Okay, today’s launch of the Edinburgh International Magic Festival (as reported elsewhere) might not exactly have lived up to its hype, and it might have left many a bit bewildered. How to convince your audience that you’ve made a bus disappear when you don’t really show that the bus is there in the first place?
But more importantly, this year’s festival is now fully revealed, and builds on last year’s success with an expanded programme – more events, more performers (30 of them, from eight countries), and more for kids to get involved in, at venues all over the city.
The Magic School for 7 to 10-year-olds is now a five-day event, allowing kids the chance to get in-depth knowledge on levitating their friends and making objects disappear. And for anyone who just wants a taster, there are one-off Magic School sessions too.
Older budding magicians (aged 11 to 14) have their own event in Javier Jarquin’s Street Magic Masterclass which promises to reveal the secrets of card tricks and close-up sleight of hand.
Children are also welcome at the opening-night Magic and Variety Gala Show at the Lyceum Theatre, which showcases illusion, clowning, Chinese tricks and black art magic with performers from Ukraine, France, Germany, Italy alongside Scotland’s Drew McAdam and Vox Motus theatre company.
Elsewhere, individual magicians demonstrate their talents, including return visits from close-up experts Lewis Barlow and Michael Neto, and comedy magic from Colin McLeod, Gavin Oattes and festival artistic director Kevin McMahon, among many others.
McMahon said: ‘I’m often asked how the Magic Festival fits in with Edinburgh’s other arts festivals. Magic is the art of the impossible, and it demonstrates the the human soul has the capability to rise above the forces of nature and flourish. It is the artistic example that any impossible challenge can be overcome.’
See this year’s Edinburgh International Magic Festival events for yourself at www.magicfest.co.uk.
Photos by Thomas Haywood