Magician lines up ‘mindblowing’ bus illusion at depot

HOT on the heels of First Bus, who recently made a host of their buses disappear, rivals Lothian Buses could be set to see some of their own vehicles vanish in a puff of smoke – with the help of Edinburgh MagicFest.

MagicFest organiser Kevin McMahon has announced plans to launch proceedings at the Lothian Buses depot for what he promises will be one of the biggest illusions ever attempted in Scotland.

A select group of 30 supporters and sponsors will be taken to the depot on April 26, where McMahon will perform an illusion designed to “blow people’s minds”.

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But the magician, from Dalry, refused to be drawn on whether a bus was his intended prop.

He said: “Magic is all about the element of surprise, so I can’t reveal exactly what the illusion will be, but I’m sure it will be the biggest to ever happen in Scotland. The illusion will really blow people’s minds. It will be beautiful to watch as well as spectacular.”

The former Heriot Watt research scientist only got into magic seven years ago after appearing on the hit Channel 4 TV programme, Faking It.

He left his lectures for London to fake it as a top magician and after four weeks decided to trade in his lab coat for a magician’s cloak.

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The 31-year-old, who was accepted into the famed Magic Circle in 2007, said: “Much to my mother’s dismay, I packed in my studies and became a full-time magician.

“Magic completely changed my life and I hope that maybe MagicFest could have the same effect on someone else too.”

However, fans without a ticket shouldn’t worry as a film of the spectacle will be posted on YouTube soon after.

MagicFest, which takes place from June 29 to July 6, will see more than 20 magicians perform 80 shows in just eight days around the city. Last year’s festival received rave reviews and brought live magic to more than 5000 people, double the number since its launch in 2010.

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This year’s festival will feature a mix of classic and close-up magic and mindreading. In response to last year’s sell-out Magic & Variety Gala Opening night, there will also be an afternoon gala preview, offering spectators the chance to see many of the world’s finest magicians for just £10.

Kevin’s wife and MagicFest managing director, Svetlana, said: “We believe magic is at its best when seen live on stage with your own eyes, and ticket sales show the public agree. Half of the evening tickets for the gala opening night have now gone, which is a tremendous achievement considering we have yet to announce the full line-up.”

Kevin added: “Kids are increasingly getting more and more interested in magic thanks to TV shows such as Penn and Teller and Dynamo, plus Harry Potter.

“Each year the festival just gets bigger and bigger and we hope to continue that trend this year.”

Tickets for MagicFest are available online at or by calling Hub Tickets on 0131-473 2000.

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