74th British Ring IBM Convention
22nd - 26th September 2010, Eastbourne
Update 14, July 2010
Bob Hayden, British Ring PRO
Having to face an audience, some possibly with drooping eyelids, who already have enjoyed a packed day of magic, to be the compere of the Late Late Gala starting around 10.30pm must be a daunting task. Not so for this year’s compere. Why? It’s Danny Buckler. Everybody is alert and there is no nodding off when he’s on stage!
Danny is one of Great Britain’s fastest rising stars of comedy and magic with a unique style that has taken him in a comparatively short period of time around the world. Danny fell in love with performing almost as soon as he could walk but it was at college, when called upon to perform a self devised piece as part of a drama course that he realised this was something he could do in his life. He began his career in the mid nineties as a magician working the shop floor in Harrods. From there he worked his way up through London’s tough comedy circuit all the top venues including Jongleurs and the Comedy Store. He also worked as a TV warm up artist on shows as Channel Four's hard hitting show ‘Is this your Life’ and the award winning sitcom ‘Dinner Ladies’.
He was soon invited to perform at private functions for celebrities like Liam Gallagher, Bruce Willis and the Sultan of Brunei. Victoria Wood was particularly impressed with Danny’s work and asked him to be the opening act on her sell-out 2001 national tour. His top magical moment came when he was asked to perform with Victoria and Imelda Staughnton as part of the show ‘Victoria Wood and Friends’ at London’s Adelphie Theatre. In 2003 he teamed up with fellow magician Mandy Mullen to bring their show ‘Two Funny Magicians’ to the Edinburgh Fringe. There conjuring remained the mainstay of his act but more recently he has opted more for a story telling approach.
This will be Danny Buckler’s first appearance at a British Ring Convention but it is doubtful if it will be the last. One of the acts he will be introducing in the Late Late Gala is Ian Keable.
Ian Keable has been a professional magician for 20 years. His act is described as a mix of comedy and magic combined with mind reading. He specialises in good natured friendly audience participation.
Before becoming a professional entertainer Ian was an accountant. So rather than adding up numbers he found himself predicting them. In developing his act he was influenced by many magicians, particularly Paul Daniels and Billy McComb. He honed his comedic skills in the Comedy clubs of London working with the likes of Jack Dee, Frank Skinner and Harry Hill. When he walks on stage he looks more like a business man than a magician and finds this works for him as the audience aren’t expecting him to be funny. One of his heroes is the vaudeville magician. Emil Jarrow who according to Dai Vernon was one of the few who combined sleight of hand magic with belly laughs.
Over the years Ian has made a number of television appearances the first of which and probably the most memorable one was New Faces in 1987, where he came second in his heat. His last television show was on Channel Five’s The Big Stage hosted by Bradley Walsh.
Apart from corporate work, Ian is presently concentrating on touring his one man comedy and magic shows. His first was ‘Conjuring Up Comedy’ in which he explained, with a mixture of anecdotes, jokes and magic how he changed from being an accountant to a magical comedian. In his second show ‘Nothing Up My Sleeve’ he talks about and demonstrates some of the techniques he uses to mystify his audience as well as performing different branches of magic such as reading minds, sleight of hand of close-up magic and comedy magic
Ian has written a well received book on comedy magic called ‘Stand Up, Professional Guide to Comedy Magic’. It is a book that looks in detail at the performing skills and techniques of some of the top comedy magicians around such as, MacKing, Paul Daniels and Michael Finney ; and sets out in detail how you can apply them yourself to improve your own comedy magic. Just some of the subjects covered in this step-by-step manual are:
• Finding your character
• The underlying techniques of audience participation
• The crucial difference between ‘lines’ and ‘jokes’
• The five ways to S-C-R-A-P all unfunny lines
• Refining patter with the use of call backs, topping the gag, converting laughter to magic etc
• Selecting the right assistants and using them correctly
• Structuring an act
• Coping with heckling and ‘dying the death’ on stage
• How to find work and earn a living from Stand-up
This is a book you must have if you are serious in wanting to do stand-up comedy magic. (www.iankeable.co.uk/books)
Apart from performing in the Late Late Gala Ian will also be delivering a lecture, which he has especially devised for the Convention on the Classics of Magic. Included, however, will be plenty of references about how you can improve your comedy technique. Make sure you don’t miss this lecture in the Gold Room of Eastbourne’s Winter Garden on Saturday afternoon.
The comedy magic of Danny Buckner, Ian Keable, The Great Nardini, the comedy vent Steve Hewlett and the glamour and magic of Yogane the Late Late Gala will not have anyone dozing off.
We learn from Steve Evans, the organiser of the Close-up Competition that this year’s line-up of competitors is very healthy. He also advises that there is still room for two further entrants. If you want to do so you will have to be quick as entry time for the competition will close on 23rd July. So if you are a fully paid up member of the British Ring and are registering for the whole Convention and are interested in entering the Competition for the Zina Bennett Trophy and handsome cash prizes get in touch with Steve immediately on 07900 191958 or by e.mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bob Hayden, British Ring PRO, July 2010. www.britishring.org.uk