Sorry to have missed the John Carey lecture here at the Magick Lounge on  7 July. I was on holiday. I hear it was a really good night. The effects with cards and coins were direct and not too finger busting, and his style was warm and friendly.

The next not-to-be-missed event at the Lounge is Roger Curzon‘s Sublimations lecture. Although widely renowned for his skill with cards, over the past few years Roger has been dabbling in the dark side and has developed a love of bizarre magick and mentalism. His VideoBooks Sublimations, Theomancy and Pentalism have been widely and favourably reviewed.

Roger is a very creative thinker (his Curzon Envelope has become a much-honoured classic!) so this will be an educational, entertaining, and memorable evening. Thursday 4 August at 7.30, but a ghostly midnight in our minds. Admission £10, but free for Sheffield Circle members in good standing.

Well, it’s been a while since I posted here. There are times when blogs, and business, have to take second place to more important matters.

In company with a group of like-minded Loungers I did take a little time off at the beginning of February to spend An Evening of Metaphysical Magic with Dr Todd. Described as an ‘evening of brain-boggling investigations into the universe, reality and the inner workings of the mind’, this was a delightful mix of mentalism, bizarre and story-telling magic presented in the Milton Theatre at Huddersfield University. If Dr Todd comes your way, don’t miss him!

Can’t tell you too much about this year’s Blackpool Convention as I missed most of it. I drove over on the Thursday afternoon and set up. On Thursday evening I went to see La Clique (‘a heady cocktail of cabaret, new burlesque, circus sideshow and contemporary variety’) in the evocative environs of Blackpool’s Tower Circus. Great show.

This, incidentally, was part of the Showzam festival. Showzam was a highlight for me last year and with the billed vintage sideshow illusions, Carnesky’s Ghost Train, ‘Heat the Streets’, etc., it looked set to repeat its success. Among the new events were the Magic Show exhibition at the Grundy Art Gallery, a Hayward touring show I caught in Derby a couple of months ago (see below); and Ukulelescope, a collaboration between the magnificent Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain and the British Film Institute. Tim Smithies, street-magician, axe-juggler and renowned uke-dude had swung us tickets for this. I hear ’twas a plucking good night.

Sadly I was called away on urgent family matters shortly after opening on Friday afternoon, leaving the stand in the dextrous hands of the inimitable Roger Curzon (his new DVD VideoBook Pentalism was a hit). Many thanks to Roger and several other Loungers at the Convention for giving up some of their time to help with manning the stand and packing and returning things to Sheffield. Indeed thanks to all our friends and customers for the many kind comments and offers of help at a difficult time.

In the Lounge yesterday: Roni Shachnaey, Roger Curzon and Peter Zenner enjoying a traditional Magic Lounge lunch and discoursing widely on mentalism, cold reading, and bizarre magick, at one end of the room. At the other end Steve Brownley nimbly ranged over Marlo and recent Blackpool bar stunners… with historical perspectives and excellent biscuits from Les Johnson.

Seems to have been a resurgence of interest again in the Rings. Thanks to Todd Karr for this link. Though probably more Jackie Chan than Dai Vernon…

And let’s not forget the Weekly Wheeze this time or I’ll get more complaints…

So Adam says to the Gym instructor, “Can you teach me to do the splits?”

“How flexible are you?” he asks.

Adam replies, “I can’t make Thursdays.”

Packed with Loungers as usual this Saturday. Mindreader/Hypnotist Peter Zenner was in and the discussions turned to psychokinesis as a vehicle for mentalism. Roger Curzon felt that to display too wide a range of pseudo-psychic abilities could be counter-productive. Interesting point.

I’ve played around with invisible threads and ITRs, and have had some success with a floating banknote routine. But that’s clearly a magic trick (though not to everyone, I recall!). For me, something subtler works better; a slight twitch or a slow movement rather than a full-bodied float? Have been using Andrew Gerard‘s Energy Bill for a little while now. (Available on DVD.) Not sure it would work with non-US currency, but it does! Excellent, impromptu, no gimmicks. Effective? Ask Peter.

A range of Kenton Knepper DVDs arrived recently. Includes one on the magnetic attraction business with canes. Not seen this for years, but it’s something I remember Peter used to use very successfully.

Mustn’t forget Adam’s Weekly Wheeze this time:

All those who believe in psychokinesis raise my hand.

Well, it has the merit of relevance.

Another packed Saturday in the Magick Lounge. Adam Bell was in to regale us with tales of his close-up capers at London’s Connaught Rooms, co-starring with regular Loungers John Martin and Adie Hurley. I understand that they were called upon to entertain the likes of Des O’Connor, Max Clifford, Theo Paphitis (Dragon’s Den), Bobby Davro, Sinitta, Tim Vine, and some bloke from the popular beat combo Blue. The things these celebrities have to do in the name of charity… Unfortunately the lads had to share a dressing room with The Pink Ladies, but otherwise they were well looked after.

Jim Critchlow was in, describing his experience of being shown his own trick White Star one night in the Ruskin at Blackpool, under a different name, by a magician claiming it as his own. Now Jim is a pretty self-effacing sort of guy, but as it happened there were a number of people around who knew him and were able to point out the unmissable similarities in a polite but direct manner…

Which brings Roger Curzon to mind. Here’s him performing one of his Curzon Envelope routines. Thanks to Lounger Mark Perkins for the video.

This is Roger’s Dream Card routine, which appears in Blood on the Tricks, and also as a supplement to the Miracle Signed Card in Envelope book. The effect was originally released in 1988.

I could go on, and frequently do. But I’ll sign off for now with this week’s Adam’s Weekly Wheeze:

“My Mate’s in hospital from sniffing curry powder. He’s in a korma.”