Brian Lead

Our President, Brian Lead, has recently retired from a career in education, working as an English and Drama Faculty Head for over 25 years and as a Chief Moderator for the UK’s largest examinations board.  He taught in a range of establishments, from university to large comprehensives and one of the oldest independent schools in the country.  In each school he set up an extra-curricular conjuring club, and was responsible for introducing generations of youngsters to the skills of magic – including the Magic Circle Young Magician of the Year, Ben Proos, in 2011.

Brian is a Member of the Inner Magic Circle, and one of only a handful of people to have received the Hoffmann Award since its inception in 1952. He delivered the Hoffmann Memorial Lecture in 2014, and has lectured at the Circle on several other occasions, including the centenary celebrations of 2005.  He has also lectured at several British Ring conventions, in the ‘History of Mystery’ slot, and served as Chairman of Judges for our stage competition.

Among other duties, Brian is the Secretary of the Northern Magic Circle and Concert Secretary/Magazine Editor for his own society, the Modern Mystic League in Blackburn.


Although Brian performs with the League, and has won a number of trophies at local level, his main focus has been on researching and writing about the history of magic.  He has written for most English-speaking magic journals and authored books on a range of topics, from Lewis Carroll and Professor Pepper to Harry Houdini and Lafayette.  This year he will be touring magic societies to promote the British Ring, with his lecture A Deadly Way to Make a Living: The Lamentable fate of Chung Ling Soo, which takes an in-depth look at the life of this fascinating character and his dramatic death on the stage of the Wood Green Empire in 1918.