Lectures & Workshops


As my regular reader is doubtless aware, 2020 marks the hundredth anniversary of the Sheffield Circle of Magicians. As part of the celebrations we’re running a special series of Centenary Lectures, and I’m proud and delighted to confirm that the first in this series is a rare lecture by our good friend Looch.

Mind Reader and Psychological Magician Looch has become one of the most sought-after acts in the UK. His unique skills combined, with his humour and professionalism have seen him booked for a vast array of events, including weddings, parties and corporate events. He has also made a name for himself as an originator of exciting new ideas in mentalism.

Admired too for his unrivalled creativity, Looch has lectured to thousands of performers throughout the world and has written several best-selling books on Mind Reading and Mentalism. He is considered by his peers to be one of the most talented performers of this kind in the world today.

His books and DVDs include Iris (Visual Themed Mentalism); Retina (Look deep into someone’s eyes, and KNOW what they’re thinking); Looch LIVE (DVD) (A mind-expanding 2-hour live seminar); Close Call (The Blueprint for a Successful Performance!); Looch LIVE 2 (More innovative, clever and practical mentalism); 4.8 min (A Lecture in Minimalism); Here’s To You Mr Robinson (A Theatrical Performance Based on the Psychology of the Criminal); Simple And Direct Mentalism (An important book of practical, simple and direct mentalism); A S.A.D Night in Hamburg (Walk Around Mentalism); Your Thoughts Are Mine (2 DVD Set).

His Read My Mind is a mentalism company set up with a singular goal in mind: to provide performers the world over with the very best mentalism products. There you’ll find such sought-after items as his Master Peek Envelope; L.P.I (Looch Pocket Index); Blink: the Revolutionary new Peek Case; Area 2.0 Book Test; The Score (Bank Nite reinvented) and more.

We are pleased to say that Looch will be lecturing here at the Lounge on Thursday 5 March. Admission is £10, but free to all paid-up members of the Sheffield Circle of Magicians. Doors open at 7.00 p.m., and the event starts at 7.30 at The Magick Lounge, 82 Broad Street, Sheffield S2 5TG. This really is an event not to be missed!

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Coming to the Magick Lounge near you on Thursday 7 November is a lecture by the inimitable Steve Rowe. (Sorry this notification is a bit late but I’ve had to replace my main edit pc, and I’m still in the middle of a long and painful installation process.)

Steve exploded onto the magic scene a few years ago. Not only is his magic practical, it has also been worked and refined to perfection.

“Steve Rowe is a genius – simple as. He is one of the most creative people I know. His standard of work is second to none. Just one of his tricks has revolutionised my wedding set and I’m fairly sure that I use more of his material than anyone else. The magic world is in a much better state with Steve Rowe in it. Long may he continue to share his creations with us. Thank you Steve (and my spectators thank you as well!)” Craig Petty

His unique approach to organic magic is sure to make an impact on your own working set. Every move, every beat, and every word has been thoroughly thought out. Here you will get a real insight into creating props, and structuring your own routines to get the maximum impact possible.

“I use at least one of Steve Rowe’s clever effects at every gig!” Gary Jones

Clear your diary and join us on a fun-packed session delving into the mind of one of the most creative thinkers around.

The venue for this outstanding event is The Magick Lounge 82 Broad Street, Sheffield, S2 5TG. Doors at 7 o’clock as usual and the lecture will start at 7:30. Admission is free to Sheffield Circle members, £10 for visiting magicians and £5 for juniors.

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Coming to a Magick Lounge near you on Wednesday 11 September is a lecture by Kainoa Harbottle, whose magic breathes new life into the tired phrase “right before your very eyes.” His performances represent his wish to share with others, uncanny experiences — events that bring to life our desires. By making money appear from nowhere, reading people’s minds, and proving that (with the right encouragement) anyone can perform the seemingly impossible, Kainoa endeavors to make magical experiences meaningful to all.

Kainoa was born and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii, and began performing magic after spending a good deal of his youth working with a local drama group (excellent training for any would-be magician!). By high school, he was performing semi-professionally, including weekly tablehopping at Curtis Kam’s showroom in Waikiki, as well as in restaurants and private shows for both the business sector and the tourist industry.

After attending college in Los Angeles where he was a Junior Member at the Magic Castle, Kainoa headed east, earning a Ph.D. in English from the University of Delaware. His research is on Victorian performance magic and the connections between the works of Professor Hoffmann and John Nevil Maskelyne with the popular literature and periodicals of the period.

Kainoa has written extensively on coin manipulation as well as how to apply practical theatrical techniques to increase the quality of the audience’s experience.

As I’m sure our eager reader knows, The Magick Lounge is at 82 Broad Street, Sheffield, S2 5TG. Doors will open with surprising precision to the cognoscenti and other magicians at 7 o’clock and the lecture will start at 7:30. Don’t forget that admission is free to Sheffield Circle members, £10 for visiting magicians and £5 for juniors. Come and enjoy a fascinating, entertaining and educational uncanny experience.

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Our November lecturer at The Lounge is Wayne Goodman, a versatile performer known for his fearless approach. He is a creator, author and professional performer. For the last 30 years he has worked across Europe, Scandinavia, Mexico and the USA. His magic follows a simple mantra: Simplicity rules the day.

During the lecture Wayne will demonstrate and explain a number of original effects. These will include some that have been commercially released, some that are going to be released and also a few that will not be released.

Wayne’s commercial releases include ​Look Sharp, Prism, Clone, Lord of the Bling and Asbo 2.0. His publications include Plan, Perpare & Perform, The Expert at the Restaurant Table, The Definitive Guide to Restaurant Magic, The Comedy Magicians Joke File Volumes 1 – 3, The Complete Comedy Magicians Joke File, The Joke File Volume 1 and The Jedi Principle.

This Thursday 1 November at the Magick Lounge you will have the opportunity to experience Wayne’s magic. He’ll be presenting the latest edition of his lecture, including new, never before seen props and effects. Wayne’s approach to magic is fun with the main emphasis on entertainment.

Admission is £5 to SCM members, £10 to visiting magicians. Doors open as usual at 7:00 to give you time to find your seat and relax before the lecture starts at 7:30. First in get the comfy chairs, unless you’re before 7:00 in which case you’ll probably have to wait outside while I finish my dinner.

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Unfortunately Chris Congreave is unwell and will be unable to lecture for us this Thursday, 6 September.

The good news is that Andrew Normansell has agreed to step in at short notice with his new lecture. Andrew is well known to SCM members as a capital author, inventor and performer, so I’m sure we’re in for a great night!

Chris CongreaveOne of the most popular SCM lectures in recent years was by Chris Congreave. We’re pleased to say that Chris is back at The Lounge this month with his brand new lecture.

Those of you who’ve seen him before will need no persuasion to attend. If you haven’t see him before you are in for a real treat! He has been a fixture in the UK magic community as a professional close-up magician for over 15 years. His ingenious creativity has led him to publish a multitude of effects, including Ice Coins, Childsplay, iContact, Dupes, 52 vs Joker, The Light, and many others, as well as presenting a popular ‘At the Table’ lecture.

Chris is known for highly visual sleight-of-hand magic with the emphasis on fun and entertainment. He performs close up and also in cabaret and on stage. As a busy professional entertainer, Chris’ lecture is centred on real-world magic that you could earn a living with.

This is another evening not to be missed. The lecture starts at 7:30 at The Magick Lounge, 82 Broad Street, Sheffield S2 5TG. Doors open at 7:00 p.m, or possibly up to three minutes before if it’s raining. Admission is £10, or £5 to paid-up members of the Sheffield Circle of Magicians.

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There is a world that is kept hidden from you for your own safety; it is dark, dangerous and very enticing. In times past people were closer to this world and knew how to stay relatively safe, but as the industrial revolution created the modern world, the old stories and warnings that kept humanity safe have been forgotten. Even worse, they are now used as ‘entertainment’.

The old stories, the fairy tales and the myths are real but do not fear as Professors Ashton Carter and Luke Robson are here to help as they present their new course, First Aid For Wizards.

During this short introductory course these respected magicians will be showing you how to recognise and keep yourself safe from magical creatures. Expect magic, mystery and surprises.

Suitable for all wizards aged 14 to 150. Feel free to dress in your best wizard costume and bring a wand. Young students must be accompanied by a responsible Wizard.

Mark the date in your grimoires: Thursday 26 July. Doors open auspiciously at 19:11 and the course starts at 19:30.

This is a special Magick Lounge preview show before the Professors take their course to the Edinburgh Festival. Scotland abounds with weird and magical creatures, and we have quite a few in Sheffield too, so come along and be prepared!

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There’s good news and bad news this month. The bad news is that Jon Allen, our scheduled lecturer for Thursday 5 July, has had to cancel for family reasons. The good news is that Craig was able, via his secret top-magician hot-line, to secure the services of the esteemed Noel Qualter!

Fantastic trick Noel. You are on the cutting edge of magic, there really is no precedent for that effect — Penn & Teller, Fool Us

Noel is a full-time professional close-up magician working at top hotels, bars and manor houses in and around London providing table magic in between courses at banquets, weddings, gala dinners, award ceremonies, private parties and product launches.

That’s amazing, I’ve never seen anything like that before. — Jonathan Ross

Noel has performed his snappy sleight of hand and Jedi mind reading tricks all over the UK and has been flown to Dubai, Paris, Monaco and Kuwait to perform for corporate clients. He has acted acted as a magic consultant for the feature film ‘Twist’ and also appeared in ‘The Apprentice’ on BBC TV.

That is fantastic stuff. You’re hired! — Lord Alan Sugar, Apprentice Final

The lecture is at 7:30 pm on Thursday 5 July at The Magic Lounge, 82 Broad Street, Sheffield, S2 5TG. Doors open at 7:00 pm abruptly but with a strangely comforting ‘ding’ a semi-tone above middle C. Comfortable seating to suit all ages and several inclinations. Admission is £5 to Sheffield Circle members, £10 to visiting magicians. What a bargain.

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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.

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You won’t want to miss The Jim Krenz Lecture: Magical Musings of a Man of Mystery at The Magick Lounge next Thursday.

Jim has been interested in magic since he received the traditional magic set as a young child. He regrets wasting the first four years of his life by not beginning his magic studies until he was five years old.

Later he spent 15 years working for Jay and Frances Marshall at Magic Inc. He regularly performed close-up at Schulien’s Restaurant in Chicago. In 1993, he won the Most Valuable Participant award at the prestigious FFFF convention. He has created over three dozen original effects and techniques, and has lectured about them in nine countries. Jim has studied with Ed Marlo, Jim Ryan, Tony Andruzzi, Don Alan, Eugene Burger, Slydini, Tommy Wonder and Juan Tamariz.

“Dude who fooled me the most with cards: In 1991, it was Spain’s Juan Tamariz; In 1992, it was Sweden’s Lennart Green; In 1993, it was Chicago Conjurer Jim Krenz.” Dan Garrett (from M.U.M. — the national publication of the Society of American Magicians)

Focusing on close-up magic, Jim will teach his hands-off cards across (wherein the magician legitimately never touches the cards), his torn and restored card (called Ripper, described by Juan Tamariz as his favorite torn and restored card), his invisible triumph (this fools everyone!) and his version of wild card, which features his impossible card case load (called Imp-Load) — which is performed under the direct observation of the audience.

Here is a quote from R. Paul Wilson about Jim’s Imp-Load: “I’ve been fooled badly by this. My friends have been fooled badly by this. Signed card cleanly goes into the deck, vanishes and appears inside the box that’s in full view on the table. Highly recommended.”

Interspersed throughout the lecture are Jim’s theories on creating and performing magic. Topics include participants preferred, making magic matter, the practice of practice and crafting creativity.

“Jim thinks in another dimension and creates cutting edge miracles. His devious and thoroughly deceptive methods never fail to pack a powerful punch.” Rafael Benatar

Also featured are his coins across (using his “one-behind principle”), his oil and water (NeoMix), Coincidencia (a coincidence routine with genuinely shuffled cards) and his handling of John Cornelius’ Pen Through Anything, which elevates the routine to the status of a miracle.

After reviewing a number of other prominent close-up magicians (including Chuck Fayne, Bill Goldman and Eugene Burger) who performed at the National Society of Magicians Convention in 1994: “Jim Krenz was my personal favorite due to his very likable character and absolutely astounding card work. He brought the house down with his signed cards routine.” Erika Larsen (from Genii — the International Conjurors’ Magazine)

Jim is a regular participant in Las Journadas de el Escorial in Spain. This is a gathering of magicians who, once a year, discuss and analyze a particular effect (or author) in magic. Some of the attendees include Ascanio, Bernard Bilis, Magic Christian, Roberto Giobbi and Juan Tamariz.

“I literally saw jaws drop at Krenz’s multiple signed card revelation.” Hiawatha (from Magic — The Independent Magazine for Magicians)

Jim will have techniques and effects for all tastes. There will be easy stuff, hard stuff, and innovative stuff. Jim has been working on these routines for a long time. (Some are over ten years old.)

“Jim Krenz is a treasure trove of ideas and a powerhouse of innovation. Check out his online store and support a true innovator — an ‘inside guy’ who’s sharing some brilliant ideas.” R. Paul Wilson

His lecture contains his original ideas, theories, routines and improvements in close-up magic.

“When I was a child I was fascinated with the magical emotion that I felt upon watching magicians. I could not comprehend anything — what I would see was impossible; now I love to feel this emotion. It does not occur very often. Normally, I can see behind the curtain — I see the ‘hidden’ secrets and the mechanics. But from time to time a magician performs a trick, or several tricks that seem impossible — and the magical emotion returns. This happens to me with Jim Krenz (how wonderful!). For this, thank you Jim!” Juan Tamariz

Jim Krenz’s lecture promises to be another thoroughly entertaining and enlightening event. It starts at 7:30 pm on Thursday 2 November at The Magick Lounge, 82 Broad Street, Sheffield, S2 5TG. Doors thrown open within seconds of 7:00 pm to all actual and would-be exponents of fine magic. Those over 60 get first choice of the comfy seats. Admission is £5 to Sheffield Circle members, £10 to visiting magicians, under 16s half price. You really don’t want to miss this as much or if not more than our previous star lectures!

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