Plymouth magic club members perform vanishing act
NOW you see them... now you don't. Ladies and gentlemen – the amazing, disappearing magicians!
Plymouth Magic Circle's membership has dwindled from about 30 members a decade ago to just eight.
At its lowest ebb the club had just four members attending its monthly meetings.
Now the club, whose members include magician David Daval (pictured), are trying to conjure up new interest.
The Magic Circle was founded in 1935 and has had lectures from well-known magicians based all around the world.
They meet at Tothill Community Centre to exchange tricks and tips. Anybody interested is welcome, whatever their age and experience. New members need to demonstrate an interest in magic and an ability to do at least some basic tricks, Ian Marley, a member, said.
"We are looking for new members – men and women – so that we can grow and make it into a thriving club again. It would be a shame if the club closed."
Malcolm Norton, president of the Plymouth Magic Circle and owner of Top Secret Magic on the Barbican, said: "Our older members have slowly died off. We have to rebuild almost from scratch."
Mr Norton, a member for about 17 years, said there was always a resurgence in the popularity of magic when a magician was having success on television.
"If you mention 'magician' now, most people know the name Dynamo.
"The format of how the public see magic has changed. It's more a hardcore street thing now.
"Sometimes when I turn up for a performance people will be talking about Dynamo and how fantastic he is.
"Then I start performing and they say, 'Blimey, you're much better than he is'.
"It's because you're right there in front of their noses."
January's free talk is by Devon magician Brian Hodge, on the subject of children's entertainment.
The club has a Facebook page and can also be contacted by email at email@example.com