Sorcerers did return and some 7000 people witnessed their mighty
joint Production of Nick Finnigan of Historic Scotland and Mark
Fisken of The Castle of Magic, this wonderful weekend of Magic
took place over the weekend of 21st - 23rd September at
Stirling Castle in Scotland. Following on from last year’s
success at Stirling Castle this year’s event entitled “The
Sorcerers Return” continued once again in 2007.
Headliners were Shirley Ray, Dr.Anthony Darkstone (Tony Brook)
Kristine of Norway and Scott Wells. Together with Pat Page, Kramus
Nexifius ( Mark Fisken), Ali Bongo, Prof. Hilarius Kautz, Alissa
Aladino ( Helmut & Doris Kautz) , Alex Procter, Mike McMillan,
Kevin McMahon and David Lees they created a weekend of enchantment
that surpassed all expectations. Mike McMillan, Alex Procter,
Tony Brook, Pat Page, Mark Fisken, Ali Bongo, Helmut & Doris
Kautz had all performed and excelled at a similar previous mega
magic event at The Palace of Magic at Falkland Palace in Scotland
to this year’s Event a series of competitions involving
schoolchildren was held. Entrants had to perform magic and write
a brief essay. The theme was based upon why they wanted to learn
Magic and also be schooled by Ali Bongo. Heats were held and finalists
chosen. The weekend began on Friday evening at the Castle to find
a worthy apprentice to Ali Bongo. Inter woven with performances
by Pat Page and Ali Bongo young entrants performed their magic
that was assessed and judged by Scott Wells, Tony Brook and Pat
Page. Alex Procter did a wonderful job of introducing the acts.
The winner was 10-year-old Mark Campbell. A close 2nd was 11-year-old
Christopher Dunn. Both from Stirling. Although she was not in
the competition per se, 11-year-old Patricia Duncan impressed
the judges with her skill and stage presence. She was invited
to perform, as she had wanted an honest assessment of her act.
The judges concurred that she was most definitely one of the rising
stars of magic and a great performer in the making.
and Sunday, various shows took place at various locations in the
Castle. Performing at The Gallery of Wonder (Chapel Royal) were
Alex Procter, Dr. Anthony Darkstone and Kristine. The Emcee for
their shows was the legendary Pat Page who wove his own spell
of excellent Magic not only during his introduction of the acts
but also when he gave the audiences an excellent act of his own
to close each day. I’ve known him for some 37 years and
was privileged to work with him before at The Palace of Magic
in Falkland, Scotland a few years ago and I am delighted to state
that, like fine wine, he just gets better and better. I must confess
that although he has taught me much and shared his methodology
with me I am still in awe and amazement at his performances. A
true Magician that has gone beyond mere excellence.
Procter, looking every inch a modern magical performer did his
fair share of excellent magic that left audiences cheering and
clapping for more. Alex is one of the few performers on the magic
scene today who meticulously pays a great deal of attention to
his visual on stage and his sartorial elegance adds more than
a touch of excellence to his riveting magic. Kristine of Norway,
a beautiful and enchanting young woman in her mid-20’s wooed
and mesmerized the audiences with her crisp delivery, flawless
skill and sheer charm. A former student of Jeff McBride and Eugene
Burger, she gave stunning performances as she created three separate
characters but still remained her magical self within each and
treated the audiences to some thrilling and stunning theatrical
and visual magic. Described as a Sorcerer of the 21st Century,
Dr. Anthony Darkstone created mysteries and magic of the mind
and entertained with illusions of reality as the audiences sat
enraptured with his performances of ESP, Telepathy and Extreme
at The Great Hall of Magic ( The Great Hall) were Kevin McMahon,
Shirley Ray, Ali Bongo and Kramus Nexifius. None other that one
of Magic’s leading Emcees, the charming Scott Wells, masterfully
and superbly introduced the acts. I’ve known Scott for over
10 years, spent many a great time in his company socially and
professionally, and can unequivocally testify to his skill as
a magician and an Emcee.
I was personally
especially delighted to see that two people, whom Dan Garrett
and I had featured in World Class Magic, namely Kramus Nexifius
and Scott Wells were not only on the same bill but also at the
same location performing together. Not surprisingly, many complimentary
remarks were made regarding Scott Wells’ Emceeing skills.
Nexifius was his amazing 2,500 self with yet another wonderful
costume. Over the years, his costume designer has hand-made some
marvelous costumes for this remarkable wizard but this year she
excelled herself with the detail and symbolism. I have in the
past, publicly expressed both personal and professional admiration
for the character Kramus Nexifius that Mark Fisken has created.
How the character came about is an interesting enough story for
an article entirely on its own. If they gave Oscars for Magical
characters, Kramus will be a clear winner. I cannot pinpoint exactly
how he does it but Mark has given Kramus a simultaneous appeal
to children and adults alike. How does he cast his spell? I have
no answer, only guesses.
being an excellent Award winning magician, Shirley Ray is one
of the nicest people anyone could meet and is an internationally
respected and highly acclaimed balloon artist. Royal Sorrel and
Ori Livney, both of whom are leading International Balloon Artists,
have told me that they rate Shirley very high in the world rankings.
Not only did she give outstanding performances but single-handedly
ran Balloon Magic workshops in The Royal Apartments. An extremely
popular item as crowds were queuing up patiently on both days
to take part in the workshops. Given her family background and
indeed her wonderful personality, it is no surprise that she is
so popular and talented.
who has had every superlative added after his name created more
of his own unique and jaw-dropping magic that he has earned him
his International fame for over 60 years. I have known him for
several years, spent quality time with him socially and have worked
with him before. I will simply add that his charm, graciousness,
knowledge and willingness to help and guide just seem to be never-ending.
of Enchantment ( The Queen Anne Gardens) featured Mick Magic (
Mark Fisken), Alex Procter, Alissa Aladino, Prof. Hilarius Kautz,
Maggi Clowin and David Lees. Keeping mainly to Children’s
Magic as their theme, they performed their hearts out much to
the delight of thousands of children. The future of magic was
assured as the very capable and knowledgeable Professor Hilarius
Kautz gave fascinating lessons on the Art at his Magic school
to literally hundreds of young, keen and eager future magicians.
Helmut & Doris Kautz are dedicated performers and truly understand
the finer concepts of show-business. I have worked with them before
and it was a real pleasure to see them again. I am especially
indebted to Doris, who is an excellent Face-Painter, for creating
the make-up for my character of Zadok- Keeper of the Seal of The
both Saturday & Sunday, between performances, Mike McMillan,
Kevin McMahon, Kramus Nexifius, Ali Bongo and Dr. Anthony Darkstone
got up-close and personal by meeting with the crowds milling about
in The Magic Square. They stopped to chat and show them some strolling
and Close-Up Magic.
unrehearsed magic moment occurred on Saturday when Dr. Anthony
Darkstone and Ali Bongo began turning, twisting, knotting and
unknotting keys amidst gasps of astonishment and thunderous applause.
A “double” act that was a once in a lifetime experience.
I’ve had Ali Emcee me in past, congratulate me on a performance
but I’ve never ever done a joint “act” with
him. Yes indeed, an absolutely once in a lifetime experience!!
Many people made this event a success. Special thanks to the Events
staff, the Tech crews and photographers who all did a wonderful
I must add
my own personal thanks to Kathy Wells who not only took many excellent
photographs but was also a real big help in ways too numerous
to list. It also included “box-jumping” in the trunk
of a small car!!! That’s a story for over a drink in a bar
thanks also to my good pal Alex Procter who took care of my Transport
logistics and even found time to ensure that I left with a “liquid”
souvenir of Scotland.
Will the Sorcerers
return in 2008? Judging by the complimentary remarks, the audience
applause and their obvious enjoyment, I predict that the answer
will be - Yes, they shall return.
Tony Brook - October 2007