As far back as I can remember, the wise men of magic have been saying, "Magic is dying"- killed by modern marvels, by education, by radio and the cinema and television, by the crippling costs of transport, of orchestras, and of stage crews. And as far back as I can remember, outstanding characters have been proving, not perhaps that the wise men were wrong but that even if they were right there was still a long time to go before magic finally gave up the struggle. Magic was born in the Mysterious East. It seems just that today the one great full-evening magic show should have its home in India ... but it seems quite unjust that we in the West should have to travel thousands of miles for an experience which once we enjoyed in our own theatres. Still, the wheel of fortune turns and now The Great Sorcar's own people can enjoy the thrill of seeing the world's greatest o their own doorstep. To tell you of my first meeting with this 20th century mystic I have to turn the clock back to 1950, when i took a party of magicians to the first combined IBM/SAM Convention held in the most magi-minded city in the world:Chicago. Hit of the Convention, publicitywise, was The Great Sorcar, resplendent in his white robes, a striking, distinctive figure who, I recall, made a great impression on me when appeared together on a TV programme. He did a close-up item, which seems not quite what one would expect of an illusionist, but then that is just like Sorcar an all-round expert. I had the privilege, too, of introducing him on the International Gala Show held in the Eighth Street Theatre, an intimate sort of place seating 1200, where he presented his "X-Ray Vision" item to close the first half. I never saw his big illusion show as it can be seen in India today, or even the more modest, but still gigantic, touring version which he has, during the past two or three years, taken to Russia and Japan. I saw the sensational publicity material, through read the reviews and heard of the "House Full" boards going out, crows being turned away, runs being extended and extra performances laid on to meet the demand. In these days, it sounds like a fairy story ... but there are the facts and figures to prove it. Friends of mine, whose opinion I value, who have seen the show in all its glory, tell me that Sorcar is without doubt, today, the World's Greatest Magician. If hard work, relentless attention to detail, constant striving after improvement, and above all real devotion after improvement, and above all real devotion to the craft, are the way to the top, then Sorcar deserves to have arrived, deserves the decoration which a grateful Government bestowed on him some time ago, deserves the rewards of the acclaim of all the world's magicians for keeping the big magic show alive. Let me add one further word. In my time I have met and talked to most of the big "names" in the game. I never met a more charming gentleman than Sorcar. Ballyhoo is an essential part of big-time magic; without flamboyant publicity and much beating of the big drum even the greatest show on earth would find it difficult to go off the ground. Hence in some folk's eyes arises the impression of a bombastic, overbearing professional who believes his own publicity. I see a quiet, pleasant, very easy-to-get-on-with wand-wielder who really loves magic and magicians and who sees himself not as "The World's Greatest" but as one of a great fraternity. We could do with a few more like him.
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