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International Magic Convention 2010 – Friday

December 3rd, 2010 by Richard Morrell

I arrived at Kings Cross after an horrendous train journey, my train having broken down, however that was all soon forgotten, after checking into our digs, we made the short journey to China Town to grab some food, and then onto the Mermaid for the first night of the convention.

After registration, which was quick and smooth, we filed into the theatre for the first of the two Friday Night events, The Flicking Fingers Show.

International Weekend 2010 - Diva of Deception - Mandy Davis - Flicking Fingers

The Flicking Fingers consist of ten professional magicians that come from all over Germany and now perform and lecture together. What a treat we were in for, they were the highlight of the entire weekend, their performance started with a full group costume change from typical European dress to them all dressed as Flight Attendants. They then took to the aisles of the theatre and proceeded with a safety announcement, with each member simultaneously performing a rope trick. This was coupled with what was to become a running gag of Guy Hollingworth trying to join the group.

International Weekend 2010 - Diva of Deception - Manuel MeurteThe backstory of the show was they wanted to bring a little bit of Las Vegas to London and this allowed Manuel Muerte to perform his comic parody of good humoured digs at the expense of established magical entertainment. Performing as though he were an ageing magician in Las Vegas, in some kind of weird dream-like act where Goldfish Bowls materialise, rubber doves are shot, his hands keep falling off, and finally a tiger is shot down from the roof. I saw this just a few months ago at the IBM where for some reason it didn’t quite click, but here I think in the context of the show, and in a more intimate theatre it really did work, very funny and very weird!

Other highlights were a book test with all the fingers dressed as musicians but using Spray Cans to each spray a letter to spell out the thought of word. A bottle production with a cod slow-mo explanation, with a twist. A cardboard box illusion, with a backstage with the magician explanation, and again a twist that ended up with the production of Manuel and his Tiger!

As an encore they had Gaston, who was supposedly the new member of the group, perform a trick, with a small deck and a jumbo deck, the small deck was isolated and a spectator signed a jumbo card, which ended up being found by Guy Hollingworth in the small deck, along the way there was much humour, theatrics and fooling magic, which sums up the entire show, a brilliant start to the convention.

The second half of the first night was a Session with David Ben. David is a student of Ross Bertram, but also his work is influenced by Erdnase, Zarrow, and Vernon amongst others and this shows in both his incredible skill and sleight of hand coupled with serious emphasis on the presentation of his magic, and a deep understanding of what makes his magic work.

Matthew Field interviewed him, and they talked about Ross Bertram, David showed the Ross Bertram Double and how that had led on to him developing a one-handed second deal.

International Weekend 2010 - Diva of Deception - David Ben

He went on to talk about Zarrow, and the book that he had written about his material, and he demonstrated some gambling moves. Similarly he went on to talk about Vernon and Erdnase, having edited the new edition of Revelations, David talked about this project, and demonstrated an amazing Table Shift. Finally he finished with some coin work and a Cups and Balls routine.

Many thanks to Mandy Davis for allowing us to use her wonderful photos.

About the Reviewer – Richard Morrell, Magic Convention Guide Live Writer. Richard has been a keen amateur magician for over twenty years, starting as a Humberside Young Magician, he now runs the workshop, teaching 10-16 year olds, as well as being an active member of Hull Magicians’ Circle. Specialising in card magic, but he likes to watch any form of the art, and will have a go at performing most things.

Richard has written for The Oracle as well as Abracadabra and Genii magazine. He is most at home combining his love of the Internet with his love of Magic, over eight years ago he started what may have been the world’s first Magic themed blog. Now among the new crop of magic blogs, The Magician is still going strong, and recently it gained a sister-blog Watching Magic. Richard can be found at most of the major conventions either hunched over a pack of cards, or a laptop!