Every year the British Ring of the International Brotherhood of Magicians holds a convention, and this years’ was in Southport. At the convention they hold their annual stage competition, and we decided to take part.
This was Jay’s first IBM convention, and Amelia’s first for ten years, so it was a whole new experience for us. On Thursday we picked up our registration packs. There was a very relaxed pace to the convention, leaving lots of time to catch up with friends. We enjoyed the Thursday night micro marathon and the cabaret show. Friday was fun, and we saw some good magic in close up competition.
Saturday was taken up with the stage competition. All the acts were given twenty minutes in the afternoon to go through their sound and lighting, and we had just enough time to do a run through of our routine. We got talking to another of the competitors, Jason & Joanne and had a lovely chat with them.
The evening was spent backstage, getting into costume and setting up all the props. There were ten competitors in all, and we were sixth, which meant that we were the first act after the interval. It was a strange feeling, partly nervous at going on stage in front of hundreds of magicians, but partly calm, knowing that we would just get up there and do our best. The ten minutes we were on stage seemed to pass very quickly. The routine went well, and we could just about hear the audience clapping at the relevant points. We came offstage exhausted, but happy that we had done a good performance.
We were backstage with the other acts as the winners were announced. The first stage competition result to be announced was the Dittia Shield for Manipulation, and we were absolutely stunned when the name read out was Elemental! We went up and collected our trophy, and waited as the other trophies were presented. We could hardly believe it when we heard our name called out again; we had been awarded the Theo Speaker Cup for second place in the competition.
This Friday Elemental will be performing at the newly refurbished Theatr Colwyn. The theatre has recently reopened after refurbishment, as detailed in this BBC News article.
The show stars Chenille duo, Crazy Catz stars of the future and Wil Ty Hapus as the compere.
We will be doing two spots in the show, one in each half. Our second act will be an extended version of the routine that won the manipulation award at the recent International Brotherhood of Magicians British Ring convention in Southport.
Tickets cost £6 (£5 for concessions), and all proceeds will go to Happy Faces Children’s Charity.
This summer, we’ve spent most weekends outside in Rhos on Sea and Conwy, with Costro’s World of Magicka and Mysticism.
Although we’ve done close up magic before, on the streets at the Llandudno Victorian Extravaganza; doing whole shows outside was completely new to us. We’ve learnt a whole new set of skills – how to draw in a crowd, picking tricks that are very visual and various other street theatre skills. The show developed with every performance, and evolved to fit the changing nature of each new crowd. Costro has started learning how to juggle, and Eleri is learning how to spin poi.
We met some great people, and we’re really looking forward to working with them again:
Our website has had a redesign, and the new version is now online.
The website now includes details of our newest act, Costro’s World of Magicka & Mysticism; as well as more information on our existing acts – Elemental, Absolute Magic and Jay Gatling’s close up.
Head over to www.gatlingmagic.co.uk to see the new site.
We do a lot of work with Happy Faces, and many of our stage performances are as part of their fundraising shows.
Happy Faces was founded in 2003 with the aim of raising money to help sick, disabled and disadvantaged children across north Wales.
Their many fundraising activities include bucket collections at supermarkets and shopping precincts; jumble sales and car boot sales; sponsored walks and a team in the London Marathon each year. Happy Faces also have a small shop in Rhos on Sea.
Another of their fundraising activities is their cabaret and theatre shows. Taking place all across north Wales, these shows help to raise money for the charity, whilst also providing a good evening’s entertainment.
Every Christmas, Happy Faces organise a party where each child gets to meet Father Christmas and receives a present. Entertainment is provided, as well as a disco and a meal.
Happy Face’s other work includes purchasing items such as touch screen pads, sensory equipment, wheelchairs and computers. They also provide help towards holidays and garden makeovers, as well as taking children on days out to zoos and theme parks. They have purchased several mini buses for local schools.
We’ve been working with Happy Faces since 2009 – our very first public performance was at one of their fundraising shows in Theatre Colwyn. Since then we’ve joined the cast of their shows in Llandudno town hall, and are currently in the middle of our third summer season.
We’re very proud to work with Happy Faces, and are glad that we are able to support them in their fundraising.
For more information on Happy Faces, please visit their website , or call Ray Herbert on 01492 518537