We are grateful to Paul Freeman who has given us permission to include this PDF version of his talk, which he has given in England and Austria between 2008 and 2011. Paul relates the interesting and often surprising ways in which magicians have ended up with a well-known stage name.

Peter’s talk traces the development of magicians’ programmes from the 19th century into the 20th century. He illustrates this with a wide range of Maskelyne programmes, as well as those of numerous other performers, from Signor Blitz to Carmo – around 50 programmes in all. On the way Peter highlights intriguing facts that can be discovered about the performers by careful study of the programmes.

A half sheet poster printed by Weiners of Acton, London. The poster includes the name Val. Prince, presumably the artist. The half sheet poster has been overprinted with the word ‘Mysteries’. The performer was Li Sing Foo (Arthur Hortopp) who toured this show for a brief period following Soo’s death. For more information see ‘The Fairground Soo’ by Dean Arnold published by Mike Caveney’s Magic Words in 2015.

A half sheet poster printed by J. Weiner, London. The original black writing on the poster has been overprinted in black to read ‘The Chung Ling Soo Mysteries’. The performer was Li Sing Foo (Arthur Hortopp) who toured this show for a brief period following Soo’s death. For more information see ‘The Fairground Soo’ by Dean Arnold published by Mike Caveney’s Magic Words in 2015.

A half sheet lithographic poster printed by Horrocks & Co. Ltd., Ashton-under-Lyne. The original poster has been overprinted THE MAGICAL PRODUCTION. The Chung Ling Soo Magical Production was the first attempt to tour Soo’s show soon after his death. Soo’s place was taken by Ching Wu (Alfred Banks). For further details see Dean Arnold’s excellent book ‘The Fairground Soo’ published by Mike Caveney’s Magic Words. The poster, without any overprinting, may be found under Ref. no. N615.