Martinka Chair Routine by Peter Pit/Flip

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Postby Smartini » 06/11/08 10:31 PM

I'm looking for a description of the Martinka Chair (topsy turvey chair) routine made famous by Flip/Peter Pit. I'm wondering what the theme was or how the patter/presentation was framed. Thanks for any help you can give me on this.

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Postby Pete Biro » 06/12/08 12:47 PM

You could buy the chair (close up version) from Joe Porper and FLIP details the routine in the instructions.
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Postby Smartini » 06/12/08 08:36 PM

Pete,

That's an excellent suggestion and I've already followed your advice and have ordered one (a couple weeks ago)of the Porper Topsy Turvey Chairs from Hank Lee. I saw a routine on stage several years ago but have forgotten what approach was used. I'm just a little impatient/excited as I'm looking forward to seeing the fine work that Joe has done with this effect. I heard from someone else that they thought the routine was on You Tube but I haven't had a chance to search for it. Another fellow thought that they saw it performed on one of the Paul Daniels show.

Any thoughts or tidbits of info that you can add would be greatly appreciated and would also help distract me from impatiently watching for my mail lady.

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Postby Pete Biro » 06/13/08 01:09 PM

Sorry, I have not played with the prop, other than to make the photos for the instruction sheets. On which FLIP details the hisory.
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Postby Tom Stone » 06/13/08 02:24 PM

Was the Munari/Wonder/Flip discussion ever resolved?
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Postby martinka » 06/13/08 10:21 PM

Goldston, Devere and Thayer also made these chairs years ago though the ones Martinka made predates them.

About 10 years ago when one of the larger dealers offered the full size version as the Martinka Chairs, I know that Jack Flosso had his lawyer send a letter regarding unauthorized use of the Martinka trade name and they stopped advertising them shortly after.

We also had plans to produce a mini set, but gave other projects priority once Porper released his version.

This thread probably mentions the Martinka name a few dozen times so that's not bad. I think it was Houdini who once said something like, any publicity is good publicity as long as you spell my name right.
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Postby Smartini » 06/14/08 12:38 PM

Tom Stone wrote:Was the Munari/Wonder/Flip discussion ever resolved?


I read through the entire thread and was left with the conclusion that, as one reasonable post read, that we were hearing about the same story from the perspective of different parties. Taken in isolation it would appear that some folks aren't telling the truth but the more likely scenario is that each are telling their own version which is true to them.

I'm very interested to receive the Porper Topsy Turvey Chairs which he has reproduced in a mini version. I just checked Joe Porper's website and his ad for this product begins as follows:

"This is a mini version of the famous Martinka Chair. Routined by FLIP..."

The posts about the Munari/Pit/Wonder/Flip/et al are now 6 years old. I'm interested to hear what folks think about this controversy today. Note the reference to the Martinka chair as well as the fact that it's been routined by Flip.

I'm also very interested in reading the Hank Lee letter of apology that was apparently placed in Magic Magazine. I'm not sure of the date of this but one would presume that it's pre July 2002 which is when Munari makes mention of it. My curiousity about this letter is further fueled by the fact that I've purchased the Joe Porper Topsy Turvey Chairs from Hank Lee. If anyone knows of which issue in Magic Magazine its contained I would appreciate finding out so that I can obtain the issue. Same for the Paul Daniels episode where Peter Pit performed this effect. If anyone has any information on where I could find this I would be most grateful.

I still don't know anything more about the various routines although it certainly has been interesting to read about the controversial history of the effect.

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Postby Colin Underwood » 06/15/08 09:47 AM

I wanted to just say I am performing nightly in my cabaret show the matinka chairs and it gets a very nice reaction. I have found the presentation for me is best when working with music. I use the chairs as a genuine chair for a little kid to sit on ( stong anough) and then proceed with a topsy turvy presentation routine but within a hat juggling.scarf juggling presentation. I have found with a distinct ending piece to the music it gives a strong applause cue for the public. The trick is very strong and I realise as with a lot of magic that the public is stunned and react a few seconds later than say a juggling routine where its instantanous. My view on Peter pit presentation is ...its his presentation and rather find your own....

A tip is to strengthen the plastic clips that hold the 2nd chair hidden by using screws and bolts as the clips WILL come off with constant use!!! Achair that isnt meant to be there hanging from one clip as you pick up tube isnt exactly magic!!!

I start the routine by placing the chair in from top of tube rather than placing tube over chair....that way i convey that something is going to happen to chair ...only then do i lift tube which shows that nothing has happened ( by lifting tube up) place tube back down and then pull out outer chair. The visual is I have slide the chair right through the tube showing chair a tube free and then turned chair around and let the magic happen. Small difference but better reaction ..for me ....leugo from Mallorca
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Postby Colin Underwood » 06/27/08 11:43 AM

Update on the plastic clips in tube...get rid of them ..they break!!! I have made new ones in metal and rivetted them to strips of aluminium. Much stronger ..I reccomend everybody using this prop do the same.
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Postby Dale Shrimpton » 06/30/08 05:32 PM

geofrey durham used the chairs in his last tour.

one of the routines mentioned above, had an arrow on the outside of the carton.( i cant recall who's, though it may of been the daniels routine )
the arrow was turned, and the chair within followed suit.
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Postby Rocky Clements » 07/30/09 04:59 PM

To the original question, I believe Peter Pit did the routine with patter. It was a fairly straightforward presentation, having the chair turn upside down/rightside up a couple of times and then finished with the production of the second chair. Of course, he had some byplay and humorous lines that made it the entertaining and commercial routine it was. I have a set of Owen chairs and perform the routine regularly to music. I use an arrow on the box to indicate the position of the chair. I do the production of the second chair at the end of the routine for a "kicker", but actually think the trick is more deceptive if they are renested and you end clean with just the tube and seemingly one chair. Ending with the surprise extra chair or with one chair is one of those times when deceptiveness and entertainment value sometimes conflict!
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