05 Jul 2013
There was certainly a strong BMC presence at the Northern Magic Circle’s Spring Parade convention. Several members enjoyed the weekend or part of if they were only there for the Sunday. It was a shame that Alan and Betty Driffield weren’t there as they’d have enjoyed the events that took place. While we didn’t bring home the clutch of trophies we used to - we dominated over other affiliated societies for several years - there was certainly a huge amount of input from many of our membership. As well as my being involved quite deeply, also involved with the convention were Nick Mohammed (Have you seen him in the Reggie Perrin remakes?) and Steve Gore, who has taken over the role of President of Northern Magic Circle. I know that he’s already visited the junior members at their meetings. Well Nick and Steve were two of the principal organisers of the weekends many events.
Also young member, Michael Jordan was busy throughout the weekend. Of half of High Jinx, they held a stand in the dealers room, closed the Children’s Magic Show on the Saturday morning and took part in the Gala Show with his juggling skills. He also competed in the senior stage competition with an act he is working on for his last shot at Young Magic of the Year. Amethyst closed the Gala Show with a well received act, despite two old dears grumbling that it was too loud! You’ll never be able to please everyone.
As well as Michael, Paul Sunderland was also in the stage competition and presented an unusual act which had a slight hiccup but was well received none the less. There was a fine array of lectures throughout the weekend including James Brown, Russell Brown, Greg Wilson – who also presented a “golden ticket holders only” master class for a select few. Paul was fortunate to have picked up a golden ticket and thoroughly enjoyed and benefited from the experience. Also lecturing was John Archer who I’d not seen lecture before and thoroughly enjoyed.
A former member of Bradford Magic Circle, Steve Frayne AKA, Dynamo presented his lecture. It was only the second one he’d presented and I had the honour of introducing the lecture which was enjoyed by a full room and included possibly the trick of the convention. It was wonderful to see him doing so well in the world of magic and beyond.
Away from the general magic scene, Steve Naylor made a sudden and assertive comeback with the final lecture of the convention. This was on table hopping and particularly the business side of table hopping. I’ll not say anything about its content as Steve will be presenting the full talk tonight at out meeting. As well as being a long standing committee member stepping down only a couple of years ago, a former treasurer, librarian, magazine editor and twice President, Steve has also won the Close up competition four times, the Stage competition once, the Northern Magic Circle Close-up competition and came second in the British Ring Close-up competition, losing just to Steve Bedwell. Steve Bedwell that year went on to compete and win in IBM international close-up competition. So Steve was suitable equipped to present his talk. I was unable to see it fully, due to other convention commitments but knew I’d have chance to see it at our meeting. I did receive positive feedback from his talk too and it certainly held its own amongst some magical giants. Well done, Steve.
With such a good weekend behind them and a bit of luck and a lot more hard work, Northern Magic Circle may yet be able to put itself back on the magical map where it belongs. Something that was thought of as impossible only a few years ago.
Another Steve I met over the weekend was Steve Williams. He was recently awarded World Junior General Magic Champion. Paul Sunderland saw him perform at the South Tyneside Convention and was highly impressed. Steve has recently become president of The Liverpool Magic Circle and hopefully will be able to pass on information about some of their upcoming events. A recent one, although unfortunately not enough notice was given to me to promote it, was a lecture by Tonny Van Rhee. I’ll keep you abreast of any news from their neck of the woods.
Nearer to home and in June, Huddersfield Circle of Magicians, who are currently celebrating their 60th anniversary, will be holding a day of magical celebration at the Lawrence Batley Theatre. This kicks off around 12.30 for a few hours and later there will be a one off show well worth the asking price of no more than £15 although there are seats available at £10 and concessions go at a £2 reduction across the board. The show boasts a tremendous line up including; Brian Sefton, High Jinx, Al Conway, John Archer and Amethyst. I hope to go along and hope to see some of you there. Tickets are available from the LBT box office on 01484 430528. We tried to have our first Star of Tomorrow meeting recently. Unfortunately, Alex Stephenson was unwell and unable to get word to me until the morning of the meeting. I managed to let most of those attending the meeting know that it had been cancelled but couldn’t reach Peter Wright. So he turned up at Phil Howarth’s house, as he’d kindle lent us the space for the meeting. Shortly after Paul Sunderland and Alex Wright turned up as well so we had a very enjoyable magic session, which lasted a good five hours or so. We’ll arrange the actual meeting for another time but at least an enjoyable day came out of it none the less.
The day after, I was at the Magigals Luncheon. Jean Ainley is presently their President and Louise and I were asked if we’d like to attend. There were loads of BMC members there and we had a thoroughly enjoyable afternoon that included a cabaret. As well as Clive Moore and Jeanni, Clive compering, there was also Michael Jordan presenting his competition act and, you’ve guessed it, Amethyst!
While I think on Danny Hunt, the less attractive half of Amethyst, mentioned to me at the Luncheon that he had been affiliated into the Travis Perkins Assembly organising committee. The wonderful magic get-togethers at Ferrybridge must surely benefit from this. He mentioned a couple of names, which it is hoped will be appearing there. I’ll not say who as yet as it isn’t fully confirmed yet. What I can say is that such are the names that it is hoped will be appearing that the admission has had to undergo a severe increase from £3 to £3.50! The assembly this year will be on Sunday 5thJuly. I’ll be there and recommend it whole-heartedly. Back home now and thanks to Colin Gough, for presenting his workshop on a rope effect. Thanks will also be passed onto Graham Roe for his talk on the weave or faro shuffle entitled “Jack Diamond – What a Tool”! It was interesting despite a few problems and the weave is certainly well worth learning. Besides, if I can do it so can you!
Hopefully there’ll be something in this edition about the Dinner on the 20th November. Menus have been agreed and the cost has been kept low through discussions and negotiation to keep the overall cost below £30.
Well I think that’s everything for now. Thanks for reading and I’ll see you next time.