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David Pibworth | The Blog

Actor, Writer, Producer, Director

Mad Magic Workshops: The Simpler The Better

Save the vanishing elephants for later ...



As you may know, I teach magic. I travel around the country doing quite a number of workshops for children at schools and at my office in Olney. I also do corporate days and conferences, where a 45-minute mad magic workshop breaks up the other lectures on spreadsheets and sales ...

My Mad Magic Workshops teach a range of simple tricks anyone can master.

My Mad Magic Workshops teach a range of simple tricks anyone can master.

What I've realised over the years, is that the easy ones are the best, certainly for those new to magic. When I say easy, what I really mean are that they are simple to operate.

I don't tend to do any of those card counting tricks as they take so long and at the end are only mathematics, which certainly has it's place, but aren't really the sort of thing to wow people immediately.

"What you need to do is to appear to do a bit of magic off the cuff with little or no setup."

There will always be a little bit of setup of course, but really, the best ones are when you just dip into your pocket and pull out a pack of cards and get a person to pick a card and the one they pick has their name on it ... and yes I can teach you that in a matter of minutes!

Also making things disappear is another winner. I must be the most popular dad in my daughter's playground, as I'm always happy to play to an audience and the youngsters come rushing up and say "Hey, can you make a hanky disappear today?" and yep, I always carry around stuff in my pocket.

And those are the gags that just make you more interesting and to be honest are really don't cost much money. Should you want to do something more extreme, such as make an elephant vanish, the setup is longer and more logistical. It's getting the elephant that tends to be the trickiest bit, especially an elephant that will listen to what you want him to do.

"I'd stick to my stuff to begin with."

Quite a bit of it is pure confidence, and the way I teach you little bits of misdirection and such like, just gives you more insight and ultimately confidence.

I'm off to Blackpool for the Magic Convention this month, which is pretty spectacular, and of course we sit in the hotels at night swapping nuggets of information, but ultimately I'm there to socialise and keep my eye on any large stage illusions that may come in handy for productions that I'm asked to help with. But I always pick up a few tips that are handy for the day to day magic.

So there you are. You know where I am and I'm here to help you as I can assure you that doing a bit of magic does make people take notice of you.

Onwards and upwards!

Until next time ...


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More about David Pibworth ...

David is the owner of David Pibworth Productions who provides entertainment for theatre and corporate events. This ties in very well with The Arches Theatre, an outside venue that David owns underneath a disused railway line, equidistant from Bedford, Northampton and Milton Keynes. This was one of the few venues that could operate with social distancing in place during the summer of 2020 and where they ran everything from Shakespeare to Richard Digance through the summer months.

David has been involved in light entertainment for many years, even going back as far as working on a production with Norman Wisdom in London. He has a knack of keeping in touch with everyone he's worked with and would bring such people as Chas and Dave, Kenny Ball and Acker Bilk round to play locally when the chance arose.

His company also represent the stage rights for Ray Galton and Alan Simpson, the writers of Steptoe and Son and Hancock's Half Hour. He has recently negotiated permission with Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais to produce Porridge on stage although this is all hampered by the current situation and the availability of theatres.

Next year, at the Arches Theatre, he will produce Ripping Yarns, written by Michael Palin and Terry Jones. This will be an interesting production as not only does one episode involve playing a football match, but also with the agreement of Michael Palin and the wife of the late Terry Jones, it has been decided that all the profits on this production will go to a dementia charity as Terry Jones died as a result of dementia, as did David's father and uncle.

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