This is one of the most exciting magic projects I have ever been involved in. For may years I worked closely with Martin Breese; as well as handling the distribution of his exclusive range of products I frequently assisted with editing and proofreading.
Some years ago Martin acquired the copyright to all of Harry Stanley‘s Unique Magic Studio material. Amongst the many items were a number of silent films and many of these featured the amazing magic of Ken Brooke – one of the most loved British magicians of all time, and for many years a respected and influential magic dealer.
Martin passed this material to me and I spent a considerable amount of time digitising and editing the original film (shot, incidentally, by Lewis Ganson, perhaps one of the best magical writers ever). On this DVD are all of Ken’s Unique Studio films showing him demonstrating and performing some of his classic routines together with many effects from Harry Stanley’s Magic Studio in London.
I was pleased and honoured that Martin asked me to do this; I’m a big fan of Ken Brooke and was a regular visitor to the Unique Studio at 14 Frith Street in the heart of Soho while at University in London. I rarely had much money to spend but Ken would always make me welcome and seemed happy for me to sit and watch the demonstrations, and the comings and goings. It was here I first met many of magic’s ‘greats’ who were regular visitors. And in later years I would spend time at Ken’s ‘Magic Place’ not far from Frith Street.
Patrick Page knew Ken Brooke very well so he kindly agreed to provide a remarkable and informative live sound commentary for this fabulous DVD. Patrick knew the tricks that Ken performed so here you will not only see Ken Brooke at work but will also hear a great deal about the history of the tricks and routines.
There are many, many delightful Ken Brooke stories that will take old-timers down memory road and which will inspire relative newcomers to magic as well. It’s all here from the Chinese Linking Rings KB Ring Count to the KB Coin Box plus many of the tricks featured over the years in the Unique Studio catalogues.
As a very special bonus Patrick Page also allowed us to include some sound material. This was filmed just before Ken died so sadly, and never released. The sound material filmed by Vic Pinto and Patrick Page includes Chase the Ace and The Chop Cup routine and even the wonderful Tamariz Rabbits.
This DVD is a real treat for Ken’s many friends as well as for those who only know him as a legend among magicians and dealers of magic. Not to be missed.
Here are a few comments on Ken Brooke and this DVD by another one of magic’s greats, Paul Daniels.