A short look back at the annual jaunt to Blackpool. Once again it was a truly memorable occasion. Congratulations to Harry Dewhirst and his cohorts, who seem to have really come to grips with the organisation of what is turning into an event that nobody can really afford to miss. This year, in addition to an excellent magic show, we had as an added bonus an hour and a half of Ken Dodd in cracking form. What an object lesson in showmanship he gave us. Great stuff! 906
Of most interest to Pabular readers, was the close-up. Eight performers took part, but because of the numbers present and the time allowed, any conventioneer only saw four. This meant some disappointments for some people. I was looking forward to seeing Ali Bongo do close-up. Although I have appeared with him many times it is all of twenty years since I last had a chance to watch him. This year I did not get the chance either. On the other hand, I did get to see Ger Copper, with a slick,- elegant manipulative style of working. Very continental in approach, he made a big impression, with his cups and balls and coin work. Also his good looks and pleasant manner.
Brian Glover, an occasional contributor to this magazine, offered some smooth card work. Brian has some good ideas, perhaps he will let us have some more one day? Pat Conway, followed and featured his famous rope routine. He also had a very baffling item with matchboxes and drawing pins, which had the boys guessing. Finally Harry Nichols bounced in with more or less the same act that won him the competition at Brighton. Harry is a very lively and entertaining performer. He certainly made a big impression on the lady, who was assisting him. His was, to my mind, the most commercial performance that we saw at our table. In the distance I could see Bob Little with his bashed up cups and thumb tips and Piet Forton, dressed as a jester and accompanying himself on the penny whistle or some such instrument.
The winner of the Magic Circle competition this year was Roger Crosthwaite. Roger made a big impression in the sixties, with his series in the Gen. He then seemed to keep a low profile for a number of years although I did occasionally meet him when he came to town. Recently he went to America for a year and spent a lot of time at the Magic Castle. Well, Roger has now burst back onto the magic scene and is making a very big impact wherever he appears. He has recently recorded some video material for Joe Riding and is currently resident magician at the Elms Hotel, Worcester.
The good news is that Roger has sent us a wealth of top class, commercial, close-up magic, which will be appearing in these pages shortly. Do not miss it.
Bob Read recently shot across the Atlantic for a one night stand. Not for a magical audience but to entertain the lay public. As usual he stormed them. Well done Bob! It is nice to know, that with all the talent and experience that they have over there, there are still a few British lads who have something to offer.
We have been very lucky to secure a number of items from Dick Turpin. Dick is one of magic's real characters. Now in his seventies, he has spent a whole lifetime busking in the London area. Often working under the most appalling conditions, Dick has learned his magic the hard way. The tricks that he has given, have been explained in great detail, so that the important points have not been missed out. Study the one in this issue paying particular attention to the finer details. You will learn a lot about magic.
Finally, how nice it was to see Ken Brooke making a brief comeback at Blackpool. Ken always was one of the best in the business. It is nice to know of his trip to the U.S.A. to be honoured by The Magic Castle.
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