73rd British Ring IBM Convention
23rd - 27th September 2009, Southport
Update 12, August 2009
Bob Hayden, British Ring PRO

Here is another name that has been added to those appearing at Southport – Tony Rix. In his field Tony is widely acknowledged as a talented entertainer. He never fails to amaze and amuse whatever the occasion. Whether you think he is a comedy magician or a magical comedian is of no consequence. His sole aim is to entertain. But be prepared to expect the unexpected. Tony is a top first class entertainer with an individual style. His wit and repartee are guaranteed to raise a smile.

Tony is an ideal host or compere and when he hosts the Late Late Gala any sagging eyelids in the audience will be quickly rejuvenated and the right atmosphere created for you to enjoy the acts of Brando & Silvana, Peki, Pavel, and Soma.

This is what Carolyn Armstrong; Director of the Headland Hotel Co. Ltd had to say “Your efforts combined with your personality have helped to make the New Year so successful…. Your name was mentioned on the comments slips in a very flattering way”.

Influenced by his father Leslie Tony took an interest in magic from the age of 5 and one of his earliest memories is of being excited when he was given a Stripper Deck and realising the miracles he could perform with it. For decades Tony has been a staunch supporter of the British Ring being the time-keeper for the Shield Competition and volunteering to perform in the special venue shows. What many of you may not know is that Tony is not a full time professional magical entertainer being a qualified engineer. Don’t make the mistake that Tony is just a keen amateur. Shortly he will be entertaining on the luxury cruise liner the Oriana, something he has done on many occasions. He just loves entertaining and for him comedy is of prime importance to compliment his magic. He rightly claims that to be a comedy entertainer there are two critical factors, to be seen and be heard. To achieve these two elements he always carries two sound systems in case one malfunctions. He also uses a portable stage and spider backcloth and curtain. To enable him to get a feel for the audience whist waiting to go on he prefers to sit behind the spider rather than being in a dressing room. What a professional approach and one that could well be emulated by some self acclaimed professionals.

So far the illusionists who are appearing at Southport have not been profiled. It is always a pleasure to have Guy Barrett perform at our Convention. We haven’t seen him since 2005. Guy comes from a show business family background, his father being the acclaimed circus ringmaster Norman Barrett and his mother Sally a former professional ice skater. He developed an interest in magic at a very early age and began performing when he was just nine years old. Guy has always had an interest in illusions and started performing them in 1992 in a show called the ‘Magic Water Spectacular’ on a stage in the middle of the Blackpool Tower Circus’s world famous water show.

Since then Guy has worked in numerous theatres in variety and production shows around England and Europe alongside some of the UK’s leading variety stars. More recently Guy has formed the Guy Barrett Dancers who work closely in the illusions and production numbers not necessarily linked to the magic. His appearances in Television shows extend to Dubai, Qatar, Germany, France and of course the United Kingdom.

In the corporate world Guy has worked for companies such as Nokia, Emirates Computing, Dell Computers, Honda, Mercedes, Toyota, and Dubal to name just a few. Many of these shows incorporated specially purpose made illusions designed and built by Guy Barrett Illusions Designs. This is a company set up by Guy in the early nineties that specializes in creating and building illusions for other magicians and shows.

Guy Barrett has won many awards for his work one of which is the British Ring Shield in 1996. So once again we will be treated to some stunning illusions each superbly choreographed presented by the man with the most infectious smile.

Sean Heydon has been performing magic professionally for 9 years in some of Europe’s largest and prestigious theatres and venues being a favourite headline act. Sean is regularly hired to perform at corporate events, product launches and theatre/television shows, At one time he only specialised in close-up magic but over the last three years has successfully extended his range of work to performing fast paced illusions each with his own unique twist which has made him one of the most innovative magicians around. His inspiration to perform illusions came after seeing the work of America’s Kevin James. Starting modestly with his version of Robert Harbin’s chair suspension recently he has made a Ferrari vanish and an ice-cream van appear.

If you were watching the Paul O’Grady Show on the May Bank Holiday Monday you will have seen Sean perform an illusion using his assistant’s head in place of the ball and a bucket for the customary cup in an uproarious interpretation of the Cups & Balls alongside Paul’s other guests Robert Powell and Sandi Toksvig. His appearance on the show came about when fortunately for Sean his act was seen by the show’s producer. Even better news for Sean is that he has been asked act as the shows resident magician starting in October.

If you live if the Northamptonshire, Leicestershire, Coventry or Warwickshire you can listen to Sean doing magic on three radio stations on a regular basis. At the recent Trevor George Entertainer of the Year awards attended by cruise directors, entertainment journalists and industry specialist event bookers Sean was awarded Speciality Act of the Year 2009.

It is fitting that Sean should be making his debut at a British Ring Convention in Southport for it is the town where he was born and went to school and where he attended his first magic Convention. We are all looking forward to seeing and meeting Sean Heydon.

So here are three more profiles of magicians for you to see and what makes it worth your while to be at Southport September 23rd to 27th. Four days of continuous and varied magic for £125 (£100 if you are a British Ring member or their partner) makes it excellent value. Don’t procrastinate any longer. Make your registration today. You can do it from this website.

Every year a loyal band of members voluntarily give up some of their enjoyment of the Convention to act as Stewards. Two of these are Bob and Wendy Loomis. This year they are doing even more. They are members of the Wembley National Trust Centre and each year a group from the Centre holiday in various parts of the country. For the past ten years Wendy has made the travel arrangements for the group. This year their destination is Southport and its surrounding area leaving Wembley on 22nd September. It is not surprising remembering that Bob being the President, Treasurer and Secretary of the Association of International Magical Spectators (AIMS), that the final item on their itinerary on the Saturday night is a visit to the Southport Theatre for the International Magic Show. We hope that many more non-magicians will be joining the 40 enthusiasts who have travelled from Wembley for the magic.


Bob Hayden, British Ring PRO, August 2009. www.britishring.org.uk




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