• No events.

IBM Convention 2008 Eastbourne – Final Thoughts

September 28th, 2008 - Richard Morrell

With Paul Stone’s three year tenure as executive producer coming to an end this year, his expressed aim of elevating the standards of presentation, quality, depth of product and increasing attendance has certainly been fulfilled this year and we hope this ground work will continue to develop and that the highest standards will be maintained. Probably by the nature of Paul’s contacts we have been looking west, and maybe in future conventions we could look east to the wealth of magical talent in Europe and beyond, not forgetting the finest of our own performers.

All in all in my opinion one of the best IBMs for a long time, my highlights include Juan Tamariz who presents the most magical card tricks I have seen, a true artist. Bob Kohler’s Card Rise, been fooled as a magician is rare, and its great when you can get that layman feeling. Finally the underground trick of the convention, that melted my brain, if you see Noel Qualter ask him about his prediction trick with a kicker that defies belief, and his dark secret life as a film producer, you won’t regret it!

Stars of the Future Show

September 28th, 2008 - Richard Morrell

James Milner, a member of The Magic Circle Young Magicians club, compered the first half of the show, he is developing a nice style with a typical teenage laid back attitude.

Is there no limit to Mchael Jordans talent, he juggles, plays guitar, sings and does magic and I believe he also plays in a brass band – He opened with some quick Fire Eating, and Jerry Andrus’s Zone Zero and Gypsy Thread to a poem. He had a funny Knife Through Coat routine and an hilarious Unicycle & Knife Juggling finale involving Danny Hunt of Amethyst.

Ed Hilsum who appeared in the Stage Competition reprised his act – Gloves to Dove, a Silk Fountain, Appearing, Multiplying and Vanishing Candles, Billiard Ball manipulation, and finally the Vanishing Dove Cage. Ed has a great smile, audience likeability and a great stage presence, a name to watch.

Sara Jade & Leah Mae daughters of Su Jayne performed a charming flamenco style double act, age 8 and 10 (it was Leah Mae’s tenth birthday) their act includes Linking Ribbons, Dove Pan with Ribbon Fountain, Fan Productions and finishes by magically producing a ribbon picture of a Flamenco Dancer.

Megan Knowles-Bacon demonstrated her dance class ballet skills in a fairy themed act complete with fairy wings and wand. She danced her way through Silk to Rose, Dlite & Light-up Firefly, Linking Rings, Drink in the news, Silk to Cane, Dancing Cane, Tipover Production and a Flashy Snowstorm.

Cynthia Neptune thanked the juniors and Trevor Lewis closed the convention.

International Gala Show

September 28th, 2008 - Richard Morrell

This turned out to be one of the best gala shows I had seen in a long time, and that seemed to match the reaction of the people I chatted with afterwards.

Jeff Hobson was a fantastic compere who kept things moving, and his own spots as you would expect were hilarious, he came on and whipped the audience up with some fire-eating, and other spots included a Linking Rings routine to lots of short music clips, and card to mouth, which included a hilarious dance interlude to Abba’s Dancing Queen.

The first act was Jason Byrne a dove act that included, cage productions, and as well as doves, he produces a small budgerigar, and to finsh a huge duck.

Raymond Crowe, is an Australian who bills himself as an Unusualist, he started with a stretching arm illusion, stretching his arm to reach a high microphone stand. He then brings up a spectator and performs the same on them, using a long silver tube contraption. Then he borrows the spectators coat, and brings this to life ala Zombie Ball, and dances with the coat after producing a feather boa from inside it. This looked fantastic. Raymond then finished with the act he had on the Royal Variety Show, the Wonderful World Shadowgraphy.

Michael Finney tore the place apart with his comedy and magic, he started with his Six-card Repeat with glitter ending, his rope routine which features some great lines, and finished with his trademark Card on Forehead, with a brilliant layman volunteer, who hadn’t a clue!

Norm Nielsen is always a great act, he started with coin manipulation using a coin ladder to heighten the impact of multiple coin productions. His floating violin ala Zombie is always great to watch, and the final vanish with the reappearence of the violin wheeling on its own to the front of the stage brought gasps from the lay audience.

Tony Chapek performed his TV act, where he interacts with his double, Tony, who is on the TV in his night-wear. He reaches into the TV to bring things out and place things into the picture, they perform a card-trick together with a member of the audience, revealing the selection by pulling it out of the video. A rewind sequence is incorporated into a silk vanish. And finally he changes places with his nemesis, coming back on stage dressed in nightwear, and a final quick change sequence to change back to the real Tony.

Claudius Specht a juggler from Germany, as the speciality act, got a great reaction, a neat idea was he had a box-table that moved on its own and also sprung his clubs and cups into the air.

Kalin and Jinger are an illusion act from Reno, Nevada where since 2004 they have had their own theatre called Underground Magic. They have built up an extrodinary repertoire of theatrical magic, they have presented shows like Carnival of Wonders (with Jeff Hobson) and Illusionarium where they performed the worlds largest stage illusion, the vanish of an American Airlines Jumbo Jet, nightly for over two years. They collaborate with the leading designers, directors and choreographers in the business, such as Jim Steinmeyer and Joanie Spina.

This is no standard Magician/Assistant relationship, there is a unique chemistry between them, they are partners in real life and on-stage. They opened with a carnivalesque transformation of a fairground talker in the squisher illusion ended with the suprise production of Jinger. Followed by their tremendous presentation of the Alan Wakeling chopping in half illusion.

A presentation of the Driebeck die, was followed with Jim Steinmeyers excellent Op-Art illusion which looks like a life size puzzle were Jinger gets folded into a smaller and smaller box.

Mark’s Billiard Ball routine is a fantastic piece of sleight-of-hand, and they finished with a spiker illusion where Jinger gets put into a box and large spikes which are set on fire, were put through the box, and Jinger was shown to have vanished and she appeared at the back of the audience, to sustained applause.

Jeff Hobson brought the whole cast back on to a standing ovation.

Lecture – Guy Hollingworth

September 28th, 2008 - Richard Morrell

Guy Hollingworth started off by showing us some uses of a simple gimmick that everyone would have access too. He used it in an ace assembly with a backfire ending. Next was his simple idea for a card holdout, again demonstrated with a fairly easy no-palm travellers routine.

Guy then talked about how he researched using design principles in the magic creativity process. Again he showed us an example of a way to open at a table, with a quick thirty second piece, a small business card with his name on was torn up and restored in a flash of fire, he said he would then move on and do this for all the tables first, as a way to introduce that there was a magician at the event.

He then showed a brilliant dual-reality principle that allowed a very clean signed card at any number, and opens up a whole host of uses.

Once Upon a Time is a fairytale trick that Guy had invented for his Goddaughter, a deck of cards that is designed to look like a childrens story book and can be used to tell three fairy stories with magical occurrences.

Finally Guy performed his Torn and Restored Card Trick, Reformation, to end a brilliant lecture.

Juan Tamariz Lecture

September 28th, 2008 - Richard Morrell

Juan started off by explaining his jumbo three card monte that he had used in the show the previous day, he explained it was an idea of Frankie Lane that he had routined. Also he used this to explain some of his magical theory on how to stand and how to resolve magic tricks, he believed magic appealed to our inner child and all magic had to be fascinating and impossible.

The second trick that he explained was the slap trick variation where he slaps the cased deck out of the spectators hand and the spectator is left holding their card, the second time he repeats it, it seems to go wrong but the card actually ends up in the magicians wallet.

Lastly Tamariz explained his variation of cards across where the three cards travel to a spectators pocket without him seemingly touching the spectator.

This lecture lasted ninety minutes and was a masterclass in magic theory, timing, stagecraft and presentation from a true modern day master of the art.

International Close-up Gala

September 28th, 2008 - Richard Morrell

First in our room was Brad Henderson standing in for Glen Farrington. Brad performed Play it Straight Triumph, a Copper Silver Transpo, Simon Aronson/Michael Close’s Diary Prediction Trick, a Matching card trick where the pairs of Kings and Queens matched up. Finally Brad closed with a quick chop cup routine.

Derek Delgaudio started off with some mentalism with card, having a card peeked in an incredibly fair manner, and reading the spectators mind, attempting it a second time it looked like a mistake had been made, but was corrected in a magical fashion. Derek then performed what looked like a version of Roy Walton’s Smiling Mule. Finally Derek moved into the gambling portion, with a demonstration of shuffle tracking he was able to dead cut a selection. A second and bottom deal demonstration followed, and Derek finished by dealing a round of bridge hands, giving himself all the spades, which he magically reordered, and then showed the rest of the hands were separated into suit order. Great card work!

Bob Kohler performed a couple of pieces which were one of my highlights of the convention. His Coins and Cylinder routine is pure magic, but the best was to come with his rising card routine, three cards were made to rise from a glass, which was then covered with another glass and a bell jar, yet they still rised from the pack under the command of the spectator, rising all the way out of the deck, and yes the deck was given to the spectator as a souvenir… awesome!

Jason England was up next, with a strong trick to start where he dealt piles of cards to arrive at the values of two selections. He showed he was able to dead cut to named aces, and finally finished by shuffling the cards face up into face down, and then showing he was able to deal out all the face up cards, apart from five which turned out to be a Royal Flush.

Jon Armstrong has one of my favourite styles of magic, he started off with two spectators, one who peeked a card and the other who was able to direct Jon to find it in a fan of cards. He then performed his standard opener, with the rubber banded deck, and finally produced a spectators phone number from the deck magically producing face up cards from the rest of the face down deck.

To finish off this strong gala, one of our own UK performers Nicholas Einhorn. Nick started off by producing four coins from a spread of cards, and went into his magical looking matrix/translocation routine and ended by vanishing the coins. He found the four aces, lost them again and performed what I think was a version of the Christ Aces each ace turning up in unexpected ways. Finally he finished with a ring on string routine, combined with ring to keychain and ring to nest of purses, and as a kicker a quick card trick which caused the printed deck to turn blank.