Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Patrick Page Memorial 1st March 2010

I received an email today informing me that there will be a memorial for Patrick Page on Monday the 1st of March. For details please visit the Facebook page RIP Pat Page where you will find posts by Sharron Rose, who is assisting the Page family with arrangements. She provides details about the memorial, where to send flowers or how to make charitable donations to St. Christopher's Hospice in memory of Page. Anyone wishing to attend the memorial should contact Sharron Rose using the email address she provides on the Facebook page.

Saturday, 13 February 2010

Patrick Page 17 March 1929 to 11 February 2010

Patrick Page died on Thursday the 11th of February after a long illness. Tributes have begun to appear on the internet; Magicweek have a short article on him this week and social networks such as Facebook have had messages expressing the sadness felt at Page's death. Among those were messages by professional magicians such as John Lenahan, Ali Cook, John Archer, Pat Fallon, Paul Gordon and many others.
A Facebook group called RIP Pat Page has been created and the number of members quickly went into hundreds. Some of the members knew Page as a colleague or friend; others, like myself, were inspired by his writings. Like a lot of people interested in magic I bought, as a child, his book The Big Book of Magic (which I still have). If I remember correctly, at the time it caused a bit of a grumble amongst some magicians because it revealed so many secrets to the general public. Page, I am told, was a quick wit ready with a funny remark for all occasions. One Facebooker related the memory of Page being in an audience watching a magician pulling a seemingly endless amount of flowers and other items out of a box. Page dryly remarked "I hope he finds what he's looking for."

Friday, 5 February 2010

Ultra Balloon Modelling

When it comes to balloon modelling the best I can do is make a little dog, teddy bear or squirrel. Even with those, it takes a lot of imagination to picture what they are supposed to be. Balloon modelling tends to be scoffed at by some people interested in magic but it is easy to forget how advanced balloon modelling has become. Here are two photographs of dresses made by balloon modelling. More pictures can be found by clicking here. [The photographs are copyright by the website given in the link.]

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

The Immaculate Card Magic of Walt Lees

I’ve had a fortunate week for finding and buying second hand books. Among them was The Immaculate Card Magic of Walt Lees edited and photographed by Lewis Ganson. The modest appearance of this thin book doesn’t prepare the reader for the amazing quality of the card magic it contains. There are four card routines explained step by step, in great detail, and illustrated with photographs of each step. At the moment my favourite is the one called Four Blank Cards. The phrase ‘jawdropper’ gets used a lot these days to describe the effect some magic tricks have on an audience. Well the four routines in this book truly are jawdroppers. I wouldn’t be surprised if there were a DVD out there somewhere based on the routines in this book.

Another book that is a treat is John Fisher’s Magic Book. This book was written for the general public and not for magicians, for this is a magic book with a difference. Rather than teaching the readers magic tricks to perform to their friends, this book is the magician. The reader simply chooses a trick, gathers together the list of props (household items) and then follows the instructions. A mini-miracle or puzzling swindle will then take place before their very eyes. Some of the tricks have now become familiar to us, many have not and some are variations on tricks we thought we knew all about. They are all very simple and intended merely for the entertainment of the reader. It’s the sort of thing that Lewis Carroll would have loved to have written.

John Fisher's book is, sadly, long out of print. Walt Lees' book is still in print and available from Magic Books By Post.