A guaranteed way to improve your magic and creativity

A bold claim – but true. Not a brilliant new gimmick. Not a new routine from the Vernon archives. Not something requiring a big investment but a proven procedure that does really work. Group magic. Vernon and the greats used it. Fred Kaps used it.Peter Warlock, Jack Avis, Francis Haxton and other names used it. […]

important news after a long pause.

HAVEN’T SAID MUCH ON THIS BLOG FOR THE PAST FEW MONTHS.. No particular reason other than I was pumping out news and trivia almost on a daily basis and I think this could devalue the content of the information.  There’s too much info around today in my view.  Therefore I will only release news that I […]

An appreciation of one of The Pentacle Clubs most famous sons.

AS THE PENTACLE CLUB OF CAMBRIDGE  celebrate their 90th anniversary, I was asked if I would write an appreciation of Alex Elmsley for the occasion. I thought you might like to read the following. Alex Elmsley – Gentleman genius. An appreciation by John Derris I knew him for over fifty years. Intellectually he was light […]

“How many socks make a pair?”

THAT’S THE TITLE OF A NEW BOOK on “Surprisingly interesting Everyday Maths” by Rob Eastaway that contains much trivia that will be of interest to magicians.It includes a piece on the mathematical likelihood of a random selected card. For a man he indicates that the card is most likely to be the seven of spades. For […]

John Derris – who he?

THAT’S EXACTLY THE REMARK MADE BY ED. MARLO when Jack Avis sent him a John Derris effect in one of the hundreds of letters they exchanged for nearly thirty years. Fame indeed and perhaps a sentiment shared by many magicians. For John Derris is not a name in the heady firmament of the stars of magic […]

The Audacious Alex Elmsley

ONE EVENING AT THE MAGIC CIRCLE Alex Elmsley was asked to show something to a group of card magi. A man with an open mind to any method required to achieve a magic effect, be it a set-up deck, a sleight or a gimmick, he pulled the following stunt which later he told me he’d drummed up […]

Tip for Devano devotees.

I’VE PERFORMED THE DEVANO RISING CARDS for years and without going into detail I have, I believe, a stunning presentation and patter theme which has become a very successful highlight of my table and close-up work. It gets me repeat bookings.  I knew Mitch Devano, the inventor and bought many packs off him – he always […]

Who’s Hugh?

IN THE MANY WRITINGSof Jack Avis, Alex Elmsley, Roy Walton and myself, magicians have seen the name Hugh Scott mentioned.Many have asked who was Hugh Scott. He was one of the ghosts of magic, very much in the background, rarely seen at magic functions but an outstanding card worker. The reason for his shadowy presence […]

Saturday morning at Georges.

ONE OF THE DELIGHTS of my sunrise magic years happened every Saturday morning in London. Six sorcerers, some apprentices, some established, used to meet in  Davenports magic shop in Holborn where we would talk  magic, gaze in awe at the many name professionals who called in (Orson Welles, Dante, Edward Victor, Jasper Maskylene, Robert Harbin and […]

Preserving Magic

I THINK IT IMPORTANTthat the performances of  some of our greatest magicians are preserved on film or tape for future generations, to be aware of what made them the best. Nowadays with camcorders and widespread visual technology this is happening but it would have been wonderful had such facility been available  years ago. It would […]