02 Aug 2013
It was nice to see so many friends down at Eastbourne for the British Ring convention in September. There were a few familiar faces from our Circle, with plenty of magic on show.
Steve Gore and I did our best in the Shield competition and while we didn't win any trophies felt we gave the other competitors a run for their money. Steve also competed in the Close-up competition and was unlucky along with another competitor to have not been placed among the winners.
The convention next year is in Southport and runs from September 27th to October 2nd.
What could you expect to see if you attended? Well to give you an idea, here's an overview of what occurred at Eastbourne.
The official opening, by Cynthia Neptune, the first Lady President of the British Ring, was followed by the first of many shows and featured the wonderful juggling talents of Michael Pearse and current Young Magician of the Year, Paul Dabek, who visited BMC when Practical Magical did a dealer dem last year. The first lecture of the convention was by Gay Blackstone about 'Blackstone' an American Magical Heritage¯. While I didn't see it, I imagine it would have been an amazing insight into a legendary magical family. There was a wonderful lecture by John Styles too about his illustrious magic life.
Peter Greenwood compered the Late, Late Show, which was very good up to the final act that just didn't quite work for many of the audience. Wayne Dobson was entertaining while Hikari Furuyama was graceful and delightful. The strangest act I've seen for a long time if not ever was Housch ma Housch, an act in which 9 large rabbits were to be produced. Set to music but with us able to hear the curious murmuring of the performer, cartoon looking rabbits appeared. You definitely had to see the act!
In the Close-up show, for me the best acts were Eugene Burger with his magic to fables, Rich Bloch with great hilarity and Hayashi who demonstrated tremendous creativity and skill. He was also extremely funny. Steve, Victoria & I were treat to a performance of his Matrix act. He told us he would be competing in the Close-up championship at Blackpool Convention next year and wasn't sure which act to use. Sadly we were of little use as they are both superb acts; one which would score higher for just the entertainment but the other would score for the magical content. Of course that's just my opinion.
I missed the Children's Showtime, seminars from the History of Mystery and the Pat Fallon Lecture. I did see the Gala Show and what a show it was. Rich Bloch compered with panache and gave a superb performance opening the second half involving a quickly put together video effect on a giant screen, which again you had to see. As compere, he introduced Wladimir, Mac Ronay Jnr. not my favourite act but the finish was surreal, Mortimer with some exquisite contact juggling and Lu Chien. There were differing styles of manipulation and creation on show. Kenji Minemura was on the second half, along with Max Maven (with Eugene Burger and Ali Bongo hilariously adding a bit of colour) and Martyn James and Co. closed the show.
The final day kicked off with the Eugene Burger lecture (After the Convention Service). A thought provoking discussion on ways of presenting effects. The final lecture was by Max Maven, who even managed to read the mind of Derren Brown! Between the two lectures was the Grand Auction, in aid of Benevolent and Welfare Funds. Over £1,500 was raised in just over an hour! Alan Driffield was auctioneer and his crew included Steve and I, Lorna Heginbotham, Betty Driffield, and Ernest and Jean Ainley. Bradford Magic Circle was well represented, as was the Northern Magic Circle as others on the team were members of NMC.
Another NMC member Robert Temple took part in a tribute show to Peter Warlock. Introduced by Eddie Dawes, we enjoyed magic presented by Robert along with Peter Scarlett, Christopher Pratt and Van Buren & Company - a sensational finale with illusions, juggling and plate spinning and all at a tremendous pace.
So my first experience of Eastbourne as British Ring Venue came to a close. I hope to return there in 2006. Will I see you there?
If you would like information about joining the British Ring, the full IBM or Northern Magic Circle, please don't be afraid to ask me.
Thanks for reading. TA-RAAA!!!