Thirawat Kongnugul waves his hands and a single ball replicates and becomes four. Next, with another dramatic flourish, he makes one thimble multiply into five, then quickly reverses the effect.
Thirawat Kongnugul won a second prize in the US.
What started out as a mother's concern for her irredeemably impish seven-year-old morphed into a passion that enables the boy to dazzle with stunning sleights of hand. A child who could never sit still, Thirawat was sent by his mother to study magic _ not the kind practised by Merlin, but close. Now 13, he can make difficult tricks look effortless _ as if anybody could do them. But, of course, few of us could, for Thirawat is one of the most promising young magicians at work in the country today, with a long list of awards won after years of taking part in international competitions.