the Museum and caught part of act.  We wanted to stop our ramblings and messy sleights to introduce him to the room ala Ed Sullivan (a reference Mr. Walton will need to do the Google to learn) but were so self-conscious that we thought it best to remain focused on the task at hand (wrinkled and bespotted though that hand was).

He performed incredible demonstration of card dexterity for a cheering throng, we tried to remember which side of the TV Magic Cards we were supposed to have face-up.  At least that was what we felt at the time.

Mr. Walton will be appearing at The Castle this weekend and should not be missed.  He is a genuine star – not a genuine “future” star or promising young performer — the real deal.

Check out his impressive credentials and promotional materials on his website here.

Penn & Teller: First Ever UK Tour Dates Announced

Magicians of great ability Penn & Teller will be returning to the United Kingdom in February 2014 to entertain  fans in Manchester, Birmingham and London.

The incredible duo bring their Vegas act to Manchester, then Birmingham and onto London for a five big nights at the Eventim Apollo Hammersmith in London.

This is their first UK tour but they are familiar with the environs as hosts of their own ITV television show, Fool Us.

Tour promoters promise no two shows will be the same and so to us it makes sense to attend every show in every location.

Penn & Teller have about four decades of sold out runs on Broadway, world tours and of course Las Vegas.  Their television shows have garnered Emmys and an ever-increasing fan base.

Named ‘Las Vegas Magicians of the Year’ six times for their nightly performance at The Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino, they have repeat visits from magicians, magic-lovers and folks out for a profoundly entertaining evening.

We have it on very good authority that Penn and Teller will be appear in June 2014 at Manchester Palace Theatre on Friday the 13th, Birmingham Alexandra Theatre on Sunday the 15th and from Wednesday the 18th through to the 22nd at London’s Eventim Apollo Hammersmith.

Tickets go on sale Friday 6th December at www.livenation.co.uk or www.ticketmaster.co.uk.

Criss Angel and Dynamo Engage in Full-On Magic Battle

Las Vegas-based Magician Criss Angel claims UK-based Mystifier Dynamo stole his tricks, segments of his show and even his “tableau.”

We had no idea what a tableau is or does. We thought the word meant “table” and assumed Mr. Angel was suggesting Dynamo swiped his Losander Floating Table illusion.  We have since verified that was way off the mark.

The Sun reported Mr. Angel’s full quote as, “It’s not even just the material, I’ve seen literally parts of his show that people have shown me, he even steals my tableau, my pose.”

So tableau must mean something like a pose.  In fact, Mr. Angel credits Jesus Christ as the originator of the pose.

“I didn’t invent that pose, that was depicted by Jesus Christ, but I was the guy to do that in magic. I just think it’s sad, it’s pathetic.”

So by the transitive theory (if a=b and b=c, then a=c) Dynamo is ripping off Jesus Christ.  

Dynamo gave a stinging retort. 

He said Mr. Angel is simply trying to garner attention.

“I have performed over 300 pieces of magic, out of which a small number have also been performed by Criss Angel in a completely different way,” he said.  “Criss walked across a pool whereas I walked across the Thames.

“I am from a different generation to him and have no desire to be like him.”

Meow!

Check out the latest give and take at The Sun here.

Dynamo: Magician Impossible Season 3 Begins with Viral Success

We don’t know if he and Pepsi planned this but it seems Dynamo has made quite the sensation on the social media machine.

Apparently, a guy cannot just float along side a double-deck bus without it bringing attention of the entire world through the internet.  It went viral shortly after it was posted to YouTube and like any social virus, it spread quickly as friends shared it with friends, co-workers, fellow travelers and, we’re guessing, the NSA.

There have been theories about how Dynamo performed the effect but as long-time readers of Inside Magic know, we do not reveal secrets.  We just marvel and the ingenuity and creativity evidenced by this expert piece of advertising and well-executed public magic performance.

You can read about how the effect was performed on The Christian Science web page.  The author of that article is the son of an unnamed female magician and refuses to give away the real secrets but does share some of the meta-secrets behind the science behind the magic.

Check out the full article here.

Levitating magician: How magicians use science to deceive – CSMonitor.com.

Dynamo will air the first episode of his third season of Dynamo: Magician Impossible on Watch Channel (UK) on July 11th 2013 at 9 pm but you can get a sneak preview here.

Steve Truglia, The Card Shark Guides Us

Our rule of thumb is to never visit the underworld of real-life gamblers and card cheats unless escorted by a former member of the Special Forces or professional stuntman / stuntwoman. But that is just us. We like to be protected at all times and some may consider us excessive because we refuse to kiss without an American-made dental dam. And if we are going to kiss another person, we require even more.

Fortunately for us, Steve Truglia is not only a great card magician but is also a former member of Special Forces and was a record-breaking stuntman. Even more fortunately for us, Mr. Truglia brings his outstanding show The Card Shark to the beautiful theatre at the Five Star Mayfair Hotel on Stratton Street in London from December 15, 2012 through March 22, 2013. He will guide us safely through the shadowy realm of card sharpies and crooked gamblers (or the politically correct designation “advantaged gamers”) throughout the ages.

Mr. Truglia has, in a word, skills. He can kill a man with a spork whilst crashing through a plate glass window and performing a one-hand false shuffle. (Actually, we don’t know if he can kill someone with a spork but it seems like if anyone could, it would be a Special Forces person or an employee of Kentucky Fried Chicken®).

Take a few seconds to check out some of Mr. Truglia’s incredible stunts over on the Wikipedia web site.  Be sure to return to the rest of this article when you are done, though.

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