Exclusive Simon Drake Podcast Interview

Discussions of new films, books, television shows, and media indirectly related to magic and magicians. For example, there may be a book on mnemonics or theatrical technique we should know or at least know about.

Postby naquada » 10/07/08 05:03 AM

The star of Secret Cabaret comes to the www.iTricks.com Magic Week in Review! Hear his thoughts on Believes bad press, the return of the Masked Magician, injuries in the line of duty and those are just where the conversation starts. A wild episode from one of the true original thinkers in television magic history.

Believe us when we say that this is the most incredible episode of the Magic Week in Review weve recorded in recent memory.

Simon gives a wonderful and VERY funny interview, including his david blaine impression, open and honest views on magic and shows, the House of Magic, the secret cabaret DVD, his projects and sooooo much more...

catch the main interview and podcast here: http://itricks.com/news/?p=4719

and some of the extra bits we couldn't fit in here: http://itricks.com/news/?p=4717
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Postby Steve Bryant » 10/07/08 08:55 AM

Last night I watched most of the soon-to-be-unavailable dvd of Simon's tv show that was recently mentioned in another thread (alas, I failed to find that thread). Quite simply, this is one of the most thrilling magic dvds I have ever seen. Although I had enjoyed a few of Simon's performances on YouTube, I was unprepared for the range of his abilities. Both his magic and his attire range from Alice Cooper to Fred Astaire. There are chilling, bloody segments (The Hospital Scene was almost too gory to behold) and lovely, elegant routines such as the bare hand producion of eggs or the Silhouette Routine in which canes are produced and vanished in silhouette. There is high comedy and acting in The Drinking Act, in which Simon produces drink after drink, imbibing each until he is so tipsy he passes out. This could have been a hit on the Ed Sullivan show. There are geek sideshow things to simply look at (described in prose worthy of Ricky Jay), such as a half man, the decapitated head of Mary Queen of Scots, a live hand severed from a pickpocket, and a giant snake with a lady's head. Consider Devil of a Hat: From a hat on a bare table, Simon produces a flower pot with a growing flower, a bowl of goldfish, money, necklaces, a pistol, a liquor bottle, a large knife, and a syringe, after which a human hand arises holding a giant eyeball which looks about. Simon takes the knife and severs the hand, then carries it into the audience (a la Kevin James' It's Alive!). Just so cool. Interspersing the main bits are lovely little pieces including close-up magic, Tim Burton-like animated dolls, startling card manipulations, and ancient silent movie clips, some of nude women prancing about. Given the extraordinary sets, production values, and Jim Steinmeyer help behind the scenes, coupled with Simon's amazing abilities, this is some of the best magic ever filmed. Don't miss the chance to see it.
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Postby Mike Remington » 10/07/08 10:55 AM

Where is the Secret Cabaret available on DVD?

I lived in London in the early 1990's - an incredible time for magic on television. In addition to the Secret Cabaret, shows included a series with David Williamson, Jeff Hobson and Rudy Coby; Wayne Dobson's show; a show hosted by Geoffrey Durham with many international magicians (I especially remember Juan Tamariz on this); Paul Daniels; a Jerry Sadowitz comedy show (with a segment of card magic dedicated to Roy Walton); and repeats of a Tommy Cooper series.

Does anyone know if any of these are available on DVD?
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Postby naquada » 10/07/08 12:10 PM

The Secret Cabaret DVD (Series 1 and 2) are available for a limited time directly from Simon

[link removed]

Tell him Andrew Webb sent you :) The license for these are now running out.. So you're possible only likely to be able to order them for the next month or two..

They only feature Simons sets from the show (due to other copyright issues), but they are worth the now cheap price for that alone.. The DVD's will not be reproduced.. So it is very much a get them now or never...
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Postby 777 » 10/07/08 02:14 PM

HE is a fantastic show man.
did he not get kicked out of the magic circle or did he just leave? great man with great ideas
what the hell happend to magic on the UK TVS
its all but vanished
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 10/07/08 03:08 PM

Guys, would you PLEASE use the caps key on your computer and try some punctuation in your posts!
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Postby Gord » 10/07/08 04:17 PM

I received my DVD today and cannot wait to watch it.
I have never seen anything from the Secret Cabaret, but have heard a lot about it. If it is like most people say it is I am sure to enjoy it.

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Postby Steve Bryant » 10/08/08 09:12 PM

If you go to the House of Magic site (www.houseofmagic.co.uk), you will find an excellent article on Simon by Matt Field.
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Postby Matthew Field » 10/09/08 06:12 AM

Thanks for the kind words, Steve.

Here's the review I wrote of the DVD for The Magic Circular in December 2007

All I can add is that if you get the chance to visit Simon's House of Magic in London, don't miss it.

Matt Field

--------------

Secret Cabaret
Simon Drake
DVD, about 96 mins. plus bonus photos. 24.99 (about $50) plus p&p (2.95 UK, 4.95 U.S., about $10) via PayPal from [link removed]

Reviewed by Matthew Field
Living as I did in the U.S. when Secret Cabaret aired on Britains Channel 4, I tried to find a DVD or tape of the series when I moved over here three years ago, to no avail. Then, in discussion with Pat Page, he told me a DVD was being released by the programmes star, Simon Drake himself And at just about the same time Channel 4, in a series of retrospective programmes to celebrate their anniversary, aired a Secret Cabaret special.

What an eye-opener this has been. The DVD from Simons House of Magic, a venue which hosts magic-themed events at a secret London location, is nothing short of spectacular. Unable to obtain clearances from the many magicians who made guest appearances on the show, the DVD contains about 40 sequences involving Simon, and interstitial transitions featuring close-up magic and automata.

You can go to the website above and check out whats included, as well as watch a few samples, but heres a summary of my thoughts. Secret Cabaret is the most imaginative magic programme ever aired on TV. It has an extraordinary look, gothic, surreal, sexy, Grand Guignol, fast-paced, shocking, totally adult. [The DVD is for adult viewing no kiddies!] Simon takes every illusion and effect he presents and turns them into unique, theatrical experiences not easily forgotten. When people are sawn in half (and Simon is sawn in half the long way! they are not restores. Blood and gore are part of some presentations, a la Richiardi.

I enjoyed watching this DVD more than perhaps any other Ive viewed in the last year, and I give it my very highest recommendation (if you dont mind the dark themes). We need more from Simon Drake.
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Postby Dustin Stinett » 10/09/08 12:33 PM

Steve Bryant wrote: (alas, I failed to find that thread).


That thread is missing because I deleted it, just as I am compelled to delete this one, though I have only deleted links to the source of the DVD.

The reason is that I received an email from the producers who informed me that Mr. Drake never had license to make or sell these DVDs. This is purely a case of its easier to apologize than ask permission. This, of course, explains why his license is ending (he was caught) and only his materialmuch of which was created by other artists, such as Jim Steinmeyer, for him and the showcan be found.

It all makes sense if you think about it: Why werent the DVDs available at the official site? Who has ever heard of a limited license?

I too purchased this DVD, but now I feel a bit sullied. I received it a few days ago but havent felt compelled to watch it. I certainly wont watch it today (Yom Kippur).

Simon Drake is a great performer (the email from the producers actually praised himthey really like the guy!he just shouldnt have done what he did) and the material is fantastic. But with that, all I can say is, let your conscience be your guide. And hopefully the complete series will be available one day on authorized DVD.

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Postby naquada » 10/10/08 07:29 AM

I've just had an email and a call from Simon Drake. He's slightly concerned about the above comment..

Simon Drake DOES have a licence to master and sell the DVD's with HIS material on it.. I know this as I have a copy of the license agreement in front of me..

The holders of the copyright ITN granted a standard 15 year licence to Simon Drake to produce the DVD.

The licence is between Independent Television News LTD (as ITN Source), 200 grays Inn Road, London and House of Magic LTD

The licence covers:

Working Title and description: Simon Drake Compilation DVD comprising various magic tricks from Simon Drake filmed at the House of Magic and including performances from The Secret Cabaret with Simon Drake - series one & two (12 x 24) which were produced by the production company Open Media (the Series).

Length: 90 approx.

Anticipated delivery or release/transmission date: Autumn 2007


Material: Prior to the date hereof Jeremy Kimberlin of Channel Four Television Corporation supplied Customer with various materials taken from the Series.

Following final editing the Customer will complete the Royalty Declaration in accordance with Clause 3.2 of Schedule 2 detailing the exact minutage from the Series which is actually utilized in the Production.


Without going into too many details, the reason why the licence is coming to an end, is that one party wants it renegotiated. The House of Magic LTD is unhappy with this proposed agreement as has agreed not to master or sell any new copies of the DVD..

Simon Drake is very concerned about the comments above, and as a professional feels that it not correct to make fact of something without all the information.

The DVD's will never be remastered...

the DVD's ARE available at the official site.. as listed in the other thread.

Limited licenses are provided by media companies for their material based on a 30 day, 6 month, 1 year, 3, 5, 15 or perpetual licence.. possibly you dont have 'limited licences' in the USA, but they are standard here in the UK from news and media firms (of which anyone in the UK will let you know that ITN is one of the largest here in the UK)

I feel saddened that the Genii Forum has commented in the way above..

Simon would dearly like to discuss this with Richard as soon as possible to set the record straight, as this is potentially a very damaging comment to Simon Drakes Professional and ethical position in Magic.
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Postby Dustin Stinett » 10/10/08 12:01 PM

I have received more communication on this matter and wish to make clear a couple things.

I was only reportingand reacting towhat was told to me by two of the producers of the show. I will not delete those comments (youll understand why in a moment), but personally I think its fantastic that Mr. Drake has indeed produced a limited license. As far as my official site statement goes, I was writing of Channel 4s site which, I would think, would also sell the DVD since the series appeared there. Its not available there (I should have been clearer about that).

The Genii Forum doesnt hold an opinion, it only reports. This was my call, not Richard Kaufmans. But its now my opinion that we apparently have a case of he said she said or a misunderstanding / miscommunication between individual producers, production companies, and the shows star. Ill leave it to those parties to clear up anything that remains unsettled between them.

The Genii Forumand Iwill welcome a re-posting of the website and sales details and I am sorry if my reporting caused any distress and/or damage.

And Im now going to watch the DVD this weekend, and from the endorsements above (and others I have received via PM and email), it soundsoverwhelminglylike Im going to have a really good time. Sounds to me like something everyone else might want to do as well. You can start by going to the Secret Cabaret site: http://www.secretcabaret.com/

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Postby Dustin Stinett » 10/10/08 12:21 PM

I need to make one other thing clear: In my communications with the producers, there were never any demands on their part. No remove the link of any sort whatsoever. They just made a comment and I reactedor in this case, overreactedto those comments. I was acting on the side of caution.

Thanks,
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