71st British Ring IBM Convention - Update 5.
11th - 16th September 2007, Southport

The venue for last year’s International Close-up Show was not ideal for either performer or spectator and rightly attracted criticism.  The convention organisers took note of your concerns and are confident that this year’s arrangements will considerably improve the conditions for both and improve your enjoyment of this popular event.  It takes place in the intimate Arts Centre Theatre with its tiered seating.  And what a spectacular line-up of star performers have been engaged.  Here is Mike Gancia’s rundown of those appearing.


Gaetan Bloom.  Is a regular performer at the Crazy Horse Night Club in Paris.  He is one of the leading creative minds in magic.  His methods are so devious he will fool you badly.  His versatility with props other than cards and coins are killer effects guaranteed to entertain.


Lennart Green.  A world champion at FISM is no stranger to British conventions.  There is no one quite like this magician and gentleman from Sweden.  He is truly an original and it shines through with his incredible and skilled performances.  He does things with a pack of cards that no one has ever done before.


Bill Malone.  He has made numerous appearances on national TV in the USA including NBC’s ‘World’s Greatest Magic’ and on Paul Daniel’s ‘Secrets’ show. Here is someone who performs for high profile clients and you will see some of the most commercial and powerful magic from one of the funniest magicians on the planet.


Michael Vincent.  Here is an elegant performer whose superb artistic sleight of hand puts him amongst the tops in the world.  As Close Up Magician of the Year of The Magic Circle three times, his sophisticated skilled presentation has brought him professional bookings at celebrity parties, corporate events and international casinos.  His desire for perfection has made him a class act.


Boris Wild.  He is a Frenchman who oozes charm with his romantic ‘Kiss act’.  In 1996 he became the French Champion of Magic.  He has also won awards for his elegant close up magic including FISM and regularly performs on five continents.  He has performed more than a hundred times at the Magic Castle so we look forward to his return to a British Ring Convention.


Rocco.  A student of Slydini for several years he is a winner of the Golden Lion Award in 1986 where he won the stage and close up.  In 2006 he won ‘The Most Original Act’ award at FISM.  He is a regular attendee and winner of awards at the FFFF’s conventions, and has made numerous appearances at the Magic Castle and Monday Night Magic.  He does magic with virtually anything and is probably best known as the creator of the D’Lite effect.


It is Mike’s opinion that the expertise of this set of close-up performers surpasses that of any other seen at a British Ring International Close-Up Show.  You should not miss the chance of seeing six of the worlds most talented and entertaining close-up workers at a single session.


For the first time Paul Kieve will be lecturing at a British Ring Convention.  Paul is a professional illusionist whose consulting work for both stage and screen has contributed to changing how magical special effects in productions are approached.


Paul’s career started at the age of 16 by performing magic in a video for Sade’s hit ‘Your Love is King’.  He was runner up in The Young Magician of the Year competition in 1985 and turned pro at the age of 17, playing his first season at The Inn On The Park in Jersey as resident support act to performers as diverse as Bob Monkhouse, Ken Dodd, Gloria Gaynor and Bernard Manning.  He then formed the double act the Zodiac Brothers and toured across the globe for 4 years performing seasons in Japan, Italy the QE2 and the Magic Castle in Hollywood.


Since 1991 Paul has concentrated on creating innovative effects for theatre productions starting with The Invisible Man at the Theatre Royal Stratford East which became the first of many West End shows featuring Paul’s work including The Lord Of The Rings (currently playing at The Theatre Royal Drury Lane), Alice In Wonderland (English National Ballet at the Coliseum), Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Woman in White, Our House; The Witches Of Eastwick; Angela Carter Cinderella; Scrooge, the Musical (recently at the Palladium starring Tommy Steele), The Witches starring Ruby Wax and Theatre Of Blood starring Jim Broadbent.  Paul has also worked on many productions with The Royal National Theatre and The Royal Shakespeare Company and on opera productions at The Royal Opera House, Paris Opera and in Scandinavia and Germany.  He has devised illusions for four ‘Holidays on Ice’ international touring productions: Mystery, Dreams, Hollywood and Celebrations.  Work over the Atlantic includes The Lord of the Rings in Toronto, The Woman in White on Broadway, Scrooge USA tour (starring Richard Chamberlain) and Earthsea for Sci Fi channel.


He has worked as a consultant to many magicians including David Copperfield’s Unseen Forces TV special, Hans Klok’s current Las Vegas show and Derren Brown’s Trick of the Mind series and ‘Séance’ special.  He advised on and appeared as an on-screen contributor to the BBC History of Magic series.


As a consultant to Guinness World Records Paul created magic spreads for the 2005 and 2006 books.  In 2005 he became the first magician to perform in The Proms at the Royal Albert Hall. 


Paul Kieve is the only illusionist to have been connected to the Harry Potter films-as magic consultant to The Prisoner of Azkaban (in which he also appears) and as pre-production consultant on ‘Goblets of Fire’.  He is private magic tutor to Daniel Radcliffe who has written the following introduction to Paul’s forthcoming book ‘Hocus Pocus’

‘When I was filming Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban I met Paul Kieve…and he had the same impact on me as the astonishing effects that bring the Harry Potter movies to life… we talked for many hours about magic and…I quickly became obsessed… Paul was always there, not only with an answer but with amazing background knowledge… Step into the pages of Hocus Pocus and prepare to be astonished!’

Hocus Pocus will be published by Bloomsbury in October 2007 and is simultaneously being translated into German and Spanish.  Scholastic is publishing it in the USA.


This is your chance to listen to and learn from this extraordinary genius of theatrical magical effects by being in the Arts Centre Studio either Thursday or Friday afternoon.


We are always pleased to welcome our overseas visitors.  This year the International President of the International Brotherhood of Magicians Phil Willmarth and his wife Robbie and the President of The Society of American Magicians Maria Ibenez and her husband Jay will be present at Southport.


Phil Willmarth is well known to Ringers having had a long association with The Linking Ring beginning in 1978 when he became Assistant Editor/Parade Editor and taking over as Executive Editor and Business Manager in 1992, a position he held until March 2007.  During these years Phil worked with and wrote about magicians famous and not so famous from around the world each being treated with the same charm that is synonymous with him.  Phil has been impressed how in Britain the Centre for Magical Arts has been successfully created.  It is something he would like to emulate in America for the IBM.   It is his aim, during his presidency to raise money to build an IBM Conjuring Centre housing the IBM headquarters, a museum, a library and training and research facilities.  We wish him well in this ambitious project.


How many of you remember Phil when he attended the 1979 Convention in Scarborough?  We worked him hard then as he performed in the International Close-up Gala and the Late Late Gala (then The After Banquet Show) and was one of the speakers at the Magic Collectors seminar.  No wonder he hasn’t returned in the 29 intervening years!  Welcome back Phil.


Maria Ibenez hails from Havana Cuba, the family moving to America in 1962. She did not fall in love immediately with magic when aged 5 or 6 a magician scarred her. This changed when a magician entertained at her son Orlando’s first birthday party and she saw what happiness magic could bring.  Maria was hooked.  She made a very wise decision by joining Ring 45 where experienced members took her under their wing and mentored and guided her while teaching her not just magic tricks, but presentation, history and the psychology of performing as well.


For many years Maria has been dedicated to magic organisations.  She has served as an officer in several positions in her local Ring, in S.A.M. Assembly 76 and four terms as President of the Florida Magicians Association.  In Dallas Texas this year she was given the highest accolade of being installed as President of the Society of American Magicians, the oldest magical society in the world, for the year 2007-2008.  Without the devotion and disposition of members like Maria the fraternal spirit of magic could collapse and cease to exist.  You will be most welcome at the British Ring Maria and Jay and we are looking forward to meeting both of you.


In 2009 FISM is being held in Beijing, China and is being organised by the Chinese Acrobats Association. The association’s President Lin Jian and two lady interpreters Li Meina and Yaig Zhaoying are coming to Southport with the prime object of seeing at first hand the organisation and running of a large magic convention.  We are sure they will be impressed by what they see and will be able to learn how smoothly it can run.


In 2005 the then International IBM President Tony Wilson and his wife Mary were our guests the last time we were in Southport.  They are thrilled that they are making the long journey from New Zealand to be with us once again.  It will be good to see you again Tony and Mary.  Also travelling from archipelago is our own Steve Walker now domicile in Sydney coming with three other Australian magicians.  Welcome home Steve!  And just in today are two registrations from Tokyo.  Southport 2007 is going to be truly international.


If you have not already done so get your registration off today.  As we said four months ago Southport 2007 would be stupendous.  It will be.  So be there!



Bob Hayden, August 2007




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