The article is reproduced here by kind permission of Key Ring magazine and their editor Geoffrey Newton.
For more information on the British Ring, visit their website www.britishring.org.uk
THE PEOPLEPAGE James and Sarah Dickson (known as Jay Gatling and Amelia)
Wizardry in Wales by Geoffrey NEWTON
I was trolling through the membership list the other day and found that James and Sarah Dickson of North Wales are both members of The British Ring. Granted they are not alone in this, but it is quite rare amongst the several hundred people in our society. I am very pleased to see this husband and wife team supporting us in such a manner. Their name was already familiar to me due to their success in winning the Theo Speaker Cup and Dittia Shield for Manipulation at the 2011 Southport convention. As a direct result of this I booked their act as seen for a subsequent dinner at The Order of The Magi, in my alter ego capacity as PRO there. See it pays to enter competitions so please pay heed and have a go yourself next year.
Although James originates from Kent, Sarah was born in North Wales. They became (then unknown to each other) interested in magic via different routes. James from a book on card tricks and Sarah having seen a magician perform at a Christmas pantomime in her home town of Rhyl. They met at North Wales Magic Circle and made their first performance together with ‘Elemental’ in 2008 winning the NWMC competition. The following year they had a summer season in Llandudno, honing this act to perfection and winning their local society competition again in 2010. This clearly had urged them to have a go at the IBM competition.
James and Sarah married in 2014 with a reception full of magic, with performances by many of the North Wales society members and even adding their own digital dexterity as part of the celebration.
Jay and Amelia (I’ll call them by that name from now on) are both actively involved in the Llandudno Victorian Extravaganza, held over the first May Bank Holiday and which will be celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2016. There are daily parades throughout the event with many people entering into the spirit by wearing Victorian costume. Jay presents mix and mingle magic and the two perform on the various stages in Mostyn Street which is specially closed off for the weekend. According to what I have read it is clearly a very popular event, proved by the large numbers who attend.
I had to ask about any disasters but luckily they generally seemed to have escaped these so far. A near miss though has come their way on a couple of occasions. Once when the wrong music was playing, fortunately Jay knew the piece so battled through with no one any the wiser. The other was when Amelia forgot to unpack the Losender floating table and Jay was on stage performing with just one minute to it being needed. Talk about a high speed prop set. She just made it and Jay knew nothing of the panic until he had finished the act.
Amelia told me of her most exciting performance, on the stage of the Rhyl Pavilion when they were the interval act whilst the judges were adjudicating at the Welsh Factor competition. It happened to be the very stage where she had seen a magician all those years ago and which had hooked her into magic in the first place. Jay has another interest, as a trained swordsman and he presents sword displays with a friend Erwyd le Fol. Their performances are appropriately called ‘Two the Hilt’. I bet he can do a great Card Sword or Sword through Neck!
I have a few more people in the pipeline to write about, so keep reading as it is amazing what you learn about your fellow members.