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September 5 - 12, 2004
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Tom Jones still rocks



The amazing voice...Tom Jones

(Sept. 5, 2004) LAS VEGAS - Jan and I saw a great showman yesterday...a true superstar, from Wales, called Tom Jones. I first opened for Tom Jones many years ago, at Caesars Palace, and I must tell you, this man sings even better now than he did decades ago. A remarkable voice, with a range from the highest to the lowest, combined with the moves and skills to captivate an audience.

I remember the gigs with him. He was always so accomodating, and appreciative of my job before he hit the stage. He made a point to bring me out onstage at some point in his act, and he was very generous in paying my salary, much more than any other performer at the time. I would finish my performance, rush backstage, change out of my tux, then take a seat backstage in the wings and watch every performance. What an education in audience control. He is funny, and he is always aware of everyone out there. It was a real pleasure to see him again after all these years. Hard to believe he's still such a huge draw here in Vegas after all these years. He recalled the fact that years ago, Elvis used to come into his shows, sit down front and study him. Elvis wanted to BE Tom Jones. He did! Unfortunately, he did not have the chops to copy him, but it was obvious that he was studying Tom's moves and stage persona.

Great seing you Tom, after all these years.



Over in Scotland, during August 13 - 15, a magic event took place that our resident International Director, Tony Brook had the honor of attending and performing at this special event. He was kind enough to provide us with his coverage of this gala, so I now turn things over to Tony for his eloquent report...

One of the largest magical gatherings in decades took place at the Royal Palace of Falkland in The Kingdom of Fife, Scotland over the weekend of August 13, 14 & 15. The event began on Friday night at a formal black tie gala dinner presided over by Ali Bongo, Mark Fisken and Jay Scott Berry. The Lord Lieutenant (representative of H.M Queen Elizabeth II) and a distinguished number of other guests made up of magicians and lay people were treated to a first class after-dinner cabaret by Patrick Page, Pierre de Beaufort, David Goldrake and Mark Fisken. Also at the dinner a number of selected magicians were awarded The Circle of Palace Magicians award.

This weekend mega magical event was the brainchild of President Mark Fisken some three years ago and together with the input of Co-Producer and Event Director Jay Scott Berry and Honorary Patron, Ali Bongo, it has become the largest event of its kind in the UK. It is expected that a conservative estimate of the official attendance figure for 2004 will be around 5,700.


Quite apart from the aforementioned names, other members of the impressive cast of International Headliners also included Royal Sorell, Charles Brook, Colombine, Tony Brook, Mike McMillan, The Aladinos, Moira Fletcher, Alex Proctor, Kenny Herran and Paul Dabek. Several other major names from the world of magic, fire-eating, juggling, falconry, balloon sculpting, stilt-walking and face-painting also added their talents to make the event a huge success. Set in the Palace grounds the Entertainment was, quite literally, non-stop on Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 6pm. Apart from his brilliant Friday night performance Pierre de Beaufort drew audible gasps of amazement from the crowds as he entertained them with his unique magic. David Goldrake kept them intrigued by dashing between The Palace Theatre and The Gallery of Wonders. Master magician Pat Page in his own imitable style enthralled literally thousands at The Gallery of Wonders. A very real pleasure and privilege watching a Master at work. Jay Scott Berry who has been described as the man from the Past, The Present and the Future lived up to the description - ‘ The Timeless One’ given to him by Zadok (Tony Brook). No one is still quite sure how he managed it, but he was seen to be in more than three places at one time! And that’s not all! At each of the performing venues he was seen performing a totally different act! He even managed on occasions to act as Emcee at The Palace of Magic Theatre.


The Saturday night Gala Show held at the Palace Theatre was Emceed by Ali Bongo and starred, Royal Sorell, David Goldrake, Patrick Page, Dr, Anthony Darkstone (Tony Brook), Kramus Nexifus (Mark Fisken) Paul Dabek and Jay Scott Berry. Thunderous applause and standing ovations were the result.

The Gallery of Wonders was Emceed by Zadok (Tony Brook) and featured Patrick Page, David Goldrake and Jay Scott Berry. Outstanding technical support was provided by Lyall Coull. Some of the featured performers at the Palace Theatre were Charles Brook, David Goldrake, Royal Sorell, Moira Fletcher, Paul Dabek and Jay Scott Berry who were all masterly Emceed by Ali Bongo.

Forget everything you know about Merlin. Another major star attraction was The Wizard’s Chamber which was ably Presided over by none other than the 2501 year old Kramus Nexifius. A special mention must be made of his magnificent costumes. They easily rivaled some of the designs created by many movie & theatre costumers.


A special vote of thanks must go to the National Trust for Scotland for their sponsorship of the event. Many thanks also to a whole host of ‘backroom’ folk whose hard work and dedication contributed to the success of the event. Special mention must be given to Lisa, Judith, Andrew and Gillian.

Of the many superlatives used to describe the event none can do it total justice nor convey the vast amount of planning, organizing and the very real hard work that made it a spectacular success. It can be best summed up in the beaming smile and spontaneous words of a little girl, “ I think you all are just so amazing”.

For a mere flavour of the event please go to both these links:

Tony Brook's personal website- go to Welcome Page, click on Photos and scroll down

Thanks, Tony. Wish we were there...

Until next week, when we will bring you the results of the all-important elections at The Magic Circle...and if you missed them, check out last week's column for our predictions to see how close we were.

Magically yours,



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