Magic Circle History Gathering 2017

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Matthew Field
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Joined: January 18th, 2008, 12:00 pm
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Location: Hastings, England, UK

Magic Circle History Gathering 2017

Postby Matthew Field » June 11th, 2017, 6:26 am

Saturday, June 10, The Magic Circle hosted the 2017 History gathering to a large group of enthusiasts from around the world.

After morning coffee and a welcome from Magic Circle President Scott Penrose. Ian Keable gave a most interesting talk on the 1749 performance of the Bottle Conjuror, who promised to get inside a wine bottle and perform. Except he didn't and the whole thing was a hoax, causing a riot by the sell-out crowd!

James Smith who writes for Marco Pusterla's "Ye Old Magic Magazine" spoke of early and collectable magic books. Then Brian Lead, Dave Andrews and the brother of John Yeadon presented a ventriloquial portrait of Josephine Langley with a performance featuring two of her figures, one of whom was able to walk! (Accompanied by a human, it must be added.)

After lunch, Gerge Kovari gave a most interesting talk about his challenges as a magic advisor to stagings of Shakespeare and other works. Andrey Fedorov spoke about the exploits of Houdini in Russia and his detective work proved that Mr. Houdini was as reliable a reporter as Mr Trump is.

A short break for afternoon tea (this is, after all, England) and we closed the conference with a riveting talk by Richard Wiseman and Paul Zenon. The good Professor Weisman, of Quirkology fame (check YouTube) spoke about Robert Harbin's remarkable "Transparent Man" illusion, remarkable both because he invented it when he was but 21 years old and because it barely worked. But remarkable also because Richard was able to record a performance! Paul Zenon, did research on the "Invisible Man" illusion and purchased an old version which needed restoring. He hopes to be able to mount this in Blackpool, funding permitting.

The event is put on by Dr. Eddie Dawes, who hosted, and Magic Circle Executive Librarian Peter Lane. A sale of books rom the David Price collection followed.

I had a great time, enjoying the talks and an exhibit of old materials relating to historical ventriloguists of the past, as well as Harry Houdini ephemera, as well as seeing old friends who were in attendance, including Michael Bailey, Fergus Roy and Betty Davenport, Paul Kieve and many others. How to attract a younger audience to this most enjoyable day -- ah, that is the question!

Matt Field

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