Modern Mystic League
Blackburn & District  Society of Magicians
CLICK to view images
July 2022
Geoffrey Newton
'Key Ring' Magic
Our July meeting was one of the best attended since the onset of Covid, as we welcomed back our old friend Geoffrey Newton with more of his ‘Tricks from the Key Ring’. Geoffrey has now edited ninety issues of this British Ring magazine and is about to put away his quill – so he had plenty of material to choose from. The irony of his sub-title ‘A Man of Principles’ was not lost during the week when Boris Johnson had been forced to resign!

Indeed, Geoffrey’s skill lies in taking established principles and merging them into new formats which make them fresh and topical. Such was the case with his first item, based on the new Doctor Who and requiring just two ‘outs’ to do the job. This was a special MML preview, the trick being destined for Geoffrey’s final issue in September.

‘The Colour of your Mind’ refined and improved upon a former item used by at least one member present, using bull-dog clips on an open frame. ‘Jack Diamond’ led to an effect employed a forcing gimmick going back to Fogel’s ‘gallows’ routine, a basic number force and a useful thick card, while another routine using an obviously ‘marked’ deck ended up with a pack full of Jokers.

The still popular Harry Potter theme led to a book test called ‘Potted Potter’, followed by the ‘Bumper Book Test’ using three cheap books from The Works, a pair of dice and a fool-proof mathematical principle. Geoffrey has always regarded such cut-price shops as his go-to magic dealers.

Magic Circle Magic of the ‘60s yielded the principle behind ‘Your Number’s Up’, and use was made of a cunning mathematical grid while a nifty bit of paper folding and cutting with audience participation resolved the problem of whether to holiday in Europe or Asia. Sherlock Holmes fans (of whom we have at least one!) were treated to ‘A Study in Scarlet’ – a tribute to the Baker Street detective.

All of the effects were clearly explained and simple to operate, leaving scope to concentrate on presentation.

The ‘icing on the cake’ which enhanced the feel-good factor of the afternoon was a visit from Ron Baron, a previous stalwart who we haven’t seen for a long time, along with his son Jonathan and grandson Patrick, who joined in with some of the routines. All were looking well and cheerful.  t was also nice to have Kay Murray with us again, lending her support from The Order of the Magi.

It was warm day full of warm friendship, and a very positive sign for the future.

Brian Lead