International magicians dominate The Magic Circle Awards

20 January 2023

There was a distinctly international flavour to the annual awards from The Magic Circle when they were announced by President Megan Swann last night (January 19) at a special show held in society’s London HQ – although there was recognition for those nearer home too.
The show was preceded by a special “thank you” champagne and canapé reception for the invited guests – members who volunteer their services and time in some capacity to the Society.
Kayla Drescher, the American host of the Shezam podcast which concentrates on the issues women face in magic, won the John Nevil Maskelyne prize for noteworthy contributions to the literature of magic. Megan described the podcast as “a positive and refreshing way to talk about issues women in magic face.”
Megan said: “Ultimately, this podcast helps us all to be better magicians and human beings.”
The Carlton award for outstanding comedy in magic went to David Williamson. Megan said that David continued to delight audiences around the world with his “excellent blend of magic and hilarity” adding that his mix of skills and comedy genius made him a perfect choice. Laura London and Lee Hathaway had presented the American with his award when he was appearing on stage in London recently.
The Chapender award for work using magic in the community beyond pure entertainment was presented to the College of Magic, based in South Africa. The College of Magic, whose director is David Gore, trains young people in the art of magic and performance while also building their confidence and developing their life and social skills. Their Magic in the Community project provides opportunities for children in some of Cape Town’s most deserving communities, teaching entertainment skills, growing their confidence, improving their communication ability and giving them a chance of success where there had been little other opportunity. Megan said: “It’s amazing to see the real difference magic can make to their lives, and this project truly gives the art of magic a good name.”
The Maskelyne award for services to British magic was presented to Bob and Sue Hamilton, in recognition of their work filming magical events across the UK, creating an historical, educational and entertainment resource. Megan said: “They have captured a major slice of British magic, creating an archive which covers both the late 20th and early 21st Century, a wide variety of genres, and many unique performances and events that otherwise would not be available for future generations to be able to access.”
Mandy Davis, who is The Magic Circle’s international representative coordinator as well as serving on its ruling Council and several other smaller committees, was presented with a Silver Wand for outstanding service to the Society over many years and in many different positions. Mandy is also the UK international deputy for SAM.
Rob Earrey won the Cecil Lyle award for the best contribution to The Magic Circular, the society’s magazine, for his series on Diversity in Magic.
The Ehrlich Brothers had already received the Devant award for services to international magic when they appeared in London in the autumn.
The night finished with a magic show featuring a fine display of card dexterity from Yollin Lee, some clever card effects from one of the rising stars of the Young Magicians Club, Jake Allen – and some perfectly nuanced stand-up comedy from Danny Buckler.

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