Fred Kaps

Fred Kaps (official name Abraham Pieter Adrianus Bongers), (June 8, 1926 – July 22, 1980) was a Dutch magician, famous for being the only magician to become FISM Grand Prix world champion three times. [ [ FISM Grand Prix World Champions] ] He was the creator of numerous original effects including his version of the colour-changing silks. Another popular effect he often performed was the salt shaker, in which act he poured a little salt on his empty hand, made the hand into a fist, then poured an "endless" supply of salt from his fist onto the floor, and as part of his act he would exhibit facial expressions of great surprise and disbelief, as he would, seemingly unsuccessfully, try to desperately stop the flow.


He was born in Utrecht and grew interested in magic through performances by local hairdresser and amateur magician Verschragen, who often tried effects on his customers. Kaps would go home and practice until he knew how to perform these effects himself. Later, he also married the man's daughter, Nel Verschragen.

After finishing his high school education, his father wanted him to work as an artist in advertising, but Bram wanted to turn his hobby into his profession.

Using the name "Valdini", he performed at weddings and parties and as "Mystica" he performed for Dutch soldiers. When he had to serve in the military himself, he was put into the "cabaret group". He went to Indonesia where he retained his passion for magic through several performances.

After his time in the military it was hard for him to get a job, until he won the Grand Prix, a magic world championship, which was the start of worldwide performances. He appeared on the "Ed Sullivan show" in the United States,he was the guy who had the unenviable job of following the Beatles when they made their debut on "The Ed Sullivan Show":Beatles, Sullivan Get Back on DVDEd Sullivan's February 9, 1964 installment truly was "a really big show. Some 73 million viewers tuned in to watch Fred Kaps' card and salt-shakers trick and Wells & the Four Fays doing their unique brand of "acrobatic physical comedy." Oh yeah, there was also a little outfit from Liverpool called the Beatles making their U.S. television debut." Fred Kaps performed for the royal families of both the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.

He was a protégé of Henk Vermeijden, the owner of a magic studio in Amsterdam, who also trained several other world champions. A magicians trophy was named after Henk Vermeijden.(who is able to write an article on Henk Vermeijden?)

He went on to become national magic champion twice in Arnhem (1950) and Enschede (1959) and he was the only person to win the world championship three times in Barcelona (1950), Amsterdam (1955) and Liège (1961).

Along with his appearance (spotless suit and white shirt), sleight of hand was Kaps' trademark. He would practice an effect for weeks before he dared to perform it live. He performed both stage illusions and close-up magic using a variety of props like playing cards, candles, coins, balls, dice and silks.


During a closed party on March 9, 2005, a memorial was revealed in front of the house in Utrecht were he used to live to honor Kaps' contributions to magic.



* 1948 Lausanne - Willane, England
* 1949 Amsterdam - Viggo Jahn, Denmark
* 1950 Barcelona - Fred Kaps "Mystica", the Netherlands
* 1951 Paris - Geoffrey Buckingham, England
* 1952 Geneva - Moroso, Italy
* 1955 Amsterdam - Fred Kaps, the Netherlands
* 1958 Vienna - Tonny Van Dommelen, the Netherlands
* 1961 Liege - Fred Kaps, the Netherlands


* Freddie Jelsma: Fred Kaps (1984);
* Wie is dat nou eigenlijk? Fred Kaps, goochelaar. Interview door Hans van Assumburg (In "Lach 69", 28.11.1969).
* Fred Kaps: Seeing is believing (DVD)

External links

* [ Fred Kaps DVD]
* [ Fred Kaps Official Web]

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Look at other dictionaries:

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