Tributes paid to Norwich magician remembered as a master showman

Gerald Morter, whose stage name was the Great Geraldini. Picture: EDP Library.

Gerald Morter, whose stage name was the Great Geraldini. Picture: EDP Library. - Credit: Archant

Tributes have been paid to a Norwich magician remembered by many as an impressive showman extremely dedicated to his craft.

Gerald Morter, known as the Great Geraldini and who started Norwich and District Magic Circle, has died aged 89.

'He was all for magic. His life was just all around magic,' said magician Stephen Whitear, known as Misterfied, who added even stars such as Paul Daniels were familiar with the Great Geraldini.

'Anything he did he would always be top of the bill. He is really going to be sorely missed throughout the magic fraternity.'

He added: 'I first met him when I was about eight. My father had a butcher's shop on Unthank Road and Gerald used to do magic in the shop for us. From then on my brother Paul and I loved magic, and myself and my two sons have become professional magicians.'

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Philip Dann, Anglian Magic Society president, said: 'He did a lot for magic in his life. He ran the Wellington Pier for a short time in the 1990s. He was planning to open another theatre in Norwich but he did not get the funding he hoped. He was know for his illusions, levitation, and being a very good sleight of hand magician. He did an awful lot of shows in East Anglia, and various shows around the country, lots of holiday parks.'

Mr Morter, who belonged to the London Magic Circle, started his career at St Peter's Theatre in Norwich. Speaking to the Evening News in 2003, he said: 'My father was a magician but he died when I was five years old. I continued with the tradition and was on stage by the time I was 14; it must have been in my blood.'

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After the Second World War he travelled Europe with the Combined Services Entertainers, putting on shows for the Allied Forces faced with the task of trying to rebuild Europe. He also performed with entertainers Ted Rogers and Frankie Howerd.

Mr Morter died on January 10. His funeral is at 1.15pm on Thursday at Earlham Burial Chapel, Norwich. Anybody who would like to make a donation to Hearing Dogs for Deaf People in Mr Morter's memory can send a cheque to Peter Taylor's, 3a Corbet Avenue, Sprowston, NR7 8HN.

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