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May 2015

A goodly number of members, many of whom we don’t see very often, turned out for the visit of our international lecturer from the Netherlands, Peter Eggink.  They obviously know a good thing when they see it, for this young man (although he has been at it for over 20 years) has had his effects performed by the likes of Dynamo and David Blaine.

Peter is known for the creation of fiendishly deceptive magic, and it was a privilege to meet a person one has only previously read about, and to witness his miracles first-hand.

There were, indeed, some clever devices, from an ingenious rising card from back pocket (Pocket Bizarre -effected by pushing a sharpie into another pocket) to Mintalist; a cunningly-constructed device which allowed the performer to predict not only the number of tic-tacs taken from a container, but also their colours.

Then there was Ghost Tag, in which a chosen card appeared on a photo sealed within a key-ring and Flight Case, which again used the power of magnetism ingeniously to produce a card from inside a previously empty case . . . allegedly.

The Hole was Peter’s version of the travelling hole concept, and for Haunted he gave credit to Al Baker, who began the idea with his Deck That Cuts Itself in the 1930s, followed by Nicholas Einhorn’s Spooked.  

But this wasn’t just a glorified dealer demonstration, as Peter touched on the importance of personality, presentation and ‘people skills’, suggesting that only 20% of the effectiveness of an act is to do with magic skills.  All of his routines contain an element of humour, and he detailed the workings of his appearing shoe (with plenty of misdirection) and how to create a watermark in a banknote . . .

Peter Eggink

along with amusing anecdotes about waiters and how to deal with them!

Throughout the session well-respected and knowledgeable colleagues could be seen turning to each other and remarking “That’s brilliant!” when an idea or subtlety took their fancy.

I was particularly impressed with Peter’s facility with the English language and his use of puns (dry, as opposed to wet, white wine) . . . and yes, he really did have painful gout.  It wasn’t just an elaborate set-up for the joke: The doctor said “gout” and I said “I’ve only just come in,” which was worthy of our own Paul Guy.

 As Roger said in his closing vote of thanks, many top magicians have emerged from the Netherlands over the years, and Peter Eggink is certainly following in that tradition.