In 1926 Lewis Davenport, his wife Wynne and children Gus and Wyn toured South African theatres. They travelled there and back on R.M.S. Arundel Castle. These souvenirs made of electroplated nickel silver (EPNS) would come from this trip. The postcard showing the steamer is from the same period, no doubt also collected on the trip.

This was painted by magician and family friend Bryan Baggs in 2020. It is No. 2 of 30. It is based on a poster design for the stage act of Lewis and Julia Davenport, although no copy of the poster has ever been found. The image was also used for a postcard: see Ref. no. N450. Their act was silent, hence the billing ‘No Time to Talk’. Lewis and Julia performed from 1904-1909, so the date of the postcard is circa 1906.

On 9 February 2012 Anne Goulden gave this talk at the British Music Hall study group in London. It follows Lewis Davenport’s performing career from around 1900 to around 1930 and explains how he juggled his time between his magic business, music hall work, and other performances. On the way it provides an overview of the different types of variety entertainment during the period.

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.

In the 1920s and 1930s most of Lewis Davenport’s bookings were at theatres in Great Britain. However, he did tour South Africa in 1926 and South America in 1927, as well as accepting bookings in Germany and Belgium. In this talk Anne follows Lewis around Europe, pointing out the differences between UK and continental variety, as well as introducing some of the speciality acts with whom Lewis worked.

Click below to join Lewis on his travels.

Professional magicians often had lives full of incident, perhaps none more so than Linga Singh who was very popular in the 1920s and 30s. Much of what has been written about Linga Singh is incorrect, simply because journalists and historians have repeated the fictitious stories which came from Linga Singh himself. Nigel Dutt has spent many years researching his grandfather Linga Singh. The story that Nigel summarises is full of information and surprises. Read the PDF here to gain insight into one of magic’s more colourful performers.

Nigel plans to add additional sections which cover in more detail topics such as Linga Singh’s magic, his brushes with the law and other aspects of his life. Over the next few months keep an eye on this website’s What’s New page to make sure you are up to date with this new information.

Anne Goulden gave this talk at the IBM British Ring Convention, Bournemouth on 25 September 2014.
While Wyn toured with her parents in the 1920s, she collected autographs from many magicians and variety acts. Anne Goulden brings these characters to life in a well illustrated talk.