72nd British Ring IBM Convention
24th - 28th September 2008, Eastbourne
Update 8, 26th July 2008.
Bob Hayden, British Ring PRO
Guy Hollingworth has not participated in a British Ring Convention for over a decade. It was in 1995 in the International Close-up Show that his immaculate card work was so admired by the Conventioneers. His award winning sleight-of-hand is unmistakably unsurpassed. Highly original, yet traditional in style, his baffling illusions mystify not only members of the public but his fellow magicians alike. It is as a lecturer that Guy will be appearing this year, delivering a lecture that we have been waiting to hear for a long time.
A scholar at St Paul’s School, Guy’s interest in magic had its beginnings in the school’s magic club, The Prestige Society. Although boasting only two members at the time, Guy and his friend Ben reinvigorated the club when asked to put on a magic show for the school’s Open day. His early intention was to perform a stage act inspired by seeing a clip of Channing Pollock on The Best of Magic TV Show performing his dove and card manipulation act. A little while later, Guy was equally impressed by Ricky Jay on another television show, Simon Drake’s The Secret Cabaret. This turned his interest in conjuring towards close-up and gambling themed effects.
Although graduating in Industrial Design and The Law, Guy has maintained his interest in magic and a very busy performing schedule has taken him over North America and Europe as well as Australia, Argentina and Japan. Guy has performed in a wide variety of settings and for a wide range of people; private functions in the Imperial Palace Vienna, stately homes in England; corporate functions at many of the world’s finest hotels; intimate shows in small theatres in London, Bath, Edinburgh and Munich; the Magic Castle in Hollywood and a traditional comedy club in Japan.
Guy is the author of a book on original card conjuring ‘Drawing Room Deceptions’. It has become a best selling publication of Mike Caveney’s Magic Words being reprinted on numerous occasions. He has also produced lecture notes and three videocassettes to accompany his lectures for the benefit of magicians anxious to learn his methods and techniques. Guy’s best-known and most influential effect is The Reformation, an effect that was featured as one of The Fifty Greatest Magic Tricks in the British television programme of the same name.
Guy Hollingworth is just one of the other 15 star lecturers who will be sharing their knowledge, expertise and experience to enable you to raise your performances to a higher level both in technique and presentation. These other lecturers are Geoffrey Durham, Jeff Hobson, Kalin & Jinger, Juan Tamariz, Nicholas Einhorn, Bill Herz, Oscar Munoz, Gene Anderson, Levent, Bob Kohler, Mike Bent, Michael Finney, Michael Weber and for you Finger Flickers Derek DelGaudio and Jason England. So whether you are a close-up worker, a stand-up magician, a children’s entertainer, a mentalist (sorry no specialist lecturer this year), a cardician or a stage magician there will be lecture to benefit you.
Another first timer at a British Ring Convention is Levent. Levent is a rarity in the field of comedy magic. Working at an extraordinary fast pace he uses an incredibly unique and brilliant combination of masterful comedy and world-class sleight-of –hand. This has been gained from a culmination of over 30 years of experience that has made him a much sought after entertainer and has earned him great respect from his fellow peers. He has an original style drawn as much from the irreverent approach exemplified by the likes of Robin Williams and Steve Martin as from the flair of his magical idols amongst whom he includes Roy Benson, Cardini, and Richiardi Junior.
Levent started performing at a young age throughout his native New York City. At only 17 years of age he was awarded 1st prize for stage magic at the International Brotherhood of Magicians National Convention. This led to a two year engagement at Resorts International Casino Hotel in Atlantic City where he was twice nominated “Best Act in a Production Show” followed by a lifetime career in top class Casinos, Cruise Ships and Comedy Clubs.
Levent is the author with Todd Karr of a highly acclaimed book ‘Roy Benson by Starlight’. Roy Benson was a legendary performer, a brilliant magician, and a superb manipulator whose ingenious techniques baffled his peers. When giving his lecture to us in Eastbourne, we hope Levant will feature Roy Benson’s famous Billiard Ball routine as well as his salt pour effect. When the lecture was presented at the Magic Live Convention in Las Vegas in 2004, Genii Magazine described it as captivating.
You too will be captivated by Levent’s lecture and performance.
2008 has us returning to Eastbourne for our Convention for the fourteenth time, the first being in 1958. The President for that year was Les Levante – The Great Levante and looking through the Souvenir Programme for that year the majority of those who participated sadly are no longer with us. Thankfully some still are. These include Timothy Dill–Russell billed then as “the teenage Houdini” who performed the outside stunt escaping from a Block of Ice isolated in an Eldorado Cold-storage van, Elizabeth Warlock who appeared in the After Banquet Show (now the Late Late Gala), Roy Van Dyke in the Children’s Playtime and in the Grand International Gala of Magic and taking the stage for the first time for the British Ring Eddie Dawes and Amy.
Fifty years on Eddie takes to the stage again, not as in 1958 in the Floral Hall with its severely restricted space, but on the stage of the well-equipped Congress Theatre with his themed show on Friday afternoon just as he has done at each Convention since 1985. His theme for this year is “Jubilee Jubilations”, an apt title as the show embraces a selection of acts to celebrate what for Eddie is a personal golden jubilee at Eastbourne. And what a line-up of artistes he has arranged to fulfil his celebration!
The show opens in dynamic fashion with the exuberant Roy Davenport. It is not the first time that Roy has appeared in one of Eddie’s shows. When he was assembling his 1996 show “Six Magical Decades” Eddie put a suggestion to Roy that it would be appropriate if he re-create his great grandfather Lewis Davenport’s act for the occasion especially as Lewis had performed at the first Convention in Cheltenham in 1931. This Roy brilliantly did using a number of props belonging to Lewis and including Lewis’s famous trademark, the constantly colour changing waistcoat. Roy has continued to further develop the recreation of Lewis’s work that has gone from strength to strength as will be witnessed.
Eddie strong magical links with Scotland is emphasised with the next two acts. Alex Proctor is first when he brings his charming characterisation of an old time magician typical of the earlier years of the twentieth century and featuring among other effects a lovely Floating Ball. Following Alex is the FISM award winning comedic act of The Great Nardini with Paul struggling against all the odds and Mhairi with her subtle touches so delightfully portraying his long suffering assistant.
Glamour is the watchword when Romany ‘Diva of Magic’ takes the stage as the penultimate performer whether she is in a fabulous costume, diamonds and feathers or an elegant gown. She is a hit on the cabaret and high society gala dinner circuit with her own brand of zany close-up magic and became The Magic Circle Stage Magician of the Year in 2006. Charismatic, very funny, being dubbed the British Bette Midler by Jeff McBride, Romany is just as at home on stage as she is in cabaret.
The show closes in the grand manner with illusions featured by Amethyst, the exuberant duo of Danny and Annette Claire. This delightful couple have a sparkling enthusiasm for their craft that shines through all of their magic and for this occasion they will be introducing a new illusion.
“Jubilee Jubilations” is an all British Show that will demonstrate to all that Britain has an abundance of magical talent!
This is just one of the six stage shows that are included in the Convention. Performing in four of the others are Jeff Hobson, Kalin & Jinger, Norm Neilson, Jason Byrne, Tony Chapek, Raymond Crowe, Michael Finney, Claudius Specht, Mike Close, Gene Anderson, Mel Mellers, Oscar Munoz, Safire, John Archer, Levent, Mark Mitton, Mark Raffles, Richard McDougall, Michael Weber, and Denny Haney. Those appearing in The Stars of the Future Show will be announced shortly.
For you close-up devotees in the International Close-up Gala there are Nick Einhorn, Bob Kohler, Derek DelGaudio, Glenn Farrington, Jon Armstrong and Jason England. In addition Juan Tamariz will be performing a one-man Close-up Show. And don’t forget there are two Late Night Sessions of stand-up magic on hand for those of you who might find difficulty to sleep and who are not suffering from magical indigestion.
Throughout the Convention varied lectures/workshops are in abundance coming from Juan Tamariz, Geoffrey Durham, Jeff Hobson, Nich Einhorn, Kalin & Jinger, Levent, Guy Hollingworth, Mike Bent, Michael Finney, Bill Herz, Oscar Munoz, Bob Kohler, Gene Anderson and Michael Weber. Another innovation especially for you specialist Finger Flickers is a “Hard Core Card” session by Jason England and Derek Delgaudio.
All of this and a seminar on More History of Mystery featuring subjects from Paul Freeman, Michael Symes, Roy Field and John Palfreyman, two competitions, one for The British Ring Shield for stage magic and The Zina Bennett Trophy for close-up magic both attracting handsome cash prizes, Ali Bongo’s Micro Magic Marathon and a mammoth Dealer’s Exhibition are all in the registration fee of £125 per person (£100 for British Ring Members and their Partners). This is a real bargain. The lectures alone must be nearly worth the fee.
And for an additional £7.50 you can attend the Children’s Showtime with Terry Herbert, Dave Andrews, Jonathon Shotton, The Safire Magic Light Puppets and Mike Bent.
Any of you interested in having a Midnight Session on the Friday with Juan Tamariz, tickets will be available from the Registration Desk from Thursday onwards at £20. This session is strictly limited to 60 people.
Tony Chapek returns once again to this
country to perform his incredible ‘Interactive Media Magic’ routine, this
time at the British Ring Convention. Those of you who have yet to see this
unequalled act are in for a treat and those who have seen it will relish the
chance of seeing it again.
So what is ‘Interactive Media Magic’? Described as Reality TV, it’s a fascinating and hilarious live performance that combines the latest in video technology with traditional sleight-of-hand to produce stunning “never before seen” illusion, combined with a full script of comedy dialogue, it has proven to be one of the most captivating and entertaining performances imaginable.
And what is the biography of this beyond belief entertainer whose act causes a sensation wherever it is performed? Tony developed the first version of the act over 20 years ago with it having its first outing before the Georgia Magic Club in 1985. Since then it has undergone around fifteen major developments to get it to its present state, rapid advances in technology helping him to perfect the act. In the early days he admits to having to work hard to overcome his weaknesses as a performer. But years of performing have helped him to hone his skills. As technology changes Tony continues to come up with new ideas. Is it possible that we will be seeing any of these at Eastbourne? We hope we are.
How did it all start for Tony? He has always had an interest in filmmaking and special effects. His father, although not a magician, taught him, as a child, basic card tricks and optical illusions and started him in film production by letting him use his super 8mm cine camera. As a young adult he got into magic and that became more than a hobby, it became an obsession. By combining his two hobbies magic and film making things began to happen for him but only after overcoming a natural shyness did it enabled him to perform in front of audiences.
The act has won him two international competitions and the Originality Award from IBM and SAM. He concedes other magicians have done interactive video presentations, but what he does totally sets him apart. His original creations are not being done by anyone else in the entertainment industry. In his act every effect has a purpose. It is a logical piece of theatre. This doesn’t always happen in a lot of magical acts and when combined with unique visual effects and concepts, a one-of-a-kind performance is produced. “With Tony’s Act, we may be glimpsing the future of magic” This is what Dan Garrett recorded in Genii Magazine.
We are eagerly looking forward to seeing and meeting Tony Chapek in September.
Tony Chapek is just one of the acts in Saturday night’s headline show. And what a show it will be! Jeff Hobson will be hosting it and joining Tony will be Jason Byrne, Raymond Crowe, Michael Finney, Norm Nielson, Claudius Specht and Kalin & Jinger. This will be the most spectacular show ever staged at a British Ring Convention. We have had some really excellent ones in the past so it will be up to you to judge if this claim to be correct or not.
E.mail Neville Johnson straight away at firstname.lastname@example.org to make your registration or e.mail Bob Hayden at email@example.com for a brochure and application form. Daily registrations are available.
Bob Hayden, British Ring PRO, July 2008