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Revision as of 13:26, 3 February 2010
Amazing Chang (December 26, 1893- October 6, 1970) was born Samuel Lewis Whittington-Wickes in Leamington Spa, was a notable early 20th century magician.
Samuel ran away from home at the age of twelve to returned years later as a successful magician. During his career he took a variety of stage names including Seekhett The Boy Magician, Vern Lewis The Boy Magician, Vernon Cellsus The White Wizard, and finally in 1934 in Chinese costume as "Chang Ko Lao", The Amazing Chang.
A one time protege of Chris Van Bern, during the 1930s and 40s he entertaining up to 15,000 people per show at the Jephson Gardens Pavilion,. He was known for his "Chinese Fantasy" based on the story of The Willow Pattern Plate performing tricks such as producing doves from a seemingly empty chest of draws. He also provided popular children's entertainment using handmade marionettes.
Chang performed from New York to Paris and toured the United Kingdom with his performances. He was famous for his floating lady illusion, an escape from a sealed coffin, and the bullet catch.
Chang's son is the Golden Globe nominated film director and screen writer David Wickes.
He retired from the stage in 1956 and remained in Warwickshire until his death.
- 'The Miser's Dream (Renovated)' in The Magical Record (September 1915) as Vern-Lewis (Seekhett).
- Goldston's Who's Who in Magic by Will Goldston (1934).
- The Magician Monthly, January 1938 (cover)
- Abra Vol. 50 No. 1290, 17th October, 1970
- A Rich Cabinet of Magical Curiosities #266 Samuel Whittington Wickes: A Man of Many Parts by Edwin A. Dawes (2000)
- A Rich Cabinet of Magical Curiosities #267 Samuel Whittington Wickes: The Amazing Chang Ko Lao by Edwin A. Dawes (2000)