72nd British Ring IBM Convention
24th - 28th September 2008, Eastbourne
Update 10, 16th August 2008.
Bob Hayden, British Ring PRO

Those of you who take American magic magazines will be familiar with the name of Denny Haney. He’s the one who advertises on the back covers the magic wares of Denny and Lee. They are among the largest magical dealers in the USA whose shops can be found in Baltimore and Las Vegas. Denny is very much in the mould of Edwin Hopper of Supreme Magic who sadly is longer with us. Both, before becoming successful magical dealers, enjoyed careers in performing magic. However unlike Edwin Denny was a vaudevillian and still looks like one with his puckish fun filled face, it being suggested he looks a little like that old time comedian Max Wall. His fun advertisements completely capture his personality.

Denny Haney is a strong performer who concentrates on the classics. What can be described as his ‘party piece’ is the Multiplying Martini Bottles. Because this effect has for so long been associated with Tommy Cooper, its popularity with a large number of magicians has been lost. You will find, after seeing Denny’s presentation, that with the application of skill and thought, this classic can still be a hit in any show. No doubt you will notice how the influence of Ken Brooke’s routine shines through in Denny’s presentation. This is not surprising since it was Ken who sold him his original set of bottles at the same time giving him a tutorial on it’s working. This happened when Denny, a Vietnam war veteran, took a leave in London and paid a visit to Ken’s studio. We predict that after watching Denny perform this first-rate trick a whole host of Multiplying Martini Bottles, instead of laying dormant on the shelves of many magicians, will be coming out of retirement and given a new lease of life.

Paul Shone describes Denny Haney as a respected performer, dealer and all round ‘magical nut’. If he is, as we have suggested, in the mould of Edwin we know what we can expect!

Mark Mitton probably is a name not known to many British magicians. He was born in Moncton New Brunswick Canada, grew up in Superior Wisconsin and now lives in New York. He has trained with the greatest masters of magic and comedy and has worked around the world for 25 years creating customized and magical presentations that make corporate and private events meaningful and memorable. His strength is his ability to get a crowd going and to provide the right magical touch, in the right place at the right time. His clients like Pepsi Co and AT&T keep coming back to Mark for his astonishing sleight-of-hand, his hilarious humour and his easy going style that enchants and dazzles audiences. He also holds an Economics degree from Haverford College.

This is Mark Mitton’s first appearance at a British Ring Convention.

The British Ring is fortunate having among its members those who are willing to step into the breech whenever a crisis arises. One of these is Steve Evans. Bryan Atherton, after suffering poor health just before Christmas last year, felt it better if the responsibility of organising the Close-up Competition and International Close-up Gala at the Convention were passed to another. To undertake this important role he recommended to the Committee Steve Evans, who had expressed a willingness to do so. It was a recommendation that was gratefully accepted. There we are pleased to report that Bryan has now regained his health and will be on hand to provide valuable help.

Those of you outside the Midlands may not know Steve. He became a member of the British Ring in 1992 and attended its Convention the same year. The following year he joined the British Magical Society and has to date won their annual Close-up Competition twice and is the only member to win their Stage competition on four occasions. He also is a member of the Wolverhampton Circle of Magicians winning their close-up Trophy three times and serving as their President on two occasions.

What motivated Steve to become involved in the Convention? Quite simply he would rather be a doer than a watcher. This he was able to do when Bryan Atherton (who is a fellow member WCM and BMS member and a close friend of Steve’s) took over the running of the Close-up Competition and International Close-up Gala. He came on board as a member of the support team working through the ranks from Runner to Room Host. Last year he stepped in at the last moment to run the International Close-up when Bryan was laid low with a damaged ankle, it being emphasized the accident was in no way alcohol related. It is a comfort to know that both events Steve is organising are in capable hands.

Steve works as a professional magician covering the range of Close-up, Cabaret and Children’s Magic, his interest in magic initialling growing from working on the Comedy Club Circuit. Two years ago he competed in the Close-up competition and has participated in the Fringe Events organised by Fay Presto.

It is not only the Close-up events that Steve will be involved with. He will also be hosting the Shield Competition and is introducing an innovation into the show, a running theme in the form of a joke competition. He is asking for members to submit to him the sort of jokes you would hear in a pub, are told at work or you have received by text. They need to be short and not used in your (or anyone else’s) act. Throughout the competition he will read your jokes and the one the audience likes the most will win a prize (donated by Keith Bennett) plus a trophy. It will be a bit of fun and another chance for you all to be involved. Please e.mail your jokes to Stevemagicbloke@aol.com or by text to 07900 191958. You can submit them by post to Steve Evans, 22 Fallings Lane, Wolverhampton WV10 8BH

There is still time to register for the Convention. Hundreds of you have already done so. What is stopping you from joining them? For this is the Convention where not only do you see spectacular magic, learn from world-class lecturers but yet have time to socialise with your fellow magicians. So get in touch with the Registration Officer Neville Johnson by phone on 01202 873234, by e.mail at nevillejohnson25@aol.com or by using the Payments page on this website: www.britishring.org.uk.


Bob Hayden, British Ring PRO, August 2008




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