magic circle

The Magic Circle

The Magic Circle is a British organisation dedicated to magic. Its headquarters are in London, and professional magicians who wish to join need to have known two members for a sufficient period of time. These two members then act as referees on the candidate's application form and propose him or her as suitable for membership. Following the receipt and processing of the application, the candidate is invited to an interview, usually at the London headquarters with the examinations secretary. If the candidate proves suitable and sufficiently knowledgeable, a performance exam is scheduled. This takes place in front of judges, and the candidate must demonstrate skills to members in a rehearsed act. The final stage is by vote of members of council, who approve the candidate as a member. There are approximately 1,450 members (including Charles, Prince of Wales) in 41 countries. Members must be at least 18.


The Magic Circle was founded in 1905 after a meeting of 23 amateur and professional magicians at London's Pinoli's Restaurant. 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. Devant became the first president of the Magic Circle, and in 1906, Maskelyne edited the first issue of The Magic Circular, a regular feature for members ever since.

The club was men-only until 1991, when a large majority voted to admit women.

As of September 2008, the president is Ali Bongo.


The motto of the society is the Latin indocilis privata loqui, roughly translated as "not apt to disclose secrets"; Members give their word not to willfully disclose magic secrets other than to bona fide students of magic. Anyone breaking this or any other rule may be expelled.


Since 1998, the Magic Circle headquarters building in central London has been available for meetings and corporate entertainment. It has been voted best unusual venue by the hospitality industry. A virtual tour of the building and information are available online

The Magic Circle headquarters houses a theatre, museums, libraries, a dining room, a clubroom and bars.


Membership of the Magic Circle requires the applicant to undergo an interview and to pass a performance exam to show proficiency and skill. The alternative to the usual performance is a written thesis relating to magic. Members of the Society use the letters M.M.C. after their name .

Members may take a further examination to achieve the degree of associate of the Inner Magic Circle. The designation A.I.M.C. shows this higher membership. The A.I.M.C. degree can also be attained through thesis, and in rare cases, examinees taking the M.M.C. exam are awarded the A.I.M.C. degree. Those who attain an A.I.M.C. degree as a result of a performance examination are given the A.I.M.C. with silver star.

Within the society, there is a number of members never exceeding 300 known as the Inner Magic Circle. Full membership of the Inner Magic Circle is denoted by the letters M.I.M.C. after the member's name. Membership of the Inner Magic Circle is by call of the society's president. The M.I.M.C. degree may be awarded with a gold star, in recognition of the holder's excellence as a performer, although not all holders of the M.I.M.C. degree are performers, and hence, not all are M.I.M.C. with gold star.

Young Magicians' Club

Young Magicians' Club is a group of magicians under the age of 18 which is sponsored by the Magic Circle. The group meets at the Magic Circle Headquarters, the Centre for the Magic Arts in London. The club was started in 1996. Mandy Davis currently serves as the adult leader of the club.

Members of the The Young Magicians Club are eligible to join the Magic Circle at a discounted rate when they reach 18, but they face a series of rigorous exams to gain access to the coveted Inner Magic Circle. The 1,500 members of the society, founded by David Devant in 1905, swear a pledge that prevents them discussing the methods of conjuring with anyone outside the Magic Circle. hence the club's motto Indocilis Privata Loqui which roughly translates as 'Not apt to disclose secrets."

Adult members of the Magic Circle take on the responsibility of instructing the members of The Young Magicians Club. Young Magicians' Club's principal means of communication among its members is its bi-monthly magazine "Secrets." Mandy Davis is the current Chairman of the Young Magicians Club.

Unlike the Magic Circle and other magic societies, membership in The Young Magicians Club requires no interview or exam and is open to all young people interested in magic. New members are frequently absolute beginners. It is believed that having to do so would detract from the purpose of the group, which is to learn and enjoy magic. Local adult magic clubs will usually have a Young Magicians Club attached to it.

Youth aged 10 through 18 may seek membership in the Young Magicians' Club. When a member turns 18, he or she graduates to full membership in the Magic Circle. Currently, Young Magicians Club has a membership of more than 250 members.

The Young Magicians Club holds their annual one-day convention every October. The convention includes lectures and two competitions, the Peter McCahon Award for Originality and the Kaymar Komedy Cup.

Recent growth

The popularity of the Harry Potter franchise has been one of the key reasons for the organisation's growth in the past few years, with membership demand doubling after the announcement of the first film in 2001.

Officers of the Young Magicians' Club report that the Harry Potter books and films are responsible for an 20% overall increase in membership. The effect has been noticed even outside of the Young Magicians' Club.

Famous members

Many of the members of the Young Magicians Club go to compete and perform professionally including Stephen Mulhern, the presenter of ITV's Tricky TV, who became the youngest member of the Magic Circle at 16. Dominic Wood, who co-presented the BBC's Dick and Dom in da Bungalow television show, was also a member.

Michael & Siobhan Jordan, two members of the Young Magicians Club, have won several magic competitions throughout the United Kingdom and the United States and have appeared on television several times.

Richard Young appeared in a recent issue of The Oxford Times chronicling his magic accomplishments.

In 2004, Jonathan Shotton, a member of the Young Magicians Club entered and won the "Magician of the Year" contest.


External links

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