Last weekend we went to the North Wales Magic Circle annual dinner at the Springfield hotel near Holywell. It’s a great chance to catch up with magic friends.
The food was good, and the cabaret very entertaining: Mark James, Steve Hewlett and Guy Barrett. The Griffin awards were presented, well done to everyone who won!
At the end of the evening the current president Ged handed over the chain of office to the new presidents for 2011 – Stuart and Jayne of Safire. It’s the first time in the history of the NWMC that we’ve had joint presidents. Hopefully the upcoming year will be a great one for both them and the North Wales Magic Circle.
Last weekend we took a trip to London. After our success at the IBM British Ring Shield Competition, we were invited to perform at The Centre for The Magic Arts – better known as the headquarters of the Magic Circle.
The Magic Circle has a junior section called the Young Magicians Club, whose members range from 10 to 18 years old. Each year they hold a one-day convention for the YMC, called J-Day, and we were asked to perform in the evening show.
We got to London late on Saturday evening, so sadly we didn’t have much chance to see the sights. On Sunday we made our way over to the Magic Circle with all of our props. From the outside, it just looks like an ordinary building, but once we stepped in through the doors, it was a completely different world.
The first thing that we saw was the amazing circular staircase, with scenes from the history of magic painted all along the walls. We were given a guided tour of the building, starting in the basement where the library and museum are. On the ground floor is the club room, then one floor up is the Devant room (named after the first president of the Magic Circle). Up one more floor is the theatre. There are posters of magicians everywhere, and scattered throughout the building are small display cases with pieces of magic history.
J-Day itself was made up of lectures, visits to the magic dealers, stage and close up magic competitions, and an interview with TV magician Dynamo; then the stage show itself in the evening. Jay was one of the judges for the stage competition, along with former president of the Magic Circle, Alan Shaxon, and Dynamo.
It was a whirlwind of a day, with so many things going on, and talking to so many people.
Read the report of the day on the Magic Circle website or the Young Magicians Club website.
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.