1st Lincolnshire Day of Magic
In association with Magic Books By Post

Sunday 26th June 2010
Overlooked by Al Smith

Held at the Washingborough Community Centre, just outside Lincoln City, this was a well-stocked day of magic. Plenty of dealers, five solid lecturers and a substantial number of conventioneers. I didnít attempt a survey, but a quick head-count at just one of the lectures puts my guess at 150, at least.

As a first attempt, this was a good effort and should serve as a decent blueprint for the already planned second convention on Sunday 26th June 2011.

A nice touch was a complementary cup of tea/coffee/juice and a bacon buttie to start the proceedings. Not so thrilling if you donít eat meat, of course(!) but definitely a nice touch. And because I declined the buttie, I received a bonus cuppa. During the lectures the dealers had their own complimentary nosh-up.

Anyway, nice though all this might be, the rest of the dayóthe magicóis the real meat/salad.

Open only to those who pre-booked, the first session began at 9am before the convention-proper began. This was a lecture-dem by Adrian Sullivan and because it was open only to pre-bookers, I missed it, but according to reports it was a well-received mix of allsorts.

First up in the official program(sic) was Michael Vincent, (billed as Mike on the website adverts) with his Tapestry Of Deception lecture. Iíve seen this twice before, once live and once on DVD. Live is best. The recording is good, but it doesnít do it justice.

Mister Vincent is a highly-skilled technician, but the technique is masked by his presentational skills. The skill that hides skill, as somebody once said. Shakespeare, I think. Or was it Marlowe? This is the essence of Tapestry Of Deception, directing and controlling the attention of the spectators before the trick begins as well as during. Iím nor at all sure itís quite as easy as Mister Vincent makes it sound and look, but his enthusiasm is infectious. I almost wanted to take up card tricks as a result of seeing Card To Pocket and Two Card Monte. Almost.

Following what the dealers hoped would be a spending break, we were introduced to Dynamo; by his own admission heís not a pure lecturer and so offered more of an informal natter than a tutorial. Iíve certainly never come across this opening line: ďIs there anything youíve seen me do on You Tube that youíd like me to do here?Ē And, of course, there was. And he did. It was all cards, but with lots of anecdotal chatter about his TV and live work. This is not quite my cup of tea, but being a magic fan, I found it an easy listen and enjoyable.

The session ended with a sort-of interview conducted by Paul Cooke of Magic Books By Post. In reality this was more of the same. No tricks, simply Dynamo recounting some of his adventures.

After one more spending break, John Archer took the platform. This is also material Iíve seen before, live and on DVD and live, as ever, is best. Although not quite as casual as Dynamo, Mister Archerís demeanour is very informal and he gets his message across. Well thought out methods that anyone can adopt and adapt, accompanied by and fully Archerised presentations that suit only one person. His take on the Kenton Knepper effect Kollosall Killer is the best Iíve seenóI havenít seen them, all, of course it very niftily gets around the blaring weakness of the near-miss factor of the original.

After the final spending break, Paul Gordon set up shop in one of the anterooms. In what the programme described as a lecture/workshop, Paul served up his trademark Cool Card Stuff (one of his books). It was intimate stuff, but the room was packed as Paul demonstrated a balanced mix of card trickery, relying more on smooth competent handling than heavyweight sleight of hand. I saw Paul lecture a few weeks ago in Derby (reported elsewhere in these pages) and can only echo what I said then. This may ďonlyĒ be card tricks, but itís solid, practical material, delivered with energy.

The dealer display was considerable, even if the number of DVDs threatened to smother everyone in sight. And although I have the programme, not all the dealers are listed, so Iíll just mention a few that spring to mind. Magic Books By Post, of course, with an impressive display of books, a splendid counterpoint to the DVDs. The lecturers each had a table, as did Merlins Of Wakefield, Andrew Normansell, Magic Attic, Kaymar, Magic Tao, Alexander Allen. More? Yes, but at this distanceóit was yesterday after allóI canít bring them to mind.

Summing up, and repeating what I said at the top of this ramble, as a first attempt, this was a good effort and although the second attempt is a year away, itís worth noting the date.

© A. E. Smith, June 2010




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