Conjuring up a simply magic convention

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ORGANISERS of the Northern Magic Circle’ annual convention are so pleased with this year’s event that they have promised to return to Scarborough next year.

An estimated 150 magicians attended the event at the Spa Complex over the weekend and Alan Mylecraine said that the 2012 convention was already booked.

Alan Mylecraine, the group’s spokesman, said: “The staff and the facilities that are at the Spa mean that we can hold it all under one roof.”

He added that the event had been well supported and had attracted magicians from across the world. He said: “We try to pick people that haven’t been seen very often.”

Luke Jermay, who has recently returned to the UK from Las Vegas after advising acts such as Penn and Teller and Derren Brown, said Scarborough was an ideal location.

He added: “I’ve never been here before but I am a big fan of seaside towns. That beach is amazing.”

He was speaking after giving a demonstration in close up magic – where he performed amazing feats of memory using ordinary objects such as a deck of cards.

One of his willing volunteers from the audience was Ros Jones from Ilkley in West Yorkshire. During the act she managed to sort a deck of cards into the right suits and in the correct order after making a set of apparently random choices.

She said she was amazed when she saw the result.

“To get them into the colours is one thing but to get them into the suits is another,” she said. “But to get them into the right order was totally amazing.”

She was at the convention with her 12-year-old son, Jonathan Dicken-Jones, who is an aspiring magician and member of the junior branch of the Northern Magic Circle.

He first became interested in conjuring when he bought a magic book during a rainy holiday about three and a half years ago.

Since then he has progressed to performing shows in front of children and for the elderly. He said: “I am really nervous before I go on stage. But you get on stage and you completely forget about the nerves.

“When you come off stage it’s like ‘wow’, It’s good being able to talk to other magicians. I’ve not seen any in quite a while.”

Tom Stone, a 43-year-old who had travelled to the event from his native Stockholm in Sweden, said he was pleased with the welcome he had received from people in the area.

He added: “The convention is like a brotherhood or fellowship. It’s a solo career – you work alone – so it’s very good to meet others like oneself.”

Will Houstoun, a 25-year-old magician from London, gave an impressive demonstration in close up magic – including coin tricks, card tricks and a painful looking display of finger bending.