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Edwin the Supreme Magician
by Edwin Hooper

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Edwin the Supreme Magician by Edwin Hooper

This is the story of Edwin, told in his own words and recorded by Martin Breese at the Supreme Magic Headquarters in Devon in the late 1970s.

Ian Adair, who provides a 10 min introduction before the interview with Edwin starts, wrote:

Edwin Hooper was a remarkable man. And when I say he spent a lifetime in magic, I really mean that. Day by day, hour by hour he was solely devoted to magic and magicians. He lived for magic. He loved performing and he loved creating magic. He thrilled at manufacturing magical equipment but, like us all, he had his likes and dislikes. Edwin really enjoyed his food. He knew all about it and when he was in the army he was a cook. On occasions, he would serve up hundreds of meals to the troops. He enjoyed throwing parties at his home and had a passion for wines, owning an extensive wine cellar filled with hundreds of bottles of wine of all descriptions. One of his great loves was Punch and Judy. Edwin was a superb P & J man. Many a time I watched his show. Oscar Oswald, Tibby and Percy Press Snr were his mentors, and I was pleased to suggest to Edwin that he should write a book on the subject. Eventually, he did this and the book was published with the title, Hallo Mr Punch.

He had little time for those magicians who collected magic books for the sake of collecting them. Although he had shelves of books in his home, he never really considered himself as being a book collector but unlike other magicians he knew every detail in every book he owned or read. He hated magicians who, just for their own appearance, wanted to rub shoulders with magical personalities, actors, TV stars and other famous people. He detested officials at conventions whom he often called, 'Little men in uniforms trying to look important'. He often smiled at magicians who had invented the very latest creation when, in fact, the idea had appeared in one of Hoffmann's books.

He was an impatient man and was easily irritated by those who were incompetent and inefficient in their methods of work. He had a famous temper and often flared up. But, behind his faults, he was a generous man - someone who was willing to share his talents with others.

The recording you are about to listen to was made more than 15 years ago at the end of the seventies when we were all a bit younger. Listen to Edwin. Share with him his enthusiasm. Listen to the stories of his magical life and then smile at some of those funny experiences which happened to him during his life as a magical dealer. And remember too, he continued creating magic even further, into the nineties and was devising effects and routines right up to the day he sadly passed away. There was only one mould when they made Edwin. No other magical person could ever take his place. He was truly Supreme and whenever any magician thinks of the Supreme Magic Company, they will always think of him. Edwin was a remarkable man.

Martin Breese made this recording in the late 1970s, but it was not until 1995 that he got around to releasing it as an audiocassette. It took another 26 years to make it available in a convenient digital form so that more magicians can enjoy it.

1st edition 1995, audio 1 h 15 min.