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Leamington and Warwick Magic Society – Day of Magic 2009

Leamington Spa and Warwick Magic Society – Day of Magic
Wednesday 24th June 2009
Reported by Bill Hamersley

The day of Magic started early with a full cooked breakfast at 8.30am at the Chubbington Sports and Social Club, the home of and venue for the Leamington Spa and Warwick Magic Society annual Day of Magic.

It was a beautiful day, with about 70 people eating their cooked breakfast outside, al fresco style. In total there were around 150 registered to attend the event.

There was a full programme for the day, with 6 lectures, a close-up competition, a mini show by John Archer and Jon Allen.

The day started well with a lecture by multi award winning childrens entertainer John Kimmo. John started with his usual opening effect a Sponge ball routine. He also performed and explained his handling of Daryls Jumping knot of Pakistan. He then had a lovely card routine, which ended with the selected card inside a card frame. The other main highlights of the lecture were Johns handling of his many Axtell puppets, in particular Johns advice on the need for full scripting of routines, and the need for the performer and puppet to act throughout the performance. John ended the lecture with a very funny Human vent routine, with a volunteer from the audience. Johns stand was very busy at the end of the lecture, selling lecture notes and his DVD.

Following this there were two lectures on at almost the same time. A lecture on the two Gilbreath principles in card magic by Arthur MacTier, a member of the Leamington Spa and Warwick Magic Society, and a lecture by the well known balloon magician, Graham Lee. As a long time follower of the Gilbreath principles, were was only one lecture I was going too, and Arthur did not disappoint. He performed and explained a total of 10 routines from his book Card Concepts (now out of print). It was fascinating to listen to other magicians not familar with these principles, trying to work out how the tricks worked. I will forever remember the opinion of the famous magician Max Maven, when he said the Gilbreath principles in card magic are things of terrifying beauty. Arthur was busy selling his lecture notes at the end of his lecture.

I understand from a fellow attendee that Graham Lees lecture was full of clever and inventive ideas for magicians interested in ballon modelling. The lecture was also well attended.

Following a break for a buffet lunch, the next lecture was by John Archer the current Magic Circle Stage winner. Having seen John lecture many times I was not disappointed. He was really has the gift to make you laugh and enjoy the magic performed. The highlights of Johns lecture were the Spelling test, Chinese Choice, Off by One and Collared. I was particularly impressed with the background on building the story telling aspect of John routines. It is clear why he is such a busy magician. I have had the pleasure of seeing John perform for the public, a treat I would recommend to you all. At the end of the lecture John was very busy selling his lecture notes, tricks and DVDs.

Following this there was a lecture on Childrens Magic and a venting/puppet workshop by Shane West, who I understand is a member of the Leamington Spa and Warwick Magic Society. Unfortunately I was unable to attend this lecture as I was drawn to the many dealer stands. The dealers who attended were Workers Corner, Magic Books by Post, Keith Bennett, Razmatazz, World Magic Shop, Zanes Magic, Adrian Sullivan, Andrew Normansell, Merlins of Wakefield, Mark Worgan, Kaymar Magic, Graham Lee balloons, Albion Magic and Heidis Costumes.

The next lecture was by Jon Allen, the award winning close-up magican. I have had the pleasure of seeing Jon perform and lecture on many occassions. He was really on form, and performed a lovely 4 card trick, called Double Backed, as his opening effect. He then performed and explained a floating borrowed banknote effect in a wine glass. Jons rope routine, which he names Freddies Dead, was next, with some very nice handling. The other highlights were a rubber band routine, named Burning Rubber, an Ambitious card routine, using any word written on the selected card, and a very commercial card routine, named the Wedding Trick, which uses heart shaped post-it notes. Jon has a brand new book due out very soon, and I predict it will sell very well.

A barbecue was the held supplying hot dogs and hamburgers for all those attending.

The final event of the day was the Champion of Champions Close-Up Competition. This was the first time such a competition had been held, with the winner of the surrounding magic societies close-up competition being invited to take part. There were 7 competitors in total. Representing the Leicester Magic Circle was Carl Buck, from the 3SM was Craig Petty, from the Wellingborough Magic Society was Steve Welling, from the Northampton Magic Society was Graham Sergeant, from the BMS was George Symes, from the Leamington Spa and Warwick Magic Society was Steve Buckstone and from the Coventry Magic Society was Alan Cooper. The judges were Adrian Sullivan, Jon Allen and John Archer.

The highlights of each act for me was Craig Pettys coin routines and his deck sealed in shrink wrap, Carl Bucks version of Torn to Pieces done to a grandfather theme, Steve Wellings multiplying cigarette routine, Graham Sergeants ring and string routine ending with the borrowed ring being found on a necklace after burning the receipt, George Symes card routine in which the selected card was found in the deck with a button sewn onto it, Steve Buckstones rubber band routine with a £20 note, and Alan Coopers card routine with the selected card found in a sealed bottle on the table.

After a short break the judges decision was announced, in 3rd Place with a prize of £50 was Craig Petty, in 2nd Place with a prize of £100 was Carl Buck, and the winner with a prize of £300 and the trophy for Champion of Champions was Alan Cooper.

This was a wonderful day of magic, and congratulations to Keith Pearman the President of the Leamington Spa and Warwick Magic Society, and all the 35 members of this society, and to their wives and partners who worked so hard to make this event such a success.

The cost of the ticket was only £20, and for this you got 6 lectures, a close-up competition, and access to 14 dealers. It also included the cooked breakfast, the buffet lunch and the BBQ. Outstanding value for money. This event could not have been held without the kind sponsorship of Mick McCreath, a member and past President of the Leamington Spa and Warwick Magic Society.

The decision to select a midweek day for this annual event was a very wise one, with a high percentage of working professional magicians in attendance. This years event was sold out.

I strongly suggest that the you keep an eye on the calender for the date of next years Day of Magic, which is likely to be around the end of June. Details will be posted on the Magic Convention Guide web page when announced or on The Day of Magic Site itself