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DVD Review: Covert Magic by Iain Moran

About.com Rating 4 Star Rating


DVD Review: Covert Magic by Iain Moran
On Covert Magic, Iain Moran offers a series of excellent close-up card effects and a single coin routine. I like the way that Moran mixes accomplished sleight-of-hand with gimmicks to produce great results. I liked several routines and consider the material here to be quite commercial. However, I think many of effects will appeal more to those who perform for other magicians.


Moran’s Triumph routines are his strongest and most commercial. I liked his “Birds of Triumph” effect where a spectator’s card is (freely) chosen and mixed back into the deck. The magician goes into the usual mixed-up “Triumph” procedure where face-up cards are shuffled into face-down cards.

At the end, the magician not only straightens out the deck so all the cards face in the same direction with the exception of the spectator’s card, but the spectator’s card is reinserted into the deck and it attracts its mates. For the finale, four of a kind, based on the spectator’s card, are found in the middle of the deck.

Moran’s “Triumphant” is a triumph with a color change that is the strongest that I’ve seen. This one is a stunner. If I were planning to perform such an effect that requires a table, this is the one that I would learn. After some “Triumph-style” mixing of the deck, the magician spreads the cards face-up on the table to show that there is only one card that is face down. It is indeed the spectator’s card.

The kicker is that the spectator’s card is the only one that’s blue while the rest of the cards in the deck are red. This effect is not only the most convincing in terms of initially showing the deck a different color, the display at the end is very clean thanks to a clever gimmick that I had never seen before. This effect is worth the price of the DVD.

Great Transposition

Moran’s stunning card transposition is an audience pleaser, but it’s marred. A card that is not shown is laid face down on the table in plain view. A spectator chooses a card and signs it. The selected card disappears among a packet of queens. At the end, the card that was brought out at the beginning and has remained in plain view is shown to be the spectator’s signed card (it is).

This one is fantastic. After watching the performance, I was ready to work-up this effect to see how it might play in my strolling sets. The only downside, and it’s a considerable one, is that you can’t give the signed card to the spectator at the end.

To me, once I have a spectator sign a card, I always want to give it away as a souvenir. I can see performing this one on television where you don’t have to worry as much about clean-up. But the lack of a giveaway mars this great effect.

Rounding Out

Moran offers a good sandwich routine and an excellent production of coins, called “Coin-ageddon!” that turns into a “Three Fly” style coins across effect and ends in the disappearance of the three coins.

“Card Highway” is a strong travelers effect where cards not only travel to four pockets in Moran’s coat, but change. Moran puts the four kings into each of his four pockets and they turn into the four aces that were previously signed by a spectator. This is powerful “travelers” on steroids.

There’s also a four-ace trick where aces not only mysteriously travel from various packets to a single packet-a classic four-ace plot-but the magician produces the cards seemingly from mid-air. Moran also offers a good rising card effect that can be performed on the table or in the hands.

If you already have the sleight-of-hand skills to perform sandwich routines, triumphs and basic find a card, you may want to check out Iain Moran’s Covert Magic to see magic at the next level. This is great material.

-Wayne N. Kawamoto

MSRP: (US) $35

Dealers can purchase from Murphy's Magic Supplies, Inc.

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