I knew you would be coming


Around the Table

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‘Around the Table’ is a collection of my three most used direct mentalism effects when performing to a table of people.

These effects are all 100% real world ‘hit the ground running’ friendly.

That means no pre-show before you perform, it means no instant stooging, no endless waffle for little pay-off and it also means that everything works 100% of the time.

Just hard-hitting material that is ‘to the point’ and mind-blowingly deceptive.

The material was designed and created for my own personal use in the banqueting entertainment environment. I don’t wear a jacket in those situations, so the effects fit into my trouser pockets with ease and each effect is an instant reset.


Each person at the table is asked to think of an unusual word and not say it. The performer writes on two cards and places them on the table writing side down. Everyone is asked to stand and one-by-one people are eliminated each naming their words aloud. When one person is left they name their word. Both cards are turned over and the first and last person’s words are written on the cards.


The performer drops a small envelope on the table, it is checked to be sure it is sealed and signed by a member of the table. Everyone thinks of a single digit number. A person from the table is asked to randomly select four people and choose the order they should say their number. After the numbers are named in order, the envelope is opened to find the correct numbers predicted and in order. As a kicker the ‘selector’ is asked what number she was thinking of and inside the envelope is another piece of card predicting her number.


The group is asked to secretly gather a number of their rings and after they have been mixed they are locked to a combination padlock. This is given to a member of the table to hold and is not touched by the performer. A possible combination is derived by the group via a game of ‘Chinese Whispers’ [telephone] and when the numbers are placed into the lock, it opens. Now the performer takes a ring randomly and is able to say a word or two as to who would own such a ring and then correctly pass it back to the actual owner until all the rings are returned to their rightful owners.

As mentioned above, the fact that these effects don’t require you to secretly get the cooperation of any person means that all of the people at the table experience the exact same effect and each performance will be as equally baffling for all attending.


But that’s not all, I include some of my unshared thoughts on what makes powerful table-to-table entertainment and share a number of great subtleties that will enable you to make any effect that you perform table-side more powerful and get a stronger reaction.

You could literally make a career out of just one of these three effects, but with three you can really pick the one you like best…who wants to be in a career they don’t like!


Additional information



Product Type

PDF eBook



Skill Level

Easy / Intermediate


Impromptu, Involving, Career System

6 reviews for "Around the Table"

  1. (verified owner):

    I have been a fan of Paul’s work for some years now and I own several of his products which to date have never disappointed. Around the table is no different, it contains three solid routines from somebody that is out in the trenches using them. So that means no pipe dreams or arm chair fantasies, just solid material that you can earn your living with.

    This came along for me at a perfect time. I am just in the process of transitioning from amateur to professional entertainer and I have only recently realised that my walk around material wasn’t suitable for table to table work. With that in mind, I have been searching for solid routines that engage and involve everybody around the table. This release ticks all of those boxes.

    If you are familiar with Colin McLeod’s ‘By association’ you will know what a great piece it is and in my opinion this is on a par with that. All three of these routines will without a doubt go into my professional repertoire once I have made them my own.

    tl;dr – This is shit hot, go and buy it!

  2. (verified owner):

    Oh happy, happy day, a long awaited and overdue release from Paul Brook. The minute I saw the e-mail, the link was clicked. I snap up everything by Paul on the strength of his reputation from he previous releases. So, was my trust in Paul’s reputation rewarded this time? Damn right it was.

    Round the table is a wonderful collection of 3 effects that are perfect for entertaining dinning tables at banquet events, you know, 8, 10 maybe 12 people around a table at a swanky dinner event. All 3 effects are designed to involve everybody at the table, even kill joys may be inclined to take part as there is no challenge laid before them and they have very little to do other than think of a number or right down a word and at the very worst, remove an item of jewelry, ooooo, the hard work hee hee. Other than that it falls at their feet to do little else other than be entertained and with this little lot they will be.

    I’ll not go into how each effect is set up with the audience, that is something you will smile at when you read it. I will be using it ALL and I mean ALL THE TIME! Here are the eefects with a brief descrition as I really don’t to expand on anything and deprive you of the wry grins in store for you as you read them. Beside if you follow the link provided by phillsmiff above you’ll get more details there.

    The Last Word
    A double word prediction that involves so little work other than a little game of eliminate the spectator, that’s eliminate not annihilate. This is so easy it’s criminal.

    I’ve Got Your Number
    4 ridiculously freely selected numbers are matched to 4 numbers, predicted waaaaay ahead of the game, on cards sealed inside an envelope that is examined and signed before the performance begins. Oh, let’s not forget the gem of a kicker at the end too!! A little more effort from the performer for this one but you ain’t gonna be breaking a sweat.

    Ring of Whispers
    Oo-er missus, fnarr, fnarr. A Game of Chinese Whispers (‘Telephone’ for the folks from the good old U.S. of A), with a result that is completely and I mean completely impossible. This is where the hard work for the spectators comes in, remove a ring, that’s it! In a nutshell, borrowed rings locked up, unseen by the performer and psychometry readings when they are returned successfully to their rightful owner. Returned after the craziest games of Chinese Whispers ever, unlocks a padlock!!! OOOOSH!

    I have great faith in all 3 effects, so much so that I would gladly perform 1 per table, alternating them as I traveled around the dinning hall. Yes, they’re that good! These are designed to involve everybody and eliminate or at worst, highly reduce those spectators who don’t want to take part and needlessly chatter on among themselves. With these effects, that is very achievable.

    As always, the writing is of the highest standard, clear and concise. I expect nothing less when reading my magic/mentalism books and Paul always delivers. On top of that, the usual FAQ’s have already been answered within the explanations of the effects, another brilliant trait of Paul’s. Paul always goes out of his way to answer as many of the what if this, what about that style questions with excellent and always positive advice. I’ve yet to come across a piece that Paul hasn’t predicted a FAQ and promptly answered. Currently available at a 20% discounted price, I recommend you snap this up ASAP. I would gladly pay the full £24.99 for this book.

    A very easy 10/10 without a doubt

    Excellent work as always Paul

    Buy it folks!!!

  3. :

    It was real pleasure reading Paul’s new eBook “Around the Table”. Excellent stuff! Really excellent! He obviously works these effects and has considered and encountered all the obstacles that might stand in the way of delivering an outstanding performance. The fact that he shares all of this is fantastic because he’s offering real world advice that is worth just as much as the routines themselves. Paul has shared what I consider the “Secret Keys” to success with “close-up” mentalism and that’s…do a mini parlour show and involve everyone! In my experience it’s the only way that works consistently. This advice is priceless. Every effect conforms to these rules and the effects themselves are all excellent; my favourite is “I’ve Got Your Number” really direct and powerful. Paul explains every routine in tremendous detail which is to be applauded. Well done Paul, thanks for sharing some real world workers.
    Marc Paul

  4. (verified owner):

    I bought this as soon as the manuscript as released. It goes without saying that I am a big fan of Paul’s work and I use his work in my sets.

    “Around The Table” is his latest and it does not disappoint one bit.

    Paul shares three routines. These are not effects. These are not ideas. These are routines that can be slipped into any act as a whole piece. As expected, Paul shares all the nitty-gritty ins and outs of these routines. The psychology of how and why are shared in depth. He literally leaves no stone unturned. The insights he shares about performing mentalism in that particular setting is clearly the fruits of his experience in the field.

    As for the routines shared, here are my insights;

    1- The Last Word:

    This is an absolute gem. This is my ‘routine of the manuscript’. It is impromptu. It involves everyone. It has no knuckle-busting requirements. It is easy to follow and it gives the performer tons of room for presentation.

    I will go on a limb and say, get the manuscript just for this routine. Keep in mind, the methods are not new or groundbreaking, but the routining and layering are absolutely amazing.

    2- I’ve Got Your Number:

    Again, a very powerful routine. There is an important aspect that I am not comfortable with personally but just for the sake of this routine, I will get used to that ‘bit’. Again, amazing layering of methods making this piece entertaining, engaging, and more importantly, mystifying.

    3- Ring of Whispers:

    I first learnt this routine from Paul’s confession (with Ken Dyne). Yes, it requires purchasing another prop. But just the presentation and routining is a great lesson on its own. I will be adapting this routine to a lock I currently have and it works great. It is important to say that the version in this manuscript is updated. It adds a nice emotional hook and even expands the performance. So while the routine on Paul’s confession was great, what he shares in this manuscript is even better.

    This is a highly recommended manuscript for those looking beyond close-up mentalism. This is engaging mentalism. This is involving mentalism. Literally, each of those three routines involve no less than 5 participants. Of course, the seasoned performer will be able to take these routines and expand them to fit a stand-up or even stage performances.

    Great job Paul! Keep it up! 🙂

  5. (verified owner):

    Time to add three more item in my working repertoire and the effects in this book is what I will add

    the thinking that I should involve everyone at the table is something that I missed all this year of performing table to table

    a slap on the head moment that make me Re-Think and rework my current close up repertoire

    of course with lots of subtelties from Paul, make me easier to road test and re work these effect to fit my performing style

    here is my thought for each effect from this book

    1-The Last Words :

    its a solid piece, but I might add few “Logical disconnect” for this one, the beauty of this piece is the visual looks of the whole audience standing up in the end and give you an applause

    and oh since you will be involving everyone at the table, I was thingking of combine this with Bank Nite type of effect too

    2-I’ve Got Your Number :

    All I can say is that this is a perfect ending after performing Paul Brook’s “Juxtaposed”

    3-Ring of Whisper :

    I will sure combine this with my “Kurotsuke” type of routine that involve the audience rings, since their finger rings is already out on the open and using my “Alone4D” to find my PK Ring, I wont tell you how but you gotta use your own imagination

    all in all, these three pieces of Paul is a solid routine


  6. (verified owner):

    I picked this up for two principal reasons: 1) Paul’s fantastic reputation for creating hard-hitting material, and 2) Table-to-table work is somewhat of an unknown frontier for me but I’m trying to diversify the services I can offer clients.

    As expected, Paul completely delivered the goods!

    Each of the pieces are intelligently crafted for the real world (meaning they hit EVERY time) and do a fantastic job at getting everyone AROUND THE TABLE involved.

    Paul’s writing is exquisitely clear and the explanations are incredibly thorough.

    “The Last Word” is devilishly straightforward and will absolutely form a backbone of my personal set – and besides, you can’t beat a built in standing ovation!

    The principle methodology behind “I’ve Got Your Number” is, in truth, something I’ve never been extremely comfortable with – but Paul provides some great advice to overcome some of the issues I’ve had with the technique. That said, “I’ve Got Your Number” has inspired another routine following the same lines but using a different means that I’m quite excited about.

    And lastly – there’s the “Ring of Whispers”. I ABSOLUTELY LOVE the staging and by-play involved in the routine but I’m undecided as to whether the main “prop” in the routine – a lock – fits my style. I say this not diminish Paul’s work in the slightest but rather as my personal perspective on this particular effect. I hope to apply a similar staging/presentation to (IMHO) a more organic “prop”.

    The thoughts Paul provides about table-to-table entertainment in general are insightful and I feel as though they have shaved quite a bit of time off the learning curve as I begin to expand into this style of performance.

    Well done sir and THANK YOU!

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