The magical career of Herr Adalbert Frikell, the son of Wiljalba Frikell, saw both high spots and low spots. Paul Freeman charts his life from the time he arrived in England, through to the high point of his royal performances, to the lean years and his ultimate death in poverty. Did he commit suicide or was it death by natural causes? Paul’s illustrated talk answers this question and sheds much light on the rise and fall of this talented magician.

J.B. Priestley’s book Lost Empires, published in 1965, looks back on the life of the fictitious magician Ganga Dun before the First World War. In his talk given at the British Ring Convention in Eastbourne on 24 September 2015, Brian Lead revisits the book to review the magic in it and how closely it matches the reality of a magician working at the time. Read on to learn why Brian believes that Priestley had a good working knowledge of stage magic and instinctively understood the subtleties and problems of its presentation.

John Salisse’s archive was the result of over 40 years of collecting and research. His interests were the Maskelyne family and their theatres. In this talk Anne dips into the archive, which is now part of The Davenport Collection. Anne focuses on the early days of the Egyptian Hall, where JN Maskelyne’s entertainments first made him a household name in Victorian Britain.

Many know the name Chevalier Thorn, but few of us know his story. Paul Freeman’s research has pulled together a revealing picture of the man and his magic. From his birth in 1853 to his death in 1928 there were huge changes in the world of magic. Thorn’s accomplishments contributed to these changes and deserve wider recognition. Paul Freeman’s talk will do much to rectify this. Click here to download the PDF based on his talk.

George Mozart (1864-1947) was a musician and burlesque comedian. He wasn’t one of the top music hall stars, but he had a long, successful career as an entertainer. In the 1920s he worked for the Maskelynes at St George’s Hall. His road to success is a fascinating story which tells us much about life as an entertainer in late 19th and early 20th century Britain. Click here to enter his world.

In this insightful and entertaining talk Roy leads us through the numerous ways in which generations of children and adults have aspired to be a ‘Raging Social Success’ through mastering magic. How did amateurs learn their first tricks and where did they get them from? How has this changed over the years? Was the advice always good? Click below to have Roy answer these questions.

Michael takes us back to the First World War and The Magic Circle members who fought for King and Country.
Through letters from the Front and other information in The Magic Circular he lets us share the life of members at home and abroad.

Lewis Davenport and his first wife, Julia, had some success with this act in 1904-09. It was a fast-paced act and, unusually for the first decade of the 20th century, both Lewis and Julia performed the magic. Anne’s talk follows their progress and focuses on the tricks that made up the act. Click below to read how the act developed and what was in it.

Roberta visited Britain as an American teenager in 1931with her parents and sister. Her charm and quality of magic made quite an impact, not least at the first convention of the I.B.M. British Ring in Cheltenham. In Britain she is largely unknown today, and Brian tells the story of how a photograph resulted in a journey of discovery to find out more about this talented young lady. Join Brian on his quest for more information below.