Edinburgh’s MagicFest Returns

Kevin McMahon, director of the Edinburgh International Magic Festival Picture: Colin Hattersley
Kevin McMahon, director of the Edinburgh International Magic Festival Picture: Colin Hattersley
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SEEKERS of wonder and amazement are being invited to ‘lose themselves in magic’ this summer, when the seventh Edinburgh International Magic Festival brings a host of world-class magicians and illusionists to the Capital in July.

Announcing the programme of shows, which are now on sale, Kevin McMahon, artistic director says, “This year we have arguably one of the greatest living legends in magic, Juan Tamariz, and one of the greatest up-and-coming stars, Hector Mancha, both featuring at the Festival. “It’s our biggest line-up to date with the launch of MagicFair, free entry for under 7s, and the addition of a matinee performance at the gala show, allowing us to share magic and its top stars with more people than ever before. Watch out for surprises around the city, too.”

Highlights of this year’s event, which runs from July 1-8, include one-off performances from Juan Tamariz (July 9, George Square Theatre).

The renowned Spanish magician, nicknamed El Maestro, joins MagicFest for the first time having appeared on the biggest stages around the world, seducing audiences with his misdirection, manipulation and befuddling card tricks.

The slowing of time is just one of the illusions Kevin Quantum has lined up for the Scottish Storytelling Centre on July 4. The magician/scientist hybrid Quantum’s brand-new show Illuminations is a showcase of stunning light-based illusions. Expect to see floating will-o’-the-wisps above your head and the creation of a rainbow live on stage.

For two night’s only, local mentalist Colin Cloud (July 1-3, Summerhall) will attempt to survive a lethal injection, inviting the audience to join him after the show on the streets of Edinburgh in search of the life-saving antidote.

Colin says, “Every year I work incredibly hard to write, create and perform the most astounding and impactful experiences I’m capable of and, after six successful years, I’m looking forward to sharing what I believe is my strongest and most daring work yet.

“I’m am also truly excited to have the world debut of my new show Exposé at the Edinburgh International Magic Festival.”

Other highlights include Vincent Gambini (July 2-3, Summerhall) in This Is Not A Magic Show - part performance-lecture, part deconstructed magic tricks, he reveals the secrets of misdirection; and David Gerard (July 2-3, Summerhall), America’s leading mind-reader, in Game Night, a one-of-a-kind mix of board games and mystery using Monopoly and Ouija Boards.

MagicFest annual Variety Gala Show (July 8, Festival Theatre) will bring the curtain down on this year’s event with the promise that believers and sceptics will be blown away by two-and-a-half hours of breathtaking performances from world champion illusionists, mind readers, masters of the impossible and confounding magicians.

They include South Korean digital time traveller Hun Lee; alchemist Young Min Kim, who deconstructs matter with the touch of his hand; Spanish magic world champion Hector Mancha, and mind-dizzying hula hoop artist Miss Polly Hoops.

For full details of the 2016 MagicFest programme and to buy tickets go to magicfest.co.uk or call 0131-226 0006