Meeting up with Magicians. What fun.

I seem to have met up with more magicians in the last week than I have in the year before. A visit to the Magic Castle last Thursday gave me the privilege of catching ‘Pop’ Haydn performing in the Palace of Mysteries. What a great job he did.

I have known ‘Pop’ for quite a few years now but this was the first time I had seen him performing in his “Pop” persona. It is very, very clever and a real crowd pleaser.  His 19th Century character who seems strangely stranded in another time zone is unique and beautifully thought out.

Haydn’s 20-minute set explored the limits and extremes of his teleportation device. In lesser hands it might have seemed like a duo of burnt and restored dollar bill tricks but with ‘Pop’ his unique props and premise turned it into something much different. The slightly deranged twinkle in his eyes turned Haydn’s performance into a series of jokes within jokes.

‘Pop’ is truly a consummate magician, carefully wedded to a well thought out and fully fleshed out comedy character. In that respect, he reminded me of John Carney, another truly standout contemporary performer. I can’t wait to see Haydn perform his full Medicine Show and suspect it will be something very, very special. I will look forward to writing a full review of his show at that point.

The Palace of Mysteries has never looked better and Stage Manager Bryan Lee had it humming and functioning as the first rate jewel box theatre that it has become. Mystina and Dan Birch completed the line-up in the Palace and the entire show delighted the audience from first to last.

Last Friday I spent many hours with Steve Mitchell, who is the Castle’s resident graphic genius and also the designer/editor of the recent (and WONDERFUL) book, ‘Tales From The Uncanny Scot,’ by the late Ron Wilson. If you love Magic, the Magic Castle and Magicians then you need to own this book. There are a few copies available from the recent publication including, I believe, some limited edition and numbered copies signed by the Uncanny One himself. Check out the official site

I am happy to say that Steve has undertaken to take my various columns from Magic New Zealand, Linking Ring and other magic magazines and re-work them into book form. We are re-writing, expanding, re-thinking and revising all my various articles into a coherent book form. Sounds like a bunch of work!

in Tuesday I dropped in to ‘Magic Live’ here in Las Vegas and got to meet up with some of my dearest friends in magic. What a joy! Although I didn’t spend much time exploring the convention itself I was very impressed by the way Stan Allen put everything together. Stan makes the whole darn thing look so easy and effortless—a true feat of magic! His blindfold magic experiment was the talk of the convention and something I wish I could have experienced. Mark Nelson will be writing a full report for Magic Magazine so I won’t tread on his turf.

 Tonight is Jeff McBride’s ‘Wonderground’ event at the Olive restaurant in Vegas. I always enjoy these events and the combination of a (almost) full moon and all the extra magicians in town from the convention should make this an especially great evening!

I understand there are still some tickets available for Paul Stone’s 100 years of Magic Extravaganza at the London Palladium. A chance to celebrate John Calvert’s 100th birthday party and see a great magic show— all while helping a great charity! Check it out at

~ by Nick Lewin on August 18, 2011.

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