Once again, it was my pleasure to attend the British association of mystery entertainers Tabular Mentis 4.
In a packed room, we were treated to 4 fascinating lectures on the subjects of sance, and Bizarre magic.
First on the bill, founder member Roni Sachnaye performed part of his Rogovia sance. The story of the two Romanian sisters, one good, the other evil, was illustrated with some very special magic. Candles flickered, slates wrote them selves, and you could hear the chalk moving, tarot cards burned, and smoked, and the dearly departed.. Departed in a very visual way.
Even if you dont do this kind of performance, you can get plenty out of watching a master of his craft working. And Roni most defiantly is a master, as well as a very nice man, who I am glad to call a friend.
Secondly we had the pleasure of the company of special effects genius Tom Lauten.
Tom, gave an insight into how to age props, making them look, feel, and smell appropriate for the story youre telling. As an example, why would an old gypsy woman, use new bikes?
It was a brilliant hour or so.
Next, a break for an excelent lunch, which gave many people there an opportunity to browse through the books and items on offer from Magic books by post, Tabulars first dealer stand, followed by...
Jon Randal, and his successful lecture on Fraudulent mediums, and the Houdini sance.
Jon also touched on psychic surgery, and gave a brief demonstration of it. Its at this point that I'm reminded of one of the best things about the Tabular meetings, that being that each lecture is more than a lecture, its a discussion session, and a lively debate soon sprung up when the dreaded word exposure popped up.
Following Jon was Dr Steve Murray, who performed and explained several pieces of Bizarre magic, including a living and dead test, and a routine around wartime Paris.
Finally, we were treated to the one and only David Berglas, who gave an illustrated talk on his life, and experiences.
Highlights included some rare footage of his shows in Holland, His African adventures, and his ground breaking show the mind of David Berglas. David was then presented with the Phoenix, the societys highest honour.
All in all, I can say that this gathering gets better, and better.And our thanks should go out to Todd, and Roni for making it all possible.
If magic of the mind is your thing, it would be well worth joining this wonderful, friendly society. And believe me; they dont get much friendlier than this. Keep your eyes peeled for the next meeting, which should take place in April