06 Sep 2013
What a couple of great meetings we’ve enjoyed. Total contrasts to each other. Greg Wilson’s was a show as much as a lecture, those not into that type of magic just enjoying the entertainment. Maurice Roberts was also well received with his talk on children’s magic. I personally think it is better to perform the effect to the audience as though they are children but that’s down to personal preference. I know his ideas are more than just theories as I’ve worked with him a couple of times. In fact he was the first Children’s performer I saw since joining the Circle back in 1988. The day after I had done my audition. It was back at the Library Theatre in Bradford when the Hey Presto used to be presented there. Maurice was on the bill with, from memory, John Hotowka (compere), Neil Roberts, Damien Shalks, and Ray Roberts who closed with a levitation of sorts. Seeing Maurice again brought many memories of my early days in the Circle. I’ve mentioned elsewhere that Maurice will be appearing at Ferrybridge on Sunday 1st July. The other lecturette I am told will be presented by Amethyst’s, Danny Hunt and Annette Claire and will be an abridged version of the talk they presented to us back last year.
The week after, I will be popping across to Harrogate to attend the Northern Magic Circle Junior Day. Amethyst will be there as well! Also appearing there will be Melvyn Shalks, who will be giving a talk on making magic props. For more details of either of the above, please contact me by any of the means available and listed on the back page.
A few weeks back, a few people gathered at the Queens Arms to attend the Leeds Magical Association’s convention. It would be fair to describe it as an interesting and surreal day of magic that was perhaps too overpriced to attract many delegates. There weren’t many there from Bradford Magic Circle or even from Leeds’ own club! However it was interesting to be a part of it. I was a part of it as well as I took part in the ‘Pride of Yorkshire’ Close-up Competition. Among the competitors was Michael Jordan, although he was representing Huddersfield Circle of Magicians, and Darren McDonald who went on to win. There were some interesting comments afterwards about the judges who happened to be from the Manchester Circle of Magicians where Darren is also a member (along with 200+ others). As far as I’m concerned, having spoken to the convention’s main organiser, Graham Roe, The connection, if any, wasn’t made and the mistake, if any, was innocent. I didn’t see any of the acts, but that being said, I saw Darren win the Northern Magic Circle Close-up Competition a couple of years back and doing so with a commanding performance. So well done, Darren. Well done also to High Jinx who are through to the Final of the Young Magician of the Year Competition. That takes place some time in July, I believe the week after Junior Day. I’m sure we all wish them every success.
A bit later on in the year of course is the convention of the British Ring of the International Brotherhood of Magicians. Ring No. 25 will be holding their convention in Southport and while the price has been bumped up quite considerably (£100 for members!) there is a cracking line-up to watch. Among the names appearing will be Rocco, David Williamson, Lennert Green, Bill Malone and Boris Wild! It should be a superb few days possible marred by the increase in subscription. There will be shows and competitions to watch along with a host of dealers to visit.
You’ll have noticed in the May Billet about the Dinner. It should be as great evening. The complaints that were raised following the previous evening have resulted in the cost of the meal being kept at last year’s prices. The Circle have also arranged to have a retainer that the hotel will receive subject to the expected standard being met. All this has meant that the cost of the Dinner and its superb following cabaret can be kept at the same price as last year. Get your names to Keith or me as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.
Will you be entering either of the competitions? The October meeting is competition night and of course there will also be the One-Trick Contest, which will be judges by all. You can view a copy of the rules for the Close-up and Stage Competitions at the website or if you prefer a copy can be sent to you from a committee member. Remember that there will be a cut off point so you need to be letting me have your names before the end of July. While the Close-up and Stage competitions can easily be considered more challenging with the prize of a trophy at the end, the One-Trick Contest can be just as challenging. I know one or two have indicated that they would like to take part in it. One of them only joined recently and has loved every bit of being a member. He got involved straight away, writing of his experiences at Blackpool Convention earlier this year, you may remember reading it. Recently Gary Brook and his partner, Jackie tied the knot. The wedding took place in Cyprus but on their return home, they had a second reception to for their friends who were unable to be at the actual wedding. Louise and I were invited along, along with Colin and Angela and Paul with Alison, Vicky and Debbie (I think I’ve got their names right). It was a fun evening with a superb drag act I’d happily put on the Cabaret... after midnight I hasten to add! Before the Drag act, Lizzy Drip, Gary did a trick instead of the Groom’s speech. A friend was ‘invited’ up onto the stage platform and instructed to place her head in his head chopper! The trick went fine and there were no ill effects (Well let’s face it there can only be one ill effect can’t there!) but those of us from the Circle were sat with baited breath. Loads of fun. I can’t wait to see what he has in store for the one trick contest. I shan’t be volunteering, just in case!
Finally, Gary will hopefully be the reporter for the Roadshow that we’ll be presenting at Clayton Village Hall on the evening of Saturday 9th June. In the show will be Keith Pickles who will introduce, Stevie B., Paul Sunderland, Steve Gore, Ross Risdon, Colin Gough and Ray Roberts. Should be a good night. Why not come along and see what it’s all about.
Take care for now and thanks for reading.