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From our exhibit at The Magick Lounge World of Wonders, Yorkshire Sculpture Park, July 2017.

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The Sheffield Circle is understandably cock-a-hoop to announce a special extra lecture this Thursday at The Magick Lounge

​Gregory Wilson is a two-time FISM award winner with at least twenty best-selling instructional videos on the market and has contributed his original routines to every major magic magazine in the world as well as a full chapter in Paul Harris’ The Art of Astonishment and a full chapter in Harry Lorayne’s Best of Friends 3.

Gregory is also consistently in the top ten of the Top Twenty Inventors list at Penguin Magic. He also regularly hosts Murphys ‘At the Table’ lectures.

As the title suggests, Gregory’s lecture uses things that fit in his pockets and are found around him, ever-ready for spur-of-the-moment astonishments. Continuing on his impromptu work from “Off the Cuff” and “On the Spot”, Greg teaches how to convert everyday objects into devastating weapons of deception. The emphasis here is on ENTERTAINMENT.

His mission on Thursday is simple: To share with you professional routines that are cool, clever and cutting edge. Gregory Wilson is a positive fount of ideas, lines and tricks. He’s a master of sleight of hand, misdirection, routining and presentation, mixed with creativity, charm and lightning speed wit. He can do it all… and he can teach most of it to you. He’ll also talk a lot about using natural props, direct methods and compelling presentations. You can look forward to a plethora of ideas that run the gamut from beginner to expert level and cover a wide variety of genres.

How could you even think of missing such a conjuring cornucopia? It’ll all start to spill out at 19:30 on Thursday 12 April at The Magick Lounge, 82 Broad Street, Sheffield, S2 5TG. The door to this hallowed establishment will be open at exactly 19:00 or thereabouts to all serious aficionados and practitioners of fine magic. Be prompt to get first choice of the comfy seats. Admission is £5 to Sheffield Circle members, £10 to visiting magicians, under 16s half price.

Book List 01b_800

It’s the first of February. Pinch your copy of our latest Second Hand Books list and you’ll punch the air in delight. Thousands of books, including rare and out of print titles, for our discerning customers as well as Magic Cafe members and others.

Click the link below to get your copy (left-click to view, right-click to download):

Magick Second Hand Books 2018

Jim the Amazing (OAP parties a speciality) reclined on the velveteen chaise longue, idly practising his one-hand bottom palm. “Stop that,” said his wife, The Lovely Gladys, “I’m trying to watch Britain’s Got Talent.”

“Britain’s Got Talent?” Jim harrumphed. “Not on this showing. Someone should report them to Trade Descriptions. I reckon if we got our old act together we’d sweep the board.”

With a toss of her curlers Gladys retorted, “Our old act? We’ve not had a booking for that for five years. You’re not getting me in those lurex tights again. And the ostrich feathers don’t half tickle. Why don’t you work on a new act instead of sitting there dreaming of past glories at the Attercliffe Non-Political. You could shave your head, grow a beard and do a mental act. Or how about close-up magic? I hear there’s money in that these days.”

Jim recoiled, cut to the quick by such unwarranted assertions. “I’m cut to the quick by your unwarranted assertions, Glad,” he replied. “I could still hop a table with the best of them if I wanted to. Does this mean nothing to you?” he said with an expansive guesture towards a yellowing diploma on the wall, scattering caution and a handful of bent Bicycles to the wind.

Replacing the antimacasser crumpled by his exertions, Gladys remarked mildly, “Runner-up in the Brimington and Stavely All-Comers International Close-Up Competition…” she paused theatrically, “1978. I still think we need a new act. At least most magic acts these days have made it into the ’80s, or even the early ’90s. You’re still stuck in the mid ’70s.”

“But that’ll mean research, and practice, and buying new stuff. And where am I going to find a trustworthy, intelligent, patient, knowledgeable magic dealer with a wide range of new and second-hand magic at incredibly keen prices?” said Jim thoughtfully, stroking his stubble.

“Magick in Sheffield, of course,” replied Gladys. “Russell’s been in business over 40 years.”

“Good grief,” Jim expostulated, “He certainly must be patient… 40 years, eh. Not sure about intelligent though.”

“And he’s starting up a brand new mailing list with all the latest news and special offers. Let’s get our name down now!” said Gladys, grasping Jim’s laptop.

It’s that time of year again!

A few weeks ago we were all making our New Year magical resolutions… to finish work on the new act (or the old act, come to that)… to read those books we bought in a fit of enthusiasm and are still sitting on the shelf, pristine and unopened… to learn those new tricks which looked great on the pretty packet or the rapid-cut, effects-heavy video with really exciting music…

We’ve all been there. But now January is drawing to a turgid close and the cold, damp weather has brought with it a dose of cold, damp reality. Let’s face it, you’re not going to use half of that stuff you’ve bought. In fact I bet that tattooed hairy/bald (delete where inapplicable) trendy hipster in the promo video probably doesn’t use them any more either. If he’s working at all he’ll be doing the ambitious card, flying ring and card on ceiling like everybody else.

Fret no more… the Sheffield Circle is here to help! Parcel up those once-desired and now unwanted tricks, books and DVDs and bring them down to the Sheffield Circle Magical Auction Night here at the Lounge on Thursday 1 February. You know it makes sense.

Be prompt; lots will be sold in arrival order. All items must be in working order with instructions where appropriate.

And don’t forget to bring your wallet so you can snap up some bargains. They need a kind and loving home.

Doors open at 7:00. And I’ll be taking bids from 7:30 onwards. If you’re bring items for auction we strongly suggest that you bring a list. Ten percent of the proceeds go to Circle funds.

Admission is free to SCM members. Visiting magicians £4. I’m looking forward to seeing rows of eager, smiling faces as usual. And your wallets.

Released a few weeks ago and now almost sold out, Devil in Disguise 2 is limited to 250 copies worldwide. I have managed to obtain a very limited supply of the remaining copies. These are available now at £160, post free.

“This is the project that I’ve always wanted to capture and I am happy to say that I have! It took more than twelve months but we got there in the end. I’ve been very quiet on the details so apologies for the radio silence to all that have messaged me about this project.” – Peter Turner

WHAT IS “DEVIL IN DISGUISE 2?”

Devil in Disguise 2 is a hand-engraved memory stick, with a wax stamped and signed tag, on the reverse of which is inscribed a password which allows you to access the video content.

On the stick, you will get sixteen solid routines and brand new principles, in-depth discussions and explanations with guest appearances from Michael Murray, Fraser Parker, Mark Chandaue and Steve Wood. All material is filmed in crisp HD (no regional issues), with added security to protect your investment.

A PEEK AT SOME OF THE CONTENTS…

A Kick to the Teeth: You place a prediction on display ahead of time. Four participants (can be more or less) think of a random word as a team. The prediction is shown to match 100%… And the kicker? It just so happens the participants played a bigger role than they could ever have known. When you take the first letter of each of their names it spells the exact word they thought of!

Unnamed: You start with a simple display of thought reading using cards but end up diving too deeply into the participant’s mind revealing ANY merely thought of piece of information (drawing/name, etc.). No one-ahead and no strange process – this is psycomechanical (you’ll understand why it’s called that when you see this).

Try to Hypnotise Me: You place a piece of card with a number on it face down and tell the audience that the card will be important in a moment. A participant thinks of a random four-digit number — there is no way that the number could match the one that you wrote before the participant ever thought of a number… But that doesn’t matter; you talk about mind control and how you can replace ANY thought to match yours.

You start by erasing the numbers from the participant’s mind. After a few seconds the participant cannot say or remember the numbers! Then you show the group what was written at the start (without the participant seeing) and propose to implant those numbers into the participant’s mind, proving that you can replace any given thought. After talking to the participant openly for a second (not whispered or covertly) you ask the participant what numbers are in their head — much to the surprise of everyone the participant says the numbers that were written long before the performance.

Variant #2: A voodoo variation (with a doll) of the above presentation where you literally control the participant’s actions. Another “Psychomechanical” piece of chicanery,

To Name a Place: Peter’s take on the classic name/place routine with his updated handling of the one-ahead principle, bringing touches and techniques that take it to a new level. Oh, and the participant never writes anything down, making it slick and streamlined. And as a kicker, you can also reveal what the participant changed their mind from (without one-ahead)!

Time for a Date? Another classic technique presented in a way that is new fresh and interesting. This will make you smile like crazy. This enables you to reveal a participant’s date of birth, playing card, any object or item from a list, pin code. Imagine being sat at dinner and asking someone to open the menu, think of any meal on there and being able to reveal it in seconds. And guess what – YOU ASK THE PARTICIPANT NO QUESTIONS. This is mechanical.

Pigs on Steroids: A principle to take “Piggybacking” to new levels. Subtleties, touches and performance ideas with two routines that are simple, quick but extremely powerful.

Countdown/Phantom Book Test (Plus): The participant thinks of a word from an imaginary dictionary and you have predicted it in advance. No obscure process and the method is over in one sentence – meaning that you are free to present this the way that you choose. Alternative presentations with an in-depth discussion of a clever multiple out system most of you will have on your person as you are reading this.

Missing in Action (Plus): Four participants each think of a random single digit to generate, as a group, a random pin code. You can reveal the pin code with no fishing!

Variant #2: You ask the participant to think of random digits from their bank card (without ever removing it) and you are able to reveal them.

At the time of writing I have just two copies left. Let me know if you’d like one.

Here are the answers to the Sheffield Circle of Magicians 2017 Christmas Quiz. How many did you get?

1. What magic word was formerly inscribed on pendants worn around the neck as protection from illness and evil.

Answer: Abracadabra.

2. Who invented the Zig Zag Girl?

Answer: Robert Harbin. (Real name Ned Williams.)

3. Who was the Canadian ‘professor’ who was often billed as “The Man Who Fooled Houdini”.

Answer: Dai Vernon. The title came about after the two met and Houdini challenged Vernon, claiming that he could figure out any card trick if he saw someone perform it three times in a row. Dai Vernon proceeded to perform a card trick over seven times without Houdini being able to work out how he did it.

4. What is the connection between Charles Dickens and the disappearance of the Statue of Liberty?

Answer: Magician David Copperfield (real name David Kotkin) performed this illusion on one of his early tv specials.

5. One of Harry Houdini’s most popular escapes involved him hanging upside down from a rope while bound in a Straitjacket. Which Sheffield magician invented this presentation.

Answer: Randini. Real name Randolph Osborne Douglas. The idea was born on one of Houdini’s visits to the Douglas family home when he was playing The Empire Theatre in Sheffield. According to his stepmother, Douglas demonstrated the idea of being suspended upside down in locks, chains and a straitjacket.

6. Balducci, and Asrah are both types of which commonly seen magic effect?

Answer: Levitation.

7. For whom did Thomas Edison design and build the famous “Floating Light Bulb” illusion?

Answer: Harry Blackstone. After Blackstone’s death in 1965, his son (Harry Blackstone, Jr.) donated the actual light bulb to the Smithsonian. The illusion was later licensed to Dutch magician Hans Klok and American illusionist Darren Romeo, a student of Siegfried & Roy.

8. In card magic, what does ATFUS stand for?

Answer: The Anytime Face Up Switch, credited to Edward Marlo.

9. In this illusion the magician makes his assistant vanish from a four-compartment box after apparently penetrating her with several large blades. Clue: Its name references an early American civilisation.

Answer: The Aztec Lady. An assistant steps into a large box. The magician inserts various panels or blades into slots that separate the box into four sections. He then folds the sections apart. The box is then put together again and the front opened to reveal the assistant alive and well. (If you’d like one, I have one for sale…)

10. Once part of a magic duo, The Eldanis, with an act set to rock ’n’ roll music in which they both dressed in lurex, this magician went on to find fame as a solo artist.

Answer: Paul Daniels.