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Blackpool Magicians Convention 2008 Roundup

Well the convention is finally over, 3 days of solid top quality magic arranged and run by the Blackpool Magicians Club. When I looked back yesterday at my live blogging from convention I worked out that I’d written close to 6,284 words (or about 29,650 characters!), a large part of this was done on my iPhone, with other stuff being typed up on my Macbook between getting back from the Ruskin hotel and sleeping each night. The iPhone was a breeze letting me update the blog, and email stories over to iTricks in an instant.

I also worked out that unless you’re a real die hard, it’s unlikely you’re going to read the entire Blackpool 2008 Category, but if you want to and can spot the deliberate mistake on one of the articles then there’s a prize up for grabs… (dont promise it will be a great prize, but it’s free so what do you care?)

For those of you who can’t spare the time: here’s the low down and summary:

The theme of the 2008 Blackpool Magic convention was Close-up Colossus.

The convention started Friday lunch time with the dealers halls opening with about 127 dealers in total. I had a good chat with Richard Kaufman about the April copy of Genii magazine, which will contain an in-depth article about the recent performance of the hooker rising cards. Richard was very excited about the article, stating that “this was the real deal“. The colossal 27 page article in Aprils issue is written and illustrated by Jim Steinmeyer, and from the preview issue that Richard was kind enough to let me look through, it details a lot about the illusive effect, it’s history, and even includes a good number of photos, and drawings of the setup from the recent performance.

The Friday saw lectures from David Sousa, Patrick Przysiekchi, Valerie, Chris Priest, Shawn Faruhar, David Stone and Lennart Green. All the lectures were on the whole excellent (the latter being the excellent ones, and the morning ones being a bit weak.) The program also let us know that Blackpool Magicians Club would be buying their very own theatre club for next year!!

The first lecture of Saturday morning was Martin Sanderson, followed by David Solomon, J.J Sanvert, J.C Wagner, Magic Dave, Lior Manor, and Geoffrey Durham, these all being very strong lectures and very informative. Also during the day were the Children’s Entertainer World Championships, an event won by John Kimmons, and the International Close-Up show, featuring Shoot Ogowa, Kostya Kimlat and others.

The evening show, The UK versus the Rest of The World was good generally, except for the appalling compere Stu Francis, MC’ing truly at it’s worse! Bob Wooding, Danny Hunt, Graham P Jolly and John Archer did Balloons, Escapology, mentalism and comedy mentalism respectively. There were a few glitches with Danny Hunts water torture escape, but generally it was all ok. John Archer stole the show with a volunteer ‘Eric’ who turned out to be completely incapable of following any instruction, simple or otherwise. It turned out Eric was actually Eric Delaney of The Eric Delaney Band, featured in a number of royal variety performances, and still pulling crowds today (although I doubt he’s doing any more magical assistant jobs any time soon).

Sunday started with a lecture by Helder Guimaraes, a past FISM award winner, a lecture by Colonel Custard, a Question and Answers session with Geoffrey Durham and Wayne Dobson, more lectures from Shoot Ogawa, Kosta Kimlat, Michael Close, and Richard Sanders. The evening International Gala Show was very good, with appearances by Mahka Tendo, Rafael, Antje Pode, Scott and Muriel, David Sousa, Valerie, Topas, Ken Dodd OBE, Yamagami Brothers, and Shimada. Geoffrey Durham was awarded the Murray Award for services to magic, and Ken Dodd did less than 30 minutes of material!! Justin Lee Collins and Alan Carr were spotted heading into the show as well, it’s a shame neither of them were available to perform or compere!!!

In all an excellent, and tiring convention. Like my memories from years ago, it’s big, busy and you won’t see everything. It was nice to see old friends, and make some new ones, The dates for The Blackpool Magic Convention 2009 are: Friday, Saturday and Sunday 20th, 21st and 22nd February 2009. The registration desk opens on 1st July 2008. Further details directly from The Blackpool Magic Club


About the author Andrew is a geek, and loves magic, he wants to share his love of magic with the rest of the world, he’d like to go to more conventions, this is a way to enjoy the conventions he cant get to. He runs the Home Counties Magical Society Website, and his own Blog (that sometimes features Magic)