Edinburgh International Magic Festival boasts black magic, mime and masterclasses
- Lauren Mayberry
- 25 June 2012
Street Magic Masterclasses and Magic School among a host of other wizard delights
Edinburgh International Magic Festival Various venues, Edinburgh, Fri 29 Jun–Fri 6 Jul
Magic has come a long way since the semi-cringe days of Paul Daniels and Debbie McGee, with hip magicians like David Blaine and Derren Brown (and Harry Potter?) changing the way we look at modern-day illusionists. The Edinburgh International Magic Festival caters for magic-lovers of all ages, with 30 different performers from eight countries across Europe.
The Magic and Variety Gala Show (Fri 29 Jun, Royal Lyceum Theatre) marks the opening night, with a selection of the world’s premier magicians. Les Chapeaux Blancs are a unique visual act hailing from France, making black art magic in a truly modern way, while fellow countryman Pierre Xamin resurrects the ancient Chinese dramatic art of ‘Changing Face’. Ukraine’s Voronin is described as ‘Dracula-cum-Casanova’, mesmerising crowds with smoke/mirrors, mime and illusion (and flirtation). Jeton offers an unconventional take on juggling, whilst Scotland’s Drew McAdam – who you might recognise from the telly, ken – can read minds and control thoughts. Eye contact avoidance recommended.
Voyageurs Egarés – An Unavoidable Trip Into an Imaginary World (Sat 30 Jul) is the UK premier of a production by French group Les Z’enfants Terribles, combining comedy with black magic in a tale of adventure to undiscovered realms. Those in the mood for a tastier night out might be interested in the Magic Dinner (Sat 1 Jul, Royal Scots Club) – three courses accompanied by magical cabaret and mentalist Colin McLeod and close-up magicians Billy Reid.
Youngsters can head to Magic School (Sat 30 Jun–Fri 6 Jul, Sandeman House), broken down into age-appropriate classes taught over a series of drop-ins or a longer course. The Scottish Storytelling Centre will also host a Street Magic Masterclass (Sun 1 & Mon 2 Jul). For a full list of events, download a brochure from the festival website.