MAGICTALES! - Magic Stories, Magic Tricks for Storytellers!



We nearly called this web-site, “”

Because of my background as a professional magician, it seemed logical to concentrate on my enthusiasm for performing magic within the context of stories. ‘Magictales’, being short, succinct, self-descriptive and easy to remember, would be an ideal name.

A web-site entitled ‘Magictales’ however, might only attract the interest of other magicians. And whilst I am more than delighted to welcome fellow magicians to these pages, it is my belief that once they saw that the emphasis is on the stories and less so on the magic tricks, most of them would quickly lose interest.

We therefore decided to choose a domain name that we hoped would attract storytellers; of whom some may be interested in looking for novel ways to enhance and give variety to their presentations. I have found that by using magic tricks to illustrate some of my stories, this aim can be achieved.

It should go without saying that to perform magic well requires skill (says he, not wishing to alienate his many magical friends!). But the simple effects that I shall be offering should be within the capability of most competent storytellers. As I have indicated earlier, I really want to focus on the stories.

Most of these tales will require the use of various ‘props’ in order to perform the tricks associated with the story.

Some of these items you will be able to obtain yourself. Others you will need to buy from a magical dealer. Should this be the case, I will give you the name of a dealer who stocks the item and the current price. In addition, I also may be able to supply some of the ‘props’ myself.

What I will not be doing is disclosing magical secrets on these pages!

To reveal methods of performing magic tricks to those who do not really care or only have a superficial interest in knowing 'how it's done', I leave to unimaginative television producers who have no integrity, and lack the creative wit to devise original programmes of their own.

The stories must stand alone!

I long ago promised myself that any story that I created to accompany a magic trick would have to be one that worked alone as a story – even without the visual magical effect!

This is what I shall be offering you. – original stories that you can tell to audiences without necessarily having to perform the trick! – If you want to perform the magic that goes with the story, you must Email me and I will tell you how to source the necessary information! In this way, I will have some assurance that those requesting further information are genuinely interested in performing the complete routine.

That said, I shall include the occasional ‘Jokey’ type of magic story with presentation details similar to the first one below. Entitled:

A Case of Mistaken Identity
Your Hair Will Be Your Fortune!
The Blushing Palms of Samoa
Which Came First?
The Two Little Evacuees
Pom Poms and Ruffles
An Impossible Transposition!

December 27th. 2017

Full Circle.

Some forty-odd years ago, sitting in my dressing room between pantomime performances (I was playing the villainous magician, Abanazar in Aladdin), I was visited by an 11 year old boy who introduced himself as Paul Collins. He was interested in magic and wanted to meet the magician in the show! We chatted for a while and I showed him a trick before he left.

He reminded me of myself at around the same age, visiting magicians back stage in theatres to get a hint of what it was like to be a 'professional ' magician.

This afternoon I watched a performance of Aladdin at The Charter Theatre in Preston.

There I saw a masterful, malevolent and magical portrayal of Abanazar, extracting boos and hisses from excited audience members, young and old! The actor/magician playing the role, was well known and established TV magician, Paul Zenon.

And so the circle is complete, he saw my Abanazar when he was young – now that I am much older – It was my pleasure to watch him!

Leslie Melville's

Magictales Two.

Published by Leaping Lizards Magic
Foreword by Jeff McBride

More of the same but just a little ............... Darker!

Six years following the publication of his innovative first book – 'Magictales' – the Definitive Book of Storytelling Magic! - Leslie has created a second volume of even more exciting material.

Simple to perform magical effects set within the context of interesting and entertaining plot lines.

Those who purchased the first book will be delighted to know that there are two additional presentations based on his highly praised 'Kismet' principle – one of them reconstructing a séance in which the identity of the notorious 'Jack the Ripper' is revealed!

'The Witchmaster's Secret' is a table top tale about the rescue of a witch condemned to a fiery death!

Additional material includes:

A poignant 'Titanic' story presentation for the Haunted Key.

'The Dead Eye' is a spooky story application for Doug Higley's 'Demented Eye'.

And 'The Mark of the Grim Reaper' is a simple to do card trick – based upon an old plot.

With the kind permission of Paul Stone, the copyright owner, Leslie explains in full detail the construction of Roy Johnson's 'Flawless' - a first class envelope switching system - including an original presentation first marketed by the legendary Ken Brooke.

Clarke 'The Senator' Crandall is represented in a discussion which includes Leslie's full working presentation of Crandall's 'One Handed Six Card Repeat'.

Other titles to whet your appetite:

'Another, then Another and Another' – Leslie's acclaimed Repeat Banknote Production.

'An Adventure with a Leaf' - A life changing experience using the Okito Rising Pencil principle.

Not all is aimed at the Bizarrist – there are a number of items for the children's entertainer, including the very topical 'Litter' plus a discussion about and offering a NEW (?) presentation of the Magic Colouring Book.

As in the first book, Leslie's thoughts and general philosophy are liberally spread throughout Magictales Two – He even discusses the opportunities for storytelling within an act of Illusions and offers a complete dramatised presentation of 'The Origami Box'.

'Magictales Two', with wonderful artwork by Barrington Powell, contains 26 chapters.
We feel confident that there really is something for every performer.

Announcement of unavailability.

Sadly the publisher of of both Magictales titles ceased trading in 2015. Despite several attempts to have publishing rights returned to me, I have so far been unsuccessful.

I shall continue trying to regain control of my work and have the books available to purchasers but until then, I am afraid the books are unobtainable.

Many apologies!

Supplementary page of information.

Thoughts and ideas often occur after a manuscript has been sent to the publisher for final editing and printing.

Ideas that had they arrived earlier, would have been included in the finished work.

Already this has happened in the case of Magictales Two.

Fortunately because of the World Wide Web, we are now able to redress the problem by supplementing the printed book with a dedicated webpage of additional material.

You will find this supplementary information by clicking here

Further items of information will be added to this page as and when they emerge. You also are invited to contribute by adding your thoughts and experiences as you begin to use the material provided in the book.

Just use the 'Contact Us' link at the front of the website to add your suggestions.

Thank you, in advance!

Magictales Two Bookplates

Decorative Bookplates (compatible with Magictales Two artwork) are now available. Anyone wishing to receive a signed bookplate is invited to send me their postal address and I will post one to you by return. In the UK a stamped & addressed envelope (not smaller than 8" x 4w" or 22cm x 11cm) would be appreciated. In the case of those living outside the UK I would be grateful for a PayPal payment of £2.00 (just to cover postage) to When asking, please say if you wish your name to be included - i.e. 'To George' etc.


In a recent exchange of emails, Ed Solomon reminded me of a book that I bought from him a couple of years ago (“Magic By the Seat of Your Pants!”). I then re-read it and enjoyed it even more than the first time!

I subsequently asked if the book was still available. He told me that all of his books are currently available in E-Book form and on CD-ROM.

Ed Solomon is unquestionably one of the most creative writers in magic. He has written a prodigious amount of books and magazine articles on the subject of storytelling magic and those of you who are members of the I.B.M. and in monthly receipt of ‘The Linking Ring’ will not need telling how good is Ed’s material.

His monthly column, “Storytelling Is Magic!” is worth the price of membership – great stories linked to great magic. The material in his books should be required reading by all who aspire to perform high class bizarre and storytelling magic.

I asked him for a list of the available books so that I could offer this information to the visitors of my website (That’s YOU kind folk – you deserve to know!), including the prices and purchasing details. He has kindly agreed and you can read all about these publications by

clicking here


ED SOLOMON, now has his own website! - or to be precise, his mysterious alter-ego DeNomolos has!

Those of you kind enough to periodically visit my pages, will have found numerous items sent by Ed; particularly on my 'Inspirational Tales' page but he also appears elsewhere if you care to look.

The page just referred to though is appropriate because Ed IS inspirational!

Ed Solomon will be known currently to those members of the International Brotherhood of Magicians for his monthly column 'Storytelling is Magic!' in that society's monthly publication 'The Linking Ring'. But Ed has been writing columns in magic magazines for a long time, particularly those that are dedicated to the Bizarre areas of our activities.

He has written many books and produced dozens of tricks and routines, a number of which you will find advertised in the pages of his website.

His thoughts and views appear on the page headed 'Ponderings'. There are stories too! Plus a great page that is just titled, 'Weird'! Go and visit his site now. You will find it here:

Maurice Fogel, A Mindreading Chicken and Me!

iN 2005, Christopher Woodward contacted me asking about a controversial story concerning his late father-in-law, mentalist Maurice Fogel and me, in the mid ninteen sixties.

He was writing Maurice's biography and wanted some detail.

I was happy to oblige and was surprised at the clarity with which it all came back. Subsequently, I wrote the story and sent it to Donald Bevan, editor of the magical weekly magazine, "Abracadabra" and he ran it as a six part series during the month of December 2005.

If you missed the "Abra" series and would like to read the tale for yourself, then click here

Quentin Reynolds also carries the 'Abra' article on his site It is a great website for Mentalists and Bizarre Magicians

By the way, Christopher Woodward's biography of Maurice Fogel should be available later this year (2006). Look out for the announcements in the magical press.

ALI BEY – The Great Arabian Wizard!

Can anyone in PETERBOROUGH help me with information about David Lemmy, who between 1945 and the mid 1950’s electrified British variety theatres, as ALI BEY – The Great Arabian Wizard!

Ali Bey made his magical appearance from inside a cabinet and immediately approached two large ‘bran tubs’. He reached inside the tubs and tossed handfuls of bran into the air. He then took a sword and waved it over his head. This action resulted in the biggest explosion in a British theatre anyone had ever before heard - or probably ever since! Following the bang, two girls in skimpy eastern dress jumped up and out of the tubs!

The act continued for a further twenty minutes with fast, colourful, spectacular magic, closing with the dramatic ‘cremation’ of a female assistant in a gruesome looking coffin!

Anyone who saw this act would never have forgotten it! He very often closed the first half of a variety bill and members of the audience would be still gasping at the beginning of the second half – reverberations of the explosion, still ringing in their ears!

Ali Bey was born David Charles Lemmy and grew up in Peterborough, Cambridgeshire. If the act had been allowed to continue and develop as Ali Bey was planning, he would have gone down in history as one of the greatest of all British theatre magicians!

Unfortunately, a tragic accident in which a theatre safety curtain fell on his head, resulting in his hospitalisation, eventually brought his professional career to an end.

Little has been written about Ali Bey, but he was a significant presence in his time and I am currently collecting material with a view to writing his biography. I am receiving help from U.K. magicians who remember the act, but I would very much like to know more about David Lemmy, the Peterborough boy who grew up to be Ali Bey.

If anyone reading this (family, friends & acquaintances etc.) would like to help me with memories or anecdotes. I would be most grateful.

He really was a very important and significant performer of his day and Peterborough should be proud to celebrate (albeit sixty years late!) one of her sons!

Please email me at

Contact us

Thank you in anticipation.

"MAGICTALES! - The definitive book of storytelling magic".

The response that I have received to my book 'Kismet - or The Enchanted Stepping Stones' - has encouraged me to take up my pen and write another!

"MAGICTALES!" - The definitive book of storytelling magic" is available NOW! To learn more

Click Here

For those of you wishing to know even more about storytelling magic Dragonskull is a website dedicated to practitioners of 'Bizarre Magic'(that is magic with storytelling - mostly of the spooky kind!) - Be prepared for the weird and wonderful. The material is VERY GOOD! - Enjoy!

For further details about any of the above Email me by clicking here