The Cambridge Pentacle Club was founded in 1919. Michael Colley has written the story of its first 100 years, making extensive use of the Pentacle Club archive and his own research. Until the 1960s the Pentacle Club was solely a university club. In the magic world its best-known undergraduate member was Alex Elmsley.
Michael’s book covers not just members, but also the well-known magical personalities who came to lecture at the club or perform in shows. Download the PDF and join Michael on his journey through time.

It is very difficult to find reliable information on the salaries paid to variety acts. In this article Anne Goulden reports on Oswald Williams’ act at the Leicester Palace and compares his salary with the other acts on the bill. These are recorded in a salaries book which belongs to the British Music Hall Society Archive.

Historians of Victorian entertainment will be familiar with the Egyptian Hall on Piccadilly in London. It served as an entertainment complex until it was demolished in 1905. Less well known is the fact that the Hall has been captured on wall tiles in the Hyde Park Corner pedestrian underpass.

Click below to download the PDF containing John Davenport’s photographs.

The much loved Herbert J. Collings, also known as Col Ling Soo, became a successful society entertainer and performer for royalty in the first half of the 20th century. He was awarded the Gold Medal of The Magic Circle and twice served as their President. The Magic Circle owns a typescript of Smilestones, his reminiscences covering 1898 to 1946. With the permission of David Hibberd, Archivist of The Magic Circle, his Smilestones are reproduced here. 35 illustrations have been added.