THE ARTS SOCIETY SHREWSBURY
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DateLecture
06 December 2017Charles Dickens, Conjurer: the playbills of Victorian showmen
17 January 2018Henry Moore: A Revolution in British Sculpture
21 February 2018Gainsborough in Bath: High Society and the Bath Season
21 March 2018Northern Lights: Scandinavian Design in the Twentieth Century

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Charles Dickens, Conjurer: the playbills of Victorian
showmen
Ian Keable Wednesday 06 December 2017

Amongst his other skills Charles Dickens was an accomplished conjurer, calling himself The Unparalleled Necromancer.  We know this from a playbill that Dickens wrote for a show he did on the Isle of Wight.  Playbills were the principal means of advertising entertainment in the 19th century, capturing the public’s imagination with their exaggerated wording.  In this talk, Dickens's own playbill is brought to life by reference to their historical development through various amusing animal acts, contemporary conjurors that directly influenced him and some demonstrations of legerdemain which the great man himself actually performed. And all presented by a professional magician and author of Charles Dickens Magician: Conjuring in Life, Letters & Literature.

Ian Keable obtained a First Class degree from Oxford University in Politics, Philosophy and Economics, qualified as a Chartered Accountant and then became a professional magician.  He is a Member of The Inner Magic Circle with Gold Star and has received The Magic Circle Comedy Award.  Ian has written and presented a Radio 4 documentary on mind readers, and is currently performing a show about Charles Dickens, who was an amateur conjurer, called The Secret World of Charles Dickens. Ian collects 18th and 19th century books, posters and prints relating to magic and hoaxes, and has lectured at conferences from London to Los Angeles.In 2014 he published Charles Dickens Magician:Conjuring in Life, Letters & Literature.

Image: A Christmas Carol - Mr Fezziwigs Ball courtesy Google images