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Portsmouth Jumbo Day 2008

The Portsmouth Jumbo day is always a great little one day event to plug the gap between Eastbourne and International, and has the added advantage of you being able to get rid of those unwanted items to get some spare cash for the upcoming conventions. Held at the Buckland Community Center, it’s fantastic value for £15 for the day.

Sundays event started at 9am with the Official Opening before the ‘Bring and Buy’ stalls and commercial dealers opened up in the main hall and side rooms.

11:15 saw an interactive workshop with Rob Driscoll on Origami, extremely useful for those working restaurants and something slightly different to the normal magic.. A highlight of the days sessions was Bob Hamiltons Video Sessions. Held in the morning and afternoon, Bob records video for most of the conventions and has what can only be described as possible of of the most complete video collections in magic there are. Bob played a number of clips from convention shows and performances. An interactive Card Splitting workshop was held at the same time in another side room.

One of the other good points about Jumbo Day is the lunch, for £5.50 you can have a full Sunday Roast Dinner, with the option of curry or fish and chips this year, and it makes a welcome break from the sandwiches normally grabbed at conventions at lunchtime.

After the main dealers had packed down following lunch saw the main Auction of goods in the main hall. It is a shame that the dealers only operate until 1pm, as it stops the afternoon browsing once you’ve had a good look in the morning. Although this is mainly due to the logistics of using the main hall fro the auction, star lecture and the gala show, it’s a shame nether the less to only be able to buy in the morning effectively.

skitched-20081103-113438.jpgThree O’Clock brought the Alf Crayden Memorial Lecture, this year by Geoffrey Durham. It’s refreshing to see that Geoffrey presented a different lecture to Eastbourne, expressly mentioning that he presents each lecture as a new one based around ideas in his book. This is wonderful as when I see him lecture again at The Home Counties Magicial Society on the 20th November, I’ll be seeing more, not the same of Geoffrey’s wonderful thinking.

Geoffrey talked more about the why, where as opposed to the how, of magic. providing some wonderful insights into how he saw magic work, or not work for his style. It was a wonderful lecture, and I think everyone came away with enough to examine their current routines, and improve on them.

The afternoon closed with Close-Up sessions from George Bleeks, James Brown, Paul Knight and Thom Peterson. For me I loved Thom Petersons session, which was fresh, sharp and extremely good.

With a quick dash for food before the Evening Gala show ( We can fully recommend the Everest Spice, 180 Kingston Rd, Portsmouth, Hampshire, PO2 7LP‎ – 023 92654940‎, its a few minutes walk from the convention and has a great cheap menu!) the show started at 6:30.

Roy Charles was first up with a very funny act, a whole bunch of funny one liners and visual gags, followed by Thom Peterson, whom again I really enjoyed. Peter Wardell did his cups and balls acts, closing with Marc Oberon and his act based around ‘Midas’ finishing with a floating table. The MC was Rob Newman who held the show together well.

The Video below was taken during the day

Full details are on  www.portsmouthmagic.co.uk