Edinburgh Magic Festival is back and bigger than ever for 2017
- Henry Northmore
- 11 April 2017
Illusions, tricks, comedy and misdirection including a unique magic show in the dark from Juan Esteban Varela
The eighth MagicFest will be taking over Edinburgh from 30 June–7 July as the world's best illusionists descend on the capital. 2017's programme promises to be the biggest yet with more events than ever before. The festival will take advantage of the rich history of the city by partnering with Scottish Historic Buildings Trust, Edinburgh Museums & Galleries and Edinburgh World Heritage by bringing magic to several unique locations as their Secret Rooms take over Lauriston Castle, Riddle's Court and The Writer's Museum with special magical tours of these historic buildings.
Other highlights include the annual MagicFair: three packed days at Summerhall (30 Jun–2 Jul), with over 80 live magic shows. Morning sessions are aimed at kids, afternoons are for ages seven and up, while lates (7.30pm–11.30pm) are strictly 16+ with horror themes, mind control, dangerous stunts and pop up bars. From the Dark (Assembly Roxy, 2 Jul) promises a truly unique take on magic as the audience are blindfolded in this special sensory show originally developed for the blind by Chilean illusionist Juan Esteban Varela. The festival's grand finale Magic and Variety Gala has a Levitations theme at the Festival Theatre (8 July) with performances from Cubic Act (which Penn & Teller described as 'the best big illusion stage act we've ever seen!'), Aaron Crow, Les Chapeux Blancs and World Magic Champion Marko Karvo. Plus workshops, a magic school and solo shows from David Stone, Paul Wilson, Morgan & West, Dave Alnwick and Luke Eaton across the festival.
Organiser Kevin Quantum added: 'I'm delighted to see more Scottish performers than ever before on the lineup for 2017, many of whom, in the Secret Room performance, are creating new work inspired by Edinburgh, her history and past residents and celebrating the Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology. From overseas I'm hugely excited to announce the arrival of Chilean Juan Esteban Varela. Magicians have a real talent for problem solving, making the impossible possible. Magic is fundamentally a visual art form but Juan's "magic show in the dark" is truly ground-breaking, allowing us to reach an audience who have never experienced magic before, it's really heart-warming.'
MagicFest, various venues, Edinburgh, Fri 30 Jun–Sat 8 Jul