The Magic Circle Headquarters is host to a marvellous museum dedicated to the mastery of magic arts. Glimpse Harry Houdini’s handcuffs among other cherished treasures including props, programs and pictures all related to the art of illusion. Marvel at the history of Chung Ling Soo, shot dead during a performance in 1918, and don’t miss the rifles used in the infamous ‘Bullet Catch’ trick.
The Magic Circle is a British organisation, founded in London in 1905, dedicated to promoting and advancing the art of stage magic.
The Magic Circle was founded in 1905 after a meeting of 23 amateur and professional magicians at London’s Pinoli’s Restaurant. At this founders meeting, chaired by Servais Le Roy, those present decided upon the name of the Society — it was initially felt that the name of the Society should be the Martin Chapender Club, in memory of the noted performer, and founding member, who had recently died at the age of twenty-five. However, it was then agreed that the name “Magic Circle” would be more appropriate and that this name shared the same initials as those of Martin Chapender. The first official meeting was at the Green Man public house in Soho, but meetings were later in a room at St George’s Hall in Langham Place, where David Devant and John Nevil Maskelyne were regularly seen performing.
Devant became the first president of The Magic Circle, and in 1906, Maskelyne edited the first issue of The Magic Circular magazine, a regular feature for members ever since. The Magic Circular claims to be the longest running regular magic magazine in conjuring history.
The club was male-only until 1991, when more than 75% of members voted to admit women. There are around eighty female members of The Magic Circle, including Paul Daniels’ wife, Debbie McGee.