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IBM British Ring Fringe – Documentary Trailer

October 1st, 2009 - Magic Convention Guide

The IBM British Ring Convention in Southport this year included an excellent Fringe Event. The Fringe which was largely sponsored by The Magic Cave in Convent Garden and AcademyOfMagic.com was organised by Fay Presto.

A full documentary is currently being worked on which will feature many of the highlights of this years Fringe event. It will be available to stream free of charge on www.academyofmagic.com soon.

IBM British Ring Convention 2009 – Southport – Round up

September 27th, 2009 - Richard Morrell

That concludes the blogging from this years IBM British Ring Convention 2009 in Southport. I have really enjoyed the week, there has been some lows, and bad magic, but overall the high points have outweighed them. I should mention I havent reported on the Fringe event run by Fay Presto. I did attend on two nights and really enjoyed it. Fay is to be applauded for the money and time she puts in to running these events. They are hoping to set up a website and to get donations to allow this event to continue. On the nights I went I saw Pat Fallon, Steve Evans, Ian Keable, Lee Hathaway, John Kimmons, Hayashi and Steve Dela amongst others, with a mixture of standard magic, comedic sketches, and gentle ribbing about certain parts of the convention.

Also we should mention the dealers. Located in the newly built Waterfront Suite, an array of some 36 dealers all displaying their colorful and varied wares throughout the week. I also popped my head into the auction were Mike Shepherd and Derek Lever were busy auctioned off all manner of items, I understand this was a great success and raised lots of money for the Welfare Fund.

One last thing that I understand came out of the A.G.M. I believe the I.B.M are looking to open registration early for next years event and that if you book online before Christmas you will get a discounted price, so lookout for that and Im sure MCG will be bringing you all the details.

IBM British Ring Convention 2009 – Southport – International Gala Show

September 27th, 2009 - Richard Morrell

Aonghus McAnally compered the show with a mixture of wit and song. His main strength was the way he built each act up before they came on, the fact he could pronounce their names, and he had remembered all the salient facts and achievements, was greatly appreciated and not something you see very often on magic show galas!

First on the bill was Dania Kaseeva, one half of David and Dania, performing her hula-hoop act, spinnging and gyrating with multiple hoops, with the ability to control each hoop individually as they swirled around her body. For the final she took a large number of different coloured hoops, and kept them all twirling to great applause.

Timo Marc is a unique act, he has a blank monitor on stage and seemingly paints things onto the screen, that then animate and move around, and sometimes pop through the screen, such as the appearence of a snowstorm of butterflies, or a small mannequin doll. For a finale Timo goes behind a large screen, you can see his shadow which stretches and grows, and at one point he removes his head and it floats around above the screen, the screen drops and you can see it is just him inside, very cool!

To close the first half illusionist Martyn James. Martyn has a great flair for comedy and timing, and combines this with strong, unique illusions, a Fire Cage production, led into a Squasher illusion. Next his assistant is placed into a Barrel and locked in with swords, another one is placed at the other side and locked in place, and the assistant penetrates the swords to end in the other Barrel. There is an hilarous interlude which ends in a costume change. The Wall of Death allows Martyn the chance to talk to the audience, and this really brings out the comedy element, in this assistants revenge type illusion, Martyn is strapped to the wall, and then a curtain drawn across and he swaps places with his assistant. Next a Barbed Wire illusion where a stand with rings of wire is built, and the assistant stands on the outside, and then after a cloth is placed around for a few seconds she is shown inside the rings, and then this is reversed. Finally Martyn vanished his assistant in a crystal box to close a great end to the first half.

The second half opened with Necheporenko, a Russian act where a man comes on with a cape that is standing on its own, and produces Russian Dolls from behind the cape. Im not sure I really get this act, as at one point he produces a girls head, and to me this exposes the method, so is the premise supposed to be how those Dolls appear and dissapear by magic, or is it how he can cleverly hide the girl using the cape? Who we can now assume is the one making the Dolls appear. Maybe this was spoilt for me by first seeing this act at Blackpool up in the Gods where all I could see was the woman behind the cape, placing the dolls onto the stage, and didnt really see any magic effect at all.

Sean Taylor was on next. Sean has now turned his hand to Mentalism, he opened with a Magic Square, which I think lost a little of its impact as he didnt even bother to properly add up any of the rows. Persuasive Banknight is Seans version of Just Chance or Banknight, and uses some great ideas to try and persuade the spectators to choose certain envelopes. Lastly he performed The Throne Room his version of a Chair Prediction.

Hayashi demonstrated his mastery of the Samurai Sword by cutting through Melons and Cucumbers. He then enlisted the help of comedy-duo High Jinx Michael and Siobahn Jordan. Siobahn was given several cucumbers to hold, and Hayashi even strapped one to her head. He was then blindfolded but still managed to sense where to cut, to safely slice the cucumbers.

To close the show the sensational act of David and Dania, amongst the costume changes was some small incidental magic, silk and botania productions, bottle vanishes etc. The costume changes were as expected, unbelivable, in speed and execution, you literally blink and Dania has changed her complete outfit, and at one point even her hair colour. The finale sees David change his suit, and finally Dania just under cover of a shower of glitter changes into a colourful evening dress. A great climax to a varied and impressive International Gala Show.

IBM British Ring Convention 2009 – Southport – Pavel Lecture

September 26th, 2009 - Richard Morrell

Pavel is most noted for his Rope Magic but this afternoon his lecture was a Best Of and contained a mixture of material.

His first trick used a small metal tube and some rope which he wound rope around the tube in a spiral and asked us to guess how many twists it had. When he brought it out Pavel pulled the rope off to reveal it had turned into rope loops, he then threaded them back onto the tube and restored them back to one whole rope.

Next a silk trick that he had first performed at the IBM back in 1966. Three silks were produced and put into a newpaper cone where they magically joined together.

Pavel then showed us his latest work on the fantastic knot where a knot changes colour and is then untied and shown to be part of he rope. His current one allowed you to cleanly show the rope and empty hands before proceeding.

Pavel then talked about his love for the methods found in 13 Steps to Mentalism. He showed us some neat ideas for instant stooging a spectator along with an idea to reveal a prediction in a balloon.

Staying with Balloons be showed us a very clever method for Card in Balloon. Another rope trick followed, his famous Yellow Rope Trick where the rope is run through a tube and ends up with lots of knots tied on it. Finally he showed us a prediction in the form of a jumbo card but made in paper. The prediction was wrong so he tore it up and restored it sans one of the pips to correctly predict the selection.

A good lecture with some novel ideas, I particularly liked the new work on the sliding colour changing knots.

IBM British Ring Convention 2009 – Southport – International Close-up Gala

September 26th, 2009 - Richard Morrell

Thom Peterson kicked things off with a card selection being found in increasingly impossible ways, he had someone pick a card and it was found by someone else. He then made three piles, and the spectator could pick which pile and mark it with a letter opener, and her card was on top of that pile, and finally he wrapped the deck in paper and used the dagger to stab to the selection. Thom then showed us a bar bet, which looked like Mark Jenests Jiggernaut routine, where an olive is hidden under a Jigger and transposes between the pocket and the table, all with an added twist by Thom.

Ed Ellis showed us some fast Ace Productions, his Quick Change routine, a repeat four-of-a-kind production, card in shoe, a Karrell Fox Torn and Restored Card, his Materialise Colour Change and finally some very visual Ring Through Rubber Band sequences.

Hayashi came on dressed in full Samurai gear, talking in a Japanese accent he used a translation machine to funny effect, before it blew up and gave him the ability to speak perfect English. What followed was his FISM matrix routine, and the Deja Vu sequence we had seen in his lecture along with Ryan Swigerts Kickback.

John van der Put reprised his winning act from last year. A very funny Sponge Bunny routine and Cards under Box. Finally John had a card chosen and signed, he sprung the deck at his laptop which was showing an outdoor video, one card stuck to the screen, but on the inside, he supposedly ran off outside to retrieve the card and came back holding the signed card. A prediction was opened which didnt match the selection, but John used his VDP powers to change the signed card to match the prediction.

Tyler Wilson came bounding on, he borrowed a pack of cards and performed a very funny spoof on Sam the Bellhop, I wont spoil this, but if you see Tyler lend him your deck and Im sure he will be happy to show you. A transposition effect took place between a signed card and a card that Tyler had stuck in the waist band of his trousers. Similarly he had two other cards folded, one placed in a womans mouth and one placed in his, the two changed places. Tyler finished with his Perfect trick that is similar to Unshuffled, but the word Perfect on the side of the deck seem to melt into existence and then the deck is shown to be in new deck order, and finally the name of the selection appears on the side of the deck.

To close the show Henry Mayol, a Coins through Glass Sheet was using the same method as the coins across in the lecture, but took it a stage further. He had a spoon transposition between a bent spoon and a straight spoon that had been placed in a paper bag. Finally he placed four coins in the matrix position and covered them with four cards, and then simply showed the coins to have vanished.

IBM British Ring Convention 2009 – Southport – David and Dania in conversation with John Pye

September 26th, 2009 - Richard Morrell

Through a series of audience submitted questions John asked the couple about their life, both professional and personal. Dania talked about her up-bringing as part of the Moscow State Circus, and learning the Hula-Hoop act that is to be on tonights gala show. They talked about why they chose magic, as when they got married they wanted a job they could do together.

They then talked about the various TV shows they had appeared on, the Tonight Show and Oprah over in the US and over here more recently the Paul OGrady show and Tonights the Night with John Barrowman.

They hinted that they will have a new ten-minute spot ready in November, based on music from the 1960s and 1970s and will see Dania making at least 12 different changes. Mention was made of their full evening show, and that they have just bought the rights to Marvin Roys second act and incorporated all the jewellery into their show.

Mention was made of lectures and workshops, they carried out their first workshop at the IBM in the US and plan to do more, and they are booked to do a workshop and lecture for Blackpool 2010.

Dania talked about how the costumes are made, not in the US for fear of copying, but in Russia by professional seamstresses to their exacting standards. They are about to go on tour with a Symphony Orchestra in Pop Goes the Magic. Finally David mentioned their appearances on Americas Got Talent and the disagreements with Pierce Morgan, that were purely for ratings.

A great insight into this spectacular act, that will be on the bill tonight, stay tuned for a full report.