74th British Ring IBM Convention
22nd - 26th September 2010, Eastbourne
Update 6, May 2010
Bob Hayden, British Ring PRO
It is not often that we have two top magicians from Canada appearing in our Convention. This year Richard Forget and Matthew Johnson are making the journey across the pond to be with us in Eastbourne. Richard was born and raised in Toronto while Matthew is an ex-pat who immigrated to Vancouver 12 years ago.
It was 8 years ago that we first saw Richard perform when he closed the first half of the Saturday night headline show. Reporting in the Budget on Richard’s performance Elizabeth Warlock wrote ‘he performed some attention grabbing magic but it was his production of a girl from a telephone stand that brought gasps of amazement from the audience’. Last year at the I.B.M. Convention in Nashville Tennessee he was the winner of the Stage competition with his latest act ‘News of the World’. John Pye had arranged with the organisers of the competition that the winner would be invited to appear at the 2010 British Ring Convention allowing us to see once again the magic of Richard Forget.
Despite having a background in advertising Richard never wanted to do anything else than be a magician. He knew his vocation in life was to be standing in a spotlight entertaining audiences around the world.
From the very beginning of his professional life Richard has drawn his inspiration from a multitude of magicians none more so than fellow Canadian Doug Henning. But having his own style has been Richard’s mantra throughout his career. He figured it was OK having influences but it’s more important to take those influences and find one’s own style and presentation. Being tall was something he could exploit, discovering his stage style was that of the leading man.
The first act he evolved was a ‘bird act’ but unfortunately he developed a serious allergy to birds. So it was goodbye to the birds and what emerged was an act that was to take him around the world without the trouble of travelling with livestock. From the start he wanted to bring his creative drive to the art of crafting and performing his own illusions. By mastering the skill of construction he now invents and constructs almost all the effects he performs. The methods Richard uses are rare in the world of magic but he constantly works on new ways and innovations that sometimes surprise even him. Welcome back Richard!
Matthew Johnson has been performing magic for 17 years which has taken him around the world. His start in magic was as a 7 year old when surprise, surprise he was given as a present a magic set. This infected him with the magic bug which led him to study through his teen years under some of England’s most elite magicians and devote hours of his time to practice and dedication.
Before settling in Vancouver 12 years ago Matthew had a 2 year contract aboard a P & O European Cruise Line and an extended 2 year contract at the Hilton Hotel in Nagoya Japan.
It was in Vancouver that he came to prominence becoming one of British Colombia’s most versatile, busiest (and funniest) comedy magicians. He performs for children, adults and everybody in between (even those dreaded teenagers!). His range of engagements include Children’s Birthday parties, large scale Banquets, corporate events, stage shows, strolling entertainment including street performances, act as master of Ceremonies and a Balloon artiste having the ability to match every performance to his particular client’s needs. He has even performed his signature YMCA mind reading act to those attending ‘Mindvention’ the largest gathering of mind readers in Las Vegas. It was an act he expected a Mentalist crowd would find very difficult to understand. Whether they did or not appears not to have been recorded. Is there anything this comedy magician can’t tackle?
He is proud to have been voted by his peers both British Columbia’s Parlour and Family Entertainer of the Year in a comparative short period of time after arriving in Vancouver. Quite an achievement for a new kid on the block!
At Eastbourne you will see Matthew performing both on stage and in the International Close-up Gala as well as giving a lecture. A passion of his is to teach his brand of magic to magicians and magic clubs. By doing so he feels he has come full circle and is able to give back something to the art of magic that he loves so much.
Matthew has issued a number of notable DVD’s, his ‘Any Card at Any Number’ especially receiving excellent reviews. Another has the intriguing title of ‘The Naked Mind Reader Magician’ described as the perfect routine for an adult audience.
Welcome back to these shores Matthew Johnson. We are anxious to see your many varied talents.
If you are into magic without doubt the place for you to be September 22nd- 26th is Eastbourne for the 74th British Ring Convention. Here we have profiled just two of the magicians who will be there. So why don’t you also be there by making your registration today!
Bob Hayden, British Ring PRO, May 2010. www.britishring.org.uk