73rd British Ring IBM Convention
23rd - 27th September 2009, Southport
Update 15, August 2009
Bob Hayden, British Ring PRO

Completing the line up of those performing in the International Close-up is Henry Mayol (photo). Henry is a big specialist in Close-up; his magic is simple, effective and completely unique to him. He is the complete professional artiste who always works with elegance, humour and poetry. He keeps surprising his audience with his never ending innovation capacity making him one of the cleverest creators of his generation. He will also be delivering a lecture, his experience making him an invaluable teacher in the magic community. He has also marketed many tricks and is the author of many works intended for professional magicians. You will be stimulated by the work of Henry Mayol and gain some new approaches to close-up magic from his lecture.

From the very first British Ring Convention held in Cheltenham in 1931 a show devised for the children of the host town has always been included in the programme of events. Although admission to the show is not included in the registration many of the Conventioneers like to attend the show and purchase a ticket. Previously the number of seats available has been limited due to the size of the venue and we have asked those wishing to attend to occupy the rear seats leaving those in the front for the children and their accompanying adults. This year Children’s Showtime is being staged in the Southport Theatre with ample space available. However if you do go please don’t bag the front seats.

The show this year has been devised and being produced by Clive Moore, who has assembled a strong and varied magical programme. Clive has experience in devising shows for children having been responsible for a similar kiddies show at the last two Northern Magic Circle annual convention.

Clive and Jean Ellison as Clivo and Jeani will be hosting the show. Over the past 30 years they have performed their magical clown act throughout the country from private parties in homes to large theatres picking up many awards for their work along the way one of which is The Lady Diana Award for their work with children’s charities.

And who will they be introducing? First there is Doug Gregg with his incredible wizardry. From an age of being six years old, for Doug magic has always been an involvement in his life. Following his success in winning with his colourful stage magic act ‘The Cock of the North’ award at the Leeds Magic Circle’s Northern Convention in1969 and the ‘Alistair wand’ in the British Ring stage competition in the same year he became the support act to many of the leading variety stars. In later years Doug has specialised in children’s entertainment and close-up magic and currently his work is directed solely to Cruise ships where he is employed as the children’s entertainer.

John Kimmons is the Magical Ventriloquist and has been performing professionally for over 25 years delighting family audiences with his unique blend of magic, comedy and ventriloquism. He is the first ever children’s entertainer to pick up the prestigious Ken Dodd award for Comedy and was awarded the title of ‘Children’s Entertainer World Champion in 2008 in Blackpool. John’s show moves at a lightening pace and is packed with stunning magic and ventriloquism routines. And you never know you may even get a sample of his extraordinary balloon modelling (he can do dolphins!).

With their illusion act based upon sibling rivalry, High Jinx (Michael and Siobhan Jordan) are an award winning Brother and Sister duo. T hey started working together in 2004 when they created an illusion act for the Young magicians Club stage competition which they won. Since then they have continued to build on that act which they have performed not only at the massive Blackpool Opera House but for the delegates attending the Convention of the Society of American Magicians in Boston. In 2007 their act won the British Ring Shield in the stage competition. Michael at eighteen years old is already an accomplished Magician, Unicyclist, Juggler, Illusionist, Fire Eater and Guitarist. Siobhan is a brilliant actress and has appeared in a number of productions of the Huddersfield Thespians, a very proficient cornet player (a member of Halifax Concert band) as well as an excellent Illusionist and Magician. Both are members of The Magic Circle. Earlier this year they toured for Bourne Leisure, appeared at the Buxton Fringe Show and the Avalanche Dodgers Summer Spectacular plus an appearance with Thomas the Tank Engine.

Closing the show is Richard Cadell with the country’s most beloved puppet Sooty. For nine years Richard has been the hand of Sooty taking over from Matthew Corbett when he retired in 2000. Sooty will of course be accompanied by Sweep and Soo and Richard is planning to use the background of the original set of houses of Harry Corbett, Sooty’s creator, in the early black and white TV programmes. For the past eight years Richard has been Sooty’s presenter, during which period he has updated the gang for a new younger generation with a new look TV series with them running the “Sooty Heights” hotel. A brand new TV series is in development where the emphasis is going back to the early inspirations of Harry and Matthew Corbett. This is not the first time Sooty has appeared at a British Ring Convention. In the Gala Show of the 1955 Convention one of the acts appearing was none other than Sooty with Harry Corbett. How many of you were at that Southport Convention and can remember seeing them?

As at every Children’s Showtime outside the Theatre will be the colourful giggle of IBM Clowns to welcome the children as they arrive with a host of zany antics to ensure that they immediately have the time of their lives. Likewise they will still be there as they leave to say goodbye and wish them a safe journey home.

Tickets at for the show £8 for adults and £6 for children can be obtained from the Southport Theatre Box Office.

Julie llusion has made a great choice of Speaker for the Ladies Afternoon on Friday. It will be theatrical impresario Duggie Chapman MBE who will be giving his film show/talk ‘From Musical to Variety’. He started in show business 60 years ago and is one of the UK’s leading promoters specialising in the art of music hall, variety and traditional pantomime. His star studded shows play to packed houses throughout the UK year after year. Duggie has recently been awarded the MBE for his services to Light Entertainment in the Queen’s birthday honours. In his talk he will be recalling some of the great variety stars in a nostalgic trip down memory lane. Duggie’s love of the Music hall is evident in his excellent narrative which he includes before each film clip. After reading about Duggie’s impending talk in the Budget it has come to the attention of the convention organising committee that many male Conventioneers are so anxious to attend this presentation that they are prepared to become cross dressers in a frantic attempt to do so. Don’t try it chaps as the stewards will deny you access. The afternoon starts at 2.00pm prompt in the Lakeside Suite of the Floral Hall with tea being served at 2.15pm. Ladies ensure that your partner applies for your ticket when he makes his and your registration.

Remember the Convention starts in just over a month’s time so there is still time to make your registration and join your fellow wizards for four days of watching and learning from some of the worlds headline magicians who will be there whose magic and advice will stimulate you and encourage you to raise the standard of your own performance and at the same time of having the opportunity to socialising with one another.


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




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