Edinburgh International Magic Festival 2013 - highlights
Fourth edition of the Festival features Paul Wilson, Luke Jermay and Morgan & West
Edinburgh International Magic Festival pops up at the end of June for the fourth time, aiming to pull magic off the telly and put it back where it belongs: on stage. Spanning close-up magic, stage illusion and mentalism, the eight-day programme attempts to mess with your sensory system, walk your attention around like a marionette and have you oohing and ahhing like a four year old.
Paul Wilson of the BBC’s Real Hustle takes a night off from teaching poker cons for an intimate sleight of hand performance (Point Hotel, Wed 3 Jul), while things get grand at the Magic and Variety Gala Show (Lyceum Theatre, Fri 28 Jun) with a line-up including Morgan & West (the time-travelling Victorians), Piff the Magic Dragon (a droll, dragon-costumed Chihuahua owner) and Charlie Mag, who tosses out doves and confetti like it ain’t no thang.
Those too old for an invitation to Hogwarts can venture to the Scottish Storytelling Centre, where Luke Jermay (creative consultant to Derren Brown) and Ali Cook hold court all week, conducting unsettling, mind-probing mentalism. Grown-ups who like their magic sassy should enjoy the Four Nations Magic Off, as acts vie for top spot with a combination of comedic and phalangeal dexterity (Voodoo Rooms, Fri 5 Jul).
If you haven’t yet mastered conjuring gold coins out of thin air, there are a few free sneaky peeks on offer too. The Royal Mile acts as a street stage for the performers, and you can also throw on a sequined vest and join them for a drink at the MagicFest (Point Hotel, Thu 4 July). After all, magic tricks get even more impressive when sloshed. But do remember to keep a close eye on your belongings: you never know what might be pulled out of a hat.
Various venues, Edinburgh, Fri 28 Jun–Fri 5 Jul