16 November 2010


Hi folks

Sorry I haven't been posting that often lately.  Apart from a second trip to the Edinburgh Fringe back in August, which I only got time to blog about when it was too late to blog about it, I've not been up to too much to talk about.  However, one thing that I can now talk about is a website that I have been busy building.

My cousin, Janice, has just started her own business called Bernera Canvas. Janice's company allows you to upload a photograph via her website and it will then be put onto canvas for you. She also has a number of pictures of the isles of Lewis and Harris, located in the Outer Hebrides off the north-west coast of Scotland, that can also be put onto canvas for you as a gift for someone.  There are some spectacular views to choose from.

It would be great if you'd go and have a look.  If you like what you see, please put an order in - and don't forget to let others know about her services.

Speak soon.

The Cardman :-)

18 August 2010

JC Wagner

The world of magic has lost one of its giants.  JC Wagner was regarding of one of the greatest bar magicians of all time.  His routines became the staple of many magicians the world over who studied his books and DVDs (and videos back in the day).

My first encounter with him and his work was via the medium of video some 15 or so years ago.  To be honest, I had never heard of him before I put the tape in the machine but I put it in and watched.  I was fooled and, best of all, I was entertained.  And I got 2 routines that stayed with me for a long time.  One was JC's "Torn And Restored Card".  Now, this was in the days before the piece by piece full restorations that have become commonplace nowadays.  In fact, it was JC's effect that gave Guy Hollingworth the starting point for his seminal "Reformation" routine (click on the link to see Guy's performance).  I performed the JC's version for a good few years.  To be honest, I've no idea why I stopped doing it!  It's just one of those things that we magicians (and big magicians) do.  I think I might have to dig it out again.

The other turned into my favourite piece to perform.  At the start of the video JC had a card selected, remembered by the spectators and replaced back in the deck.  Moments later, it was sitting under JC's glass.  How it got there, I had no idea.  What also got my attention was the reaction by the spectators, so I watched the explanation and started working on it.  Now, however many years later, I am still performing this effect and still love the effect it has on people.

When I first heard the name and learned the magic of JC Wagner, he was in the midst of a long spell out of the magic scene so he could make a living with a real job to support his family.  A while later, though, word started to spread that he was starting to come back into the magic world.  I kicked myself when I missed his first UK Convention appearance and was determined not to miss his next.  Sure enough, a few years later, I got my chance.

I had the honour of meeting him at the 2008 Blackpool Convention where he had been booked to both lecture and perform.  I took my copies of his books - "7 Secrets" and "The Commercial Magic of JC Wagner" - to get signed and to be able to thank him personally for his material, especially the Card Under Glass.  He was approachable, welcoming, kind, enthusiastic and encouraging.  During his lecture he performed Card Under Glass, then asked if he should teach it.  I shouted "no" adding "it's too good!"  He smiled, then taught it anyway.  At the end of the weekend, I ended up watching JC sessioning with my good friend Paul Wilson (whose recollections you can read at his blog) and French card genius Bebel.  It was a great way to round off a great weekend of magic.  When I said my farewells to JC, he hugged me like a friend he had known for years.  His kindness and willingness to share is something I will long remember.

Me with JC Wagner at the Blackpool Convention in 2008 

And then, on Monday morning, I received the news that the magic world had been dreading for some time - that JC Wagner had lost his long battle against cancer and had passed away peacefully with his family at his bedside.

Before I go, a few videos to let you see just how good he was.  The first 3 show JC performing at The Little Club in San Diego, where he would perform every Saturday for the customers there.

Part 1 of 3

Part 2 of 3

Part 3 of 3

And I couldn't post this without including a video of JC performing The Card Under The Glass.

The Card Under The Glass

I'd like to ask everyone reading this to raise a glass to the memory of JC Wagner.  And to the magicians, please remember to show the spectator their selected card that was under it when you do so.

Speak soon.

The Cardman :-(

11 August 2010

2010 Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Hi folks

Well, it's August and that means the annual Edinburgh Festival Fringe is now under way in Scotland's capital city.  As long-term readers (hi there and thanks for reading) may know, I like to try to get through to Edinburgh as often as I can during the month to see some of the shows and watch a number of the street performers.  I got back yesterday from the first weekend of this year's Fringe and had a great time and thought I'd give you my impressions of some of the shows that I saw.

One little note about these "reviews" - after reading an article about an open letter that Jerry Sadowitz had sent to reporters about their reviews a couple of years ago, I try not to give much away about the material that is performed in these shows, especially the jokes/gags that any of the comedians perform.  There is also the small factor that I'm not taking notes during the show, so I'm unable to remember most of them.

Guilded Balloon, 18:45 (1hr)
I've seen Jarlath's last 2 shows and both have been excellent but this one, his 4th time at the Fringe, is, in my opinion, the best so far.  Regan isn't an "in your face" comedian.  He is a very laid back performer who tells more stories than actual jokes as such.  And these stories are very entertaining and very very funny.  Due to technical problems, we were a little late getting into the room that he was performing in and a few folk in front of me were getting a little ratty as they had other shows to go to.  When we finally got in, I had one of the couples sitting next to me but from before the start of the show (if you go, you'll see what I mean), Jarlath's humour had everyone in attendance laughing, enjoying themselves and forgetting about the delay.  From stories about going to pre-marriage counselling (!) to how not to answer a mobile phone, Jarlath had the audience in the palm of his hand on every word.  You should try your best to get tickets to see him live.  You'll thank me later.

Just The Tonic @ The Caves, 15:15 (1hr)
Piff's first Edinburgh Fringe show last year was one of the most popular, and most successful, of last year's Free Festival.  This year's show is being held in one of the Udderbelly's many venues.  It is a good show but there were a few bits - mostly in a sketch about a tripped out visit a strange, magical pizza land - that made me wonder what was going on or why it was in the show at all.  The magic, as always, was very strong and the reactions from the audience were excellent.  Sadly, however, I happened to go to see the show on a day where nearly anything that could go wrong did.  This, however, only showed Piff's professionalism and his ability to think on his feet with so many sets of eyes watching him.  It was an enjoyable hour that I am sure you will enjoy too.

Guilded Balloon, 21:45 (1hr)
This is also Ali's second time performing at the Fringe and his show was full of excellent magic with a roughly half of the material being mental magic.  A couple of the highlights for me in this show were a number prediction which is a real fooler; an excellent presentation of the old "Sands Of The Desert" trick using items more commonly found around the house and an underwater escape that had audience at the edge of their seats.  Ali also had a few moments in the show where he did a little stand up comedy with no magic involved.  I have to admit that some of the material didn't "work" for me (other members of the audience were laughing away so I suppose you can't please all the people all the time) but what did work was very funny and, at times, a little on the dark side of things.  Overall, it is a very enjoyable show that will fool you in several places.  Make sure you get your ticket quick as I hear they're selling very fast!

Old Rope In The Balloon
Guilded Balloon, 23:00 (1hr 15min)
"Old Rope" is a comedy night set up and run by Phil Nicol and Tiffany Stevenson in London and Brighton that allows comedians a place to try out new material.  With the line up of talent around Edinburgh during August, they have transferred the night up the Guilded Balloon for the month allowing for a different line up each night.  Of the performers, one is a headliner who will perform a tried and tested set (sometimes throwing some new bits in).  On the night I went, we had Tiffany Stevenson as compere, Jojo Sutherland (Scottish comedian telling some amusing stories about her family), Biddy O'Loughlin (Australian-born, Irish-based comedian who has only just started comedy and seemed to be trying to shock laughs out of the audience more than anything else), Paul Foot (English performer who was too weird and off the wall for my personal taste) and headliner Rob Rouse (English comedian who did a set that made me think "I might go and see him").  If you're in town and still have the energy to go to a show at 11pm, it might be worth a shot - you never know who may turn up, or what might happen!
Espionage, 12:15 (1hr)
I had heard about this show through one of my work colleagues, whose cousins were performing it, so decided that I would go along.  To be honest, it wasn't the best show I've seen.  But then, it wasn't the worst either.  Sarah-May and John-Mark took turns to perform with Sarah-May performing mostly straight stand up comedy with a few comedic songs thrown in and John-Mark featuring some increasingly strange stories in his "Kindergarten Corner".  I felt that John-Mark was coming across as the stronger performer, but that was probably because his parts of the show were more character driven, instead of the straight stand up being performed by Sarah-May.  Saying that, though, Sarah-May did hit one huge piece of gold in the show.  At one point, while talking about relationships, she asked if anyone had ever had an affair.  One woman put her hand up and while a brief discussion took place between performer and spectator about the affair, one girl a few seats away was seen to visibly cringe.  It turned out to be the woman's daughter who was sitting listening to her mother talk about her sex life!

"Diobo" of Poland performing amazing magic during his
street performance on Edinburgh's High Street

But there is much more to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe than the shows.  There are the street performers and buskers who ply their trades on the High Street.  They, along with performers of various shows who are trying to plug their own shows, help to create an amazing atmosphere around the city.  If get manage to get through to Edinburgh during August, make sure you go up to the High Street and catch a few performances.

For me, watching some of the street magicians means that I get to catch up with old friends, and make some new ones.  There was a point on the Sunday afternoon when a group of us were hanging out that had the feel of a magic convention - folk showing each other tricks and moves and general magic talk.  It was great fun.

Ian Kendall starting to build a crowd for one of his street shows

These guys were plugging their Fringe show with some excellent puppet
manipulation.  Watching kids interact with the character and completely
ignoring the operators was very amusing.

 PocketFox performing heavy metal and rock on Ukuleles - rock poses always included!

I'm intending to go back through at the end of the month but wanted to let you know about the shows that I had seen.  If you make it through, I hope you have a great time.

Speak soon.

The Cardman :-)

11 June 2010

Magic at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Hi folks

Edinburgh is becoming a bit of a magical city with the upcoming Edinburgh International Magic Festival taking place next month and the Edinburgh Festival Fringe always having a good deal of magic in it.

The Edinburgh Festival Fringe programme was released yesterday and, as always, there's a good chunk of magic in there. Actually, this year sees the most magic that I can remember in many years! I've put them in order as they are found in the brochure and each listing has the title of the show (this may or may not contain the performer's name), venue, the blurb about the show and finally the dates and times and ticket price of the performances. Tickets to all these shows can now be booked over at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe website

Now, remember that there are a lot of magic, and magic-related, performances this year so get yourself comfortable. Ready? OK, here goes...

The Amazing Bubble Man
C too, St Columba’s by the Castle, Johnston Terrace

Breathtaking bubbles, people-inside-bubbbles, square bubbles, amazing bubble colours, sculptural bubbles, special effect bubbles. A show for kids of all ages to thrill, laugh, love and learn about the world of Bubble-Ology. Book early.
Aug 5-6,16,23-24: 12:30 (45m) £7.50 (£6.50) (£5.50 C)
Aug 5-6,16,23-24: 13:30 (45m) £7.50 (£6.50) (£5.50 C)
Aug 7-10,14-15,21-22,28-30: 12:30 (45m) £9.50 (£8.50) (£7.50 C)
Aug 7-10,14-15,21-22,28-30: 13:30 (45m) £9.50 (£8.50) (£7.50 C)
Aug 11-13,18-20,25-27: 12:30 (45m) £8.50 (£7.50) (£6.50 C)
Aug 11-13,18-20,25-27: 13:30 (45m) £8.50 (£7.50) (£6.50 C)

The Classics of Magic!
Laughing Horse @ The Counting House, 38 West Nicolson Street

Peter Campbell-Wells bravely attempts the most famous illusions in the history of magic. Magicians worldwide spend years perfecting these classics. Pete didn’t have time to practice but what could possibly go wrong? Free show. www.parlourmagic.co.uk
Aug 19-29: 14:30 (1h) (Free Non-ticketed)

The I Hate Children Children’s Show
Zoo Roxy, 2 Roxburgh Place

Fun-filled romp with Unkle Paul Nathan: magician – comic – curmudgeon. See Paul perform the most dangerous magic trick in the world. Hear! Laughter and applause. Smell the seat cushions.
Aug 6-30: 12:00 (1h) £5.00

Prince of Cringe Gag Reflex Management
Gilded Balloon Teviot, Bristo Square

A simple story with a sideshow twist. Flying axes, walking on raw eggs and a trick with balloons that will leave you speechless or gagging. ‘The Prince of Cringe’ promises to entertain young and old alike.
Aug 5-7: 12:15 (1h) £5.00
Aug 8-12,17-19,23-26: 12:15 (1h) £7.00 (£6.00)
Aug 13-15,20-22,27-29: 12:15 (1h) £8.00 (£7.00)

Ali Cook: Pieces of Strange
Gilded Balloon Teviot, Bristo Square

Star of Channel 4’s ‘Dirty Tricks’ and Five’s ‘Monkey Magic’. Award-winning TV magician Ali Cook returns to Edinburgh after his sell-out debut. ‘A sharp irreverent magician’ (Daily Star); ‘Immensely funny’ (Daily Telegraph). www.alicook.com
Aug 4-6: 21:45 (1h) £6.00
Aug 7-8,13-15,20-22,27-29: 21:45 (1h) £12.00 (£11.00)
Aug 9-10,12,16-17,19,23-26,30: 21:45 (1h) £11.00 (£9.50)

Barry & Stuart – 98% Séance
Underbelly, Cowgate, 56 Cowgate (entrances on Cowgate and Victoria Street)

Experience a mind-blowing séance hosted by ‘genuinely remarkable’ (Sunday Telegraph) Scottish BAFTA nominated magicians as they raise the dead for fun and profit; ‘Pure magic’
(List). www.barryandstuart.com, www.bbc.co.uk/barryandstuart
Aug 5-6: 22:20 (1h) £6.00
Aug 7-8,11-12,18-19,25-26: 22:20 (1h) £10.00 (£9.00)
Aug 9-10,13-15,20-22,27-29: 22:20 (1h) £12.00 (£11.00)
Aug 16-17,23-24: 22:20 (1h) £6.50

Carole Jahme Is Bio-diverse!
Zoo Southside, 117 Nicolson Street

A comedy exploring evolved differences between men and women. A gorilla and a Stone Age man will be summoned up before the dramatic finalé. Carole Jahme is the Guardian’s Evolutionary Agony Aunt, ‘Ask Carole’. www.guardian.co.uk/science/series/ask-carole
Aug 6-7: 19:45 (55m) £6.00
Aug 8-30: 19:45 (55m) £8.00 (£7.00)

Comedy Mentalist Hank Stone
Columcille Centre, 2 Newbattle Terrace

‘You have to see it to believe it!’ Critics have called his show, ‘smart, funny and entertaining’. From Los Angeles to Las Vegas, Vancouver to Toronto and now here in the UK. He will
amaze you!
Aug 7-8: 18:00 (2h) £3.00 (£2.00)

Devil in the Deck
The Zoo, 140 The Pleasance

Dealing cards and cheating death... This innovative pairing of theatre and magic by actor/magician Paul Nathan and guitarist John Anaya brings you the life of Jack Swindle: lover,
adventurer, con-man. ‘Beautifully executed magic...’ (SF Chronicle).
Aug 6-15: 22:50 (1h) £10.00 (£8.00)

Frisco Fred’s Comedy Hour
Laughing Horse @ The Counting House, 38 West Nicolson Street

From San Francisco to the Great Wall of China to the Fringe! A fun-filled hour with the world’s only nearsighted comic, magician, juggler, escape artist and tightrope walker.
Aug 5-16,18-29: 21:00 (1h) (Free Non-ticketed)

I Said I Wouldn’t Do This Again!
The Zoo, 140 The Pleasance

Ian Kendall returns in his nineteenth year with one show. Book early for the only chance to see his ‘slick, stylish sleight of hand’ (BroadwayBaby.com). **** from pretty much everyone who matters. www.IanKendall.com
Aug 21: 22:50 (1h) £9.50

The Late Late Show with Paul Zenon & Mikelangelo
Assembly @ George Street, Assembly Rooms, 54 George Street

B*****d sons of ‘La Clique’ present the Fringe’s essential late night comedy show. Join lounge wizard Paul Zenon and Black Sea songbird Mikelangelo on a mattress overstuffed with dreamy
special guests.
XAug 5-6: 00:15 (1h45m) £5.00
Aug 7-8,10-15,17-29: 00:15 (1h45m) £12.50 (£10.00)

Legend of the Card Ninja
Assembly @ Assembly Hall, Mound Place

Comedian, magician, ninja, Jav Jarquin debuts with a show that combines his acclaimed stand-up and his dazzling card ninja act. Hard-hitting comedy and feats with cards you would have never thought possible.
Aug 5-6: 21:15 (1h) £5.00
Aug 7-8,13-15,20-22,27-29: 21:15 (1h) £11.00 (£10.00)
Aug 9-12,17-19,24-26: 21:15 (1h) £10.00 (£9.00)

Lies, Trickery and Deceit: A Magic Show! – Free
Laughing Horse @ The Newsroom, 5-11 Leith Street

This is literally where the magic happens. It’s lies, sure, but good lies. An intimate evening of astonishing, honest to goodness trickery. Embrace the deception, welcome to wonderful.
Aug 15-29: 19:30 (1h) (Free Non-ticketed)

Mages Thru the Ages – Free
Laughing Horse @ The Newsroom, 5-11 Leith Street

Three magicians whisk you on a whistle-stop tour of magic past, present and future. Doves appear, needles are swallowed and time is paused, as we cram 100 years of magic into 60 magical minutes. www.freefestival.co.uk
Aug 23-29: 12:00 (1h) (Free Non-ticketed)

Magicians! Behind the Magic!
Just The Tonic at the Caves, Enter from The Rowantree Bar (under South Bridge), 253 Cowgate

Fabuloso and Dupont present an intimate lunchtime soirée of love and toast and magic.
And magic. A charmingly riotous tale of spangly leggings, French accents and bad hair. Sometimes, magic is a four-letter word.
Aug 5-6: 12:00 (1h) £5.00
Aug 7-8,13-15,20-22,27-29: 12:00 (1h) £8.50
Aug 9-12,17-19,23-26: 12:00 (1h) £7.50

Mandy Muden: Sleight of Tongue
The Voodoo Rooms, West Register Street

Award-winning magician Mandy Muden will be performing an hour of comedy and magic. ‘The
lovely Mandy updates magic with a campy bitchy comedy slant. She’ll win you over in a flash’ (Attitude). ‘Superb’ (Evening Standard).
Aug 9-15,17-22,24-27: 18:05 (1h) (Free Non-ticketed)

Marc Salem’s Mind Games
Assembly @ Princes St Gardens, West Princes St Gardens, Princes St

‘Surefire “you-gotta-see-this- show”’ (Variety). World renowned mentalist takes his audience on a captivating excursion into the possibilities of the human mind through hilarious, astounding and
mystifying mind games. ‘Quick-witted family fun’ (New York Times).
Aug 16-18: 18:15 (1h) £13.00 (£12.00)
Aug 19-22: 18:15 (1h) £14.00 (£13.00)

Mind-Reading for Breakfast
Sweet Grassmarket, Apex City Hotel, 61 Grassmarket

What does a psychic want for breakfast? You! ‘Psychic’ Psychologist, Rob Bailey, demonstrates ESP, predictions, lie-detection or just clever psychology? ‘…very funny… very engaging,’ (Oxford Times). Free coffee/croissants. Prizes for best nightwear; come in your pyjamas. www.psychicpsychologist.co.uk
Aug 5-22: 10:35 (1h10m) £8.00 (£7.00)

Morgan & West: Time Travelling Magicians
Gilded Balloon Teviot, Bristo Square

Great Scott! Victorian magic duo Morgan & West travel 100 years into the future presenting baffling magic, unparalleled precognitive powers and a totally genuine ability to travel through time. Sell-out show, 2009.
Aug 4-6: 15:45 (1h) £5.00
Aug 7-12,16-19,23-26: 15:45 (1h) £8.50 (£7.50)
Aug 13-15,20-22,27-29: 15:45 (1h) £9.50 (£8.50)

Nothing Up My Sleeve!
The Voodoo Rooms, West Register Street

International comedy magician Paul Dabek delves into his box of tricks with a quick wit and theatrical flair that will leave you spellbound! ‘Paul Dabek is quite simply superb!’ (Stage).
Aug 9-10,12-17,19-24,26-27: 21:15 (1h) (Free Non-ticketed)

Paul Zerdin – Sponge Fest Revisited
Assembly @ George Street, Assembly Rooms, 54 George Street

Arguably Britain’s most talented and leading ventriloquist and comedian, as seen on ‘Royal Variety Performance’ and recently on ITV’s ‘Comedy Rocks’. ‘Technically immaculate’ (Guardian); ‘The best ventriloquist Britain has discovered for many years’ (Times).
Aug 5: 20:25 (1h) £10.00
Aug 6-15: 20:25 (1h) £15.00 (£14.00)

Paul Zenon – Lounge Wizard
Fringe at Le Monde, 16 George Street

See TV’s legendary snake-oil salesman up close and personal in his natural habitat – a bar. A happy-hour priced cocktail of cons, conjuring and comedy. ‘Countdown’s wild man of the wand’ (Independent).
Aug 4-5: 21:15 (45m) £5.00
Aug 6-8,10-15,17-30: 21:15 (45m) £5.00

Pete Firman: Jokes and Tricks
Pleasance Dome, Potterow, 1 Bristo Square

Be amazed and amused by Britain’s leading comedy magician, returning with ‘the best tricks in the universe’ (Independent). Sell-out 2007- 2009. ‘Funnier than most comedians... more magical
than Dumbledore on a good day’ (Time Out). www.petefirman.co.uk
Aug 4-6: 19:10 (1h) £6.00
Aug 7-12,17-19,23-26,30: 19:10 (1h) £12.00 (£10.50)
Aug 13-15,20-22,27-29: 19:10 (1h) £14.00 (£12.50)

Phil Knoxville/Laughing Horse Free Festival
Laughing Horse @ Espionage, 4 India Buildings, Victoria Street (entrances on Cowgate and Victoria Street)

Join Phil Knoxville on a rollercoaster ride of comedy and twisted magic. Proving a mild-mannered comedian can possess superhuman powers. If variety is the spice of life then this will blow your
pants off!
Aug 6-15: 19:45 (45m) (Free Non-ticketed)

Piff the Magic Dragon: Piff-tacular 2 – Get Rich Or Die Trying
Just The Tonic at the Caves, Enter from The Rowantree Bar (under South Bridge), 253 Cowgate

Lock up your princesses! Piff’s back with brand new tricks and a magic performing Chihuahua... This time he means business. ‘Unbelievable’ (BBC1). ‘Standing room only’ – **** (BroadwayBaby.com).
Aug 5-8: 15:15 (1h) £5.00
Aug 9-12,16,18-19,23-26: 15:15 (1h) £6.00 (£5.00)
Aug 13-15,20-22,27-29: 15:15 (1h) £7.00 (£6.00)

Laughing Horse @ City Cafe, 19 Blair Street

Peter Campbell-Wells returns to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe to blow big raspberries at the serious po-faced world of psychic entertainment. Mind reading and clairvoyance is absurd
and Pete’s show revels in the daftness of it all! Free Show. www.petesmental.co.uk
Aug 16-29: 23:30 (1h) (Free Non-ticketed)

Shrink: The Outrageous Hypnotist
HMV Picture House, 31 Lothian Road

Outrageous and definitely not for the easily offended, hypnotist Shrink is back with more late night lunacy. Astounding, mesmerizing mind control. Absolutely f#%*ing hilarious. Come and laugh your arse off. Strong language, adult content – over 18s only.
Aug 13,21,28: 23:55 (2h5m) £13.50

Strassman: Duality
Pleasance Courtyard, 60 Pleasance

The world’s dark master of ventriloquy returns! This original world premiere performance reinvents ventriloquism as Strassman battles his alter-ego puppet for sanity. Radical and
compelling, not to be missed! Total sell out in 2005. ‘Brilliant’ (Guardian).
Aug 4-5: 19:00 (1h) £5.00
Aug 6-12,16-19,23-26,30: 19:00 (1h) £13.00 (£12.00)
Aug 13-15,20-22: 19:00 (1h) £14.00 (£13.00)
Aug 27-29: 19:00 (1h) £15.00 (£14.00)

Thought Thief 2.0
Sweet Grassmarket, Apex City Hotel, 61 Grassmarket

Is your mind safe? Learn the true story of Peter Antoniou’s journey into the merky world of ‘psychic’ espionage. See him demonstrate his amazing abilities, and learn how they are already being used against you. **** (ThreeWeeks).
Aug 18-30: 14:55 (1h) £7.00 (£5.00)

Cafe Andaluz, 77b George Street

Magic, flavours and illusion as never experienced before by your senses. Taste the exquisite Spanish cuisine at Café Andaluz and enjoy magic from the hand of the best magician in the world. Enjoy your evening with loved ones... dare to dream.
Aug 6-30 (not 19): Sun-Thu 20:00-22:00 £30.00; Fri-Sat 15:00-17:00 £15.00

Babbling Comedy: The Perfordian Show
C central, Carlton Hotel, North Bridge

No words, but laughs for everybody. Using mime, magic, juggling, beatboxing, this high-energy show will have you looking at ordinary objects in a whole new way! Captivating hit physical
comedy from Korea. www.perfordian.wordpress.com
Aug 5-6,16,23-24: 17:00 (1h) £8.50 (£7.50) (£5.50 C)
Aug 7-10,14-15,21-22, 28-30: 17:00 (1h) £10.50 (£9.50) (£7.50 C)
Aug 11-13,18-20,25-27: 17:00 (1h) £9.50 (£8.50) (£6.50 C)

Reality Vaccine – Free
Laughing Horse @ The Newsroom, 5-11 Leith Street

Volunteers required for a psychological illusion experiment. Mentalist Ian Souch is about to commit surgery on your mind! Aided by his psychiatric nurse Nikki, come and enjoy magic,
suggestion, psychology and fun. Be brave, it will only hurt a little... www.mentalmagicman.co.uk
Aug 5: 18:15 (1h) (Free Non-ticketed)
Aug 6-15,17-23: 18:15 (1h) (Free Non-ticketed)

S1L3NC3: Mind Reader
theSpaces @ Surgeons Hall, Nicolson Street

An underground artist whose canvas is your mind. An encounter you will never forget. Disturbing? Always. Predictable? Never. You will be stunned into ‘S1L3NC3’. Time Out London Critics’ Choice. ‘F**k me, that’s twisted’ (Pete Doherty). www.RealityAbuse.com
Aug 6-7: 22:10 (50m) £6.00
Aug 9-12,16-19: 22:10 (50m) £8.50 (£7.50)
Aug 13-14,20-21: 22:10 (50m) £9.50 (£8.50)

The Seven Wonders of Magic
C aquila, Roman Eagle Lodge, Johnston Terrace

All magic, from appearances to transformations, is composed of only seven elements. This breathtaking and original show is a rare opportunity to witness them all. ‘Charming and hugely impressive’ (FringeGuru.com). ‘A virtuoso’ (List). www.lewisbarlow.com
Aug 15,20-22,27-30: 18:15 (55m) £10.50 (£9.50)
Aug 16-17,23-24: 18:15 (55m) £8.50 (£7.50)
Aug 18-19,25-26: 18:15 (55m) £9.50 (£8.50)

Time Warper – Free
Laughing Horse @ City Cafe, 19 Blair Street

Magician-turned-time traveller Oliver Meech takes you on an amazing adventure through time. Like ‘Back to the Future’, but live! History is altered, clocks are stopped, and we holiday in 2060AD. Time waits for one man! www.magicmeech.com
Aug 23-29: 15:45 (1h) (Free Non-ticketed)

Looks like I'll be making a few trips through to Edinburgh over the coming couple of months.  If you manage to make it up, I hope you have a great time.

Speak soon.

The Cardman :-)

08 June 2010

Helping Friends

Hi folks

Magicians who read this blog will undoubtedly know the names of Aldo and Rachel Colombini.  I have been lucky to know both Aldo and Rachel for a number of years - even before they met and then married a few years ago.  Well, now these friends are in need of help, so I thought I'd pass on the information to try to spread the word.

Basically, Rachel is in need of open heart surgery due to the return of a life-threatening infection that she contracted some 3 years ago.  The cost of the surgery is somewhere in the region of $200,000 (yes, TWO HUNDRED THOUSAND dollars!!!).  Now you might sit there and say "haven't they got health insurance?"  Well yes they do, but it is limited and that, along with loss of earnings due to both Aldo and Rachel being self-employed, puts the surgery out of their financial reach at the moment.

So, how can we help?  Well, there are 3 options - and you can choose any or all of them.
  • First, you can visit magic4miracles.com, a site set up to keep everyone posted about Rachel's progress and for people to donate money to the fund.
  • Second, pay a visit to Aldo and Rachel's online store and treat yourself to a few of their products.  Everything is $10 - tricks, DVDs and books - and they are also offering a "buy one, get one free" offer.  So, choose 4 items and pay for 2.  Choose 20 items and only pay for 10!  You get the idea.
  • Finally, pay a visit to Lybrary.com and buy "Wild At Heart", an e-book that has been compiled by 13-year-old Kyle MacNeill with all the and that contains magic from some of the most creative people in magic, including Peter Duffie, Ben Harris, Gary Jones and many more.  What's even more amazing is that Kyle doesn't even know the Colombinis!  He has created this project purely because of their joint love for magic.
You can also read a frank interview with Rachel about her condition over at the IBM's website.

I don't know if Aldo or Rachel will read this, but I'll write this bit anyway.  Rachel - please take care of yourself and get yourself well soon.  And don't rush it!  Aldo - you take care of that wife of your's and make sure you look after yourself!  I'll see you both sometime soon.

If you can afford to, give them a little help.  You know it's the right thing to do.

Speak soon.

The Cardman :-)

Crowded House in Glasgow

Hi folks.

I'm Peter and I'm a Crowded House fan.  There, I said it and I am neither ashamed nor embarrassed by it.  Actually, I'm proud to say it - especially after their recent concert in Glasgow.

This was my second time getting to see them live - the first being about 2½ years ago in Hall 4 of the SECC.  This time, it was the Clyde Auditorium (aka "The Armadillo") which is part of the SECC complex.  The support act was Conan Mockasin who, at the time, I thought were a different enough to be interesting and to merit a second listen.  Upon finding some of their music online, to be honest, I'm still to be convinced.

After a wee break to re-set the stage, on came Crowded House.  Opening with "In My Command", their set contained a large number of classic songs as well as a number of songs from their upcoming album "Intriguer" (all of which are excellent) which comes out in the UK on 14 June.  The band themselves were making fun of the fact that they were doing the tour before the album came out.  It was a very relaxed night with Neil Finn holding conversations with members of the audience - something that he couldn't really do the last time they played Glasgow simply because bands can't hear what people are shouting at them too well.  In The Armadillo, however, the band members were able to hear requests being shouted during quiet moments between songs.

Another thing to be mentioned is the wide age range that was present at the concert.  There were children as young as 7 or 8 with their parents all the way up to people in their 50s and everyone - EVERYONE! - was having a great time.

I've always been one to shout out for the odd song or 2 at gigs in the hope that maybe, just maybe, the band will hear my request and play it.  On this night, in this venue, it was quiet enough and I was loud and clear enough to be heard.  At one point, Neil Finn was sat at his piano after playing "Archer's Arrow" from the new album (excellent song!) when things went nice and quiet.  I shouted out for an old Split Enz song called "Message To My Girl" but there was no response.  Someone a few rows behind me shouted for it too - still nothing.  A few moments later, I thought "sod it" and as loud and as clear as I could I yelled "MESSAGE TO MY GIRL".  Finn's reaction was "oh, alright then" and he went straight into it.  Yep, Neil Finn of Crowded House played one of my all-time favourite songs.  I still smile just thinking of that moment.

Normally, concerts have one or 2 moments that live with you for a long time.  This one had many.  Too many for me to write about here.  Suffice to say, I thought then - and still think now - that it was the best concert I have ever been to.  Considering that I've been to one or 3 concerts, that's a pretty lofty statement but I really do feel that it was that good.  Actually, no.  It was better than that!

Set List
In My Command
I Feel Possessed
Saturday Sun
World Where You Live
Four Seasons In One Day
Silent House
When You Come
Either Side Of The World
Sacred Cow - a snippet before Neil decided it was a rather depressing song!
Sister Madly - a quick blast of the chorus
Better Be Home Soon
10 Past Forever - made up on the spot and pretty good too!
Archer's Arrows
Message To My Girl - my shout!
Pour Le Monde
Pineapple Head
Weather With You
Don't Stop Now
Distant Sun
It's Only Natural

Fall At Your Feet
Don't Dream It's Over

Speak soon

The Cardman :-)

26 April 2010

The Celtic Cabal e-book by Peter Duffie

Hi folks

A couple of weeks ago, I mentioned that Peter Duffie's latest e-book was nearing release.  Well, I am now happy to announce that the e-book has now been released and is available to buy here.

The e-book itself has 35 contributors from Scotland, Wales and Ireland sharing a total of 44 items - including 2 essays - in over 170 pages, illustrated with photographs.  I contributed a couple of items to it which are amongst my favourite items to perform, which is why I am able to sell it here.

The list of contributors reads like a who's who of Scottish, Welsh and Irish magic (which makes me wonder how I got to be part of it!).  Here's the table of contents:-

The e-book costs £15 and can be ordered using the PayPal button at the foot of this entry.  The e-book will be e-mailed to the e-mail address connected to your PayPal account within 24 hours.


If you have any questions regarding this e-book, do not hesitate to e-mail me.

Speak soon.

The Cardman :-)

Upcoming Scottish Magic Conventions

Hi folks

Just a quick post to let you know of a couple of magic conventions coming up very near future.

First up is the 59th Annual Convention of the Scottish Association of Magical Societies - otherwise known as "SAMS" - which takes place this weekend (Friday 30th April to Sunday 2nd May) at the Tontine Hotel in Greenock.

There will be lectures from John Archer and Dave Forrest (both of which I am looking forward to) as well as a few dealers, competitions (these are dependent on the numbers of entries), a Close Up Show, a Gala Show boasting a line up including John Archer and illusionist Guy Barrett and a farewell lunch on the Sunday afternoon.  But that's not all that this convention is about.  SAMS is, traditionally, a time for getting together and meeting up with friends old and new.  It's always a fun weekend.

Cost of a full registration is £45 for the weekend.  For more details e-mail Janet Colvan, the SAMS Registration Officer.

The other convention to mention just now is Perth Magic Circle's 60th Anniversary Day of Magic in the Grampian Hotel in Perth on Sunday 23rd May, with the day's events starting at 10am.

Davenport's, the UK's oldest established magic shop, will be attending and will be bringing a wide selection of magic for sale and there will also be 2 lectures through the day - one from Roy Davenport and the other from Trevor Lewis - which should both be excellent.  To mark their anniversary, Perth City Council have granted Perth Magic Circle a Civic Reception and everyone attending will be invited to this which will precede the Gala Cabaret featuring Colin McLoed, who scored heavily at last years Edinburgh Fringe, Trevor Lewis and Roy Davenport who will present his Grandfathers famous manipulation act.

The cost for the entire day is £20 (Juniors - under age 16 years - £10, accompanied by a responsible adult)

I'll be at both events as I am performing in the Close Up Shows at both Conventions.  I look forward to seeing you at either or both events.

Speak soon.

The Cardman :-)