The Wizards of Sussex celebrate the club’s 40th anniversary with members from Burgess Hill, Crawley, Horsham, Worthing, Brighton and Heathfield

The South Downs Magicians meet monthly at Handcross Parish Hall and their birthday party is on Wednesday August 3rd (8pm).

Chairman Jonathan Cann, 66, of Burgess Hill, said the club had come a long way since it was founded by Tony Hoare and Shaun O’Donoghue of Horsham in 1982.

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He said: “From our beginnings as just five members who met in a pub room, we have grown over the years to become one of the most popular and lively conjurer groups in the south. is.”

The club now hosts lectures, competitions and shows for the public.

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“We like muggles, as we call them, to come in,” Jonathan said, adding that magicians are “the worst audience” to delude.

Members include professionals, semi-professionals and enthusiasts from Crawley, Horsham, Worthing, Brighton, Heathfield and Eastbourne.

South Downs Magicians chairman Jonathan Cann of Burgess Hill

They often get together for 50/50 charity shows, splitting the money between the magic club and organizations like schools and charities.

Jonathan said he particularly enjoys the lectures because they teach different angles on routines and new techniques.

“The biggest part of the club is sharing and helping each other,” he said.

Jonathan served as President of The South Downs Magicians for 11 non-consecutive years.

South Downs Magicians chairman Jonathan Cann of Burgess Hill

He is a full time entertainer, performing at parties, weddings, christenings and birthdays.

He said: “I always say ‘that kind of job is better than working’ because my job is to get to the venue and get settled – doing the show isn’t really a job, it’s pleasure.”

Jonathan said he got into magic as a teenager while attending a concert.

He got a job as a science technician, did amateur theater, went to drama school, toured a lot, and then “the magic took over.”

He even doubled for Paul Daniels in his latest TV series.

The tricks Jonathan performs involve cards, arm guillotines, ropes, and coins, but his favorite sounds are rather unique.

He told the Middy: “I have a routine where I make an elephant disappear and that’s all I’m going to say.”

The free South Downs Magicians birthday party includes a quiz, up close magic and cabaret acts.

People must reserve a place by calling Jonathan on 01444 230409.

Brian L. Hartfield