The South African Magical Society is celebrating its 100th anniversary 2018
The South African Magical Society (SAMS), the oldest magicians’ society in South Africa and one of the oldest in the world, will be celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2018.
The society has many active members and holds regular competitions to keep them on their toes. On Saturday, 2 December, four of Durban’s finest competed for the Lionel Walker trophy. The residents of a local retirement home were treated to an hour of magic and participated in voting for the most entertaining performance.
The show opened with veteran magician Peter Warby, who is a SAMS Honorary Life Member. Peter’s fast-paced act is full of surprises and received warm applause from the audience. Next up was Wayne Driver, one of Durban’s best-loved magical performers. He wowed with a variety of tricks. An audience favourite was the linking rings, a classic trick in which solid steel rings magically link and unlink right in front of the audience’s eyes.
The third performer was Russell Comrie, who began by reading minds, then proceeded to perform a series of impossible card tricks, including “the trick that fooled Houdini”. Dr Keith Pettengell closed the show with an elegant exhibition of magic with cards and silks, finishing with a spectacular effect that transformed a piece of tissue paper into a flurry of snow.
The judges declared themselves thoroughly impressed with all four performers and announced Keith Pettengell to be the winner of the Lionel Walker trophy.
“It’s gratifying to win, but more important is that we came together to put on a good, entertaining show. After all, that’s what magic is all about – amusing and amazing people by doing what we love,” said Keith.
As part of its centenary celebrations, the society has organised a magic-themed cruise aboard the MSC Sinfonia in March 2018.
“It’s going to be a wonderful celebration of South African magic, with magicians coming together from all over the country, including some very special guest performers. Some of the events will be for magicians’ eyes only, but there will be several performances open to the general public in addition to the ship’s usual entertainment,” said Neil.
Anyone interested in joining the MagiCruise, arranging a performance by one or more of the society’s members, or becoming a member of the South African Magical Society, is encouraged to email [email protected], or visit www.sams.org.za.