The Edinburgh International Magic Festival returns for its ninth year over a week in spring rather than summer, running from Friday 11 to Saturday 19 May. The event will showcase some of the world’s most celebrated illusionists, proving that magic is an art form with the power to enchant, mystify, challenge and leave audiences speechless. Beginning with a Wizard World Gathering and finishing with an incredible Closing Gala, the art of magic will be fully celebrated across the week it is set to transform the city into a world of fantasy and illusion.
Fantasy Fans from around the globe set to flock to Edinburgh for a one-of-a-kind party celebrating all things wizard when the Festival kicks off with a sparkling Wizard World Gathering on the opening weekend, casting a spell over Assembly Roxy with DJs, live magic shows, a fantasy quiz, incredible food and drinks, and other surprises throughout the night. The ever-popular Secret Room returns to the Royal Mile Writers’ Museum and Lauriston Castle, combining close-up magic with tours of some of Edinburgh’s historic buildings and dark history. A spectacular, fast and furious Gala event at the Royal Lyceum Theatre will close out the festival, with daring trickery, unbelievable sleight of hand, grand illusions and impossible mind reading abilities from some of the world’s best magicians. There are also intimate events throughout the week at the Scottish Storytelling Centre from performers combining magic with comedy, storytelling, and theatre, such as Chris Cook and Vincent Gambini.
Tying in with Scotland’s Year of Young People, Magic School again forms a part of the programme, teaching magic and performance skills to children. The festival is also partnering with children’s charity Kiran’s Trust to take Magic School on the road, visiting schools in areas of deprivation in and around Edinburgh.
Edinburgh is a city whose history is intertwined with magic. The International Magic Festival pays homage to this history and celebrates magic as an art, one that belongs on stage, one that needs to be seen to be believed. As well as the dates being new this year, this is the first year that tickets will be entirely paperless — the former, a decision for the long-term benefit of the festival, the latter, for the long-term benefit of the planet.
Managing Director, Svetlana McMahon commented: “Edinburgh is renowned worldwide for having a wonderful portfolio of festivals and MagicFest more than plays its part. Over the last eight years MagicFest has developed a cultural brand with vision and international recognition and we hope Magic is now at least a step closer to be recognised as an art form by Creative Scotland and other funders.” Artistic Director (and magician) Kevin Quantum added: “Steeped in wonder and entrenched in mystery – it’s no surprise that Edinburgh has inspired the imagination of world-famous authors from Louis Stevenson to Rowling. This year we want you to let your imagination fly as you immerse yourself in the best live magic the world has to offer alongside top local talent. Magic is always best when seen live, so take a chance and do something a bit different.”
Tickets are available online at www.magicfest.co.uk, by Phone on 0131 226 0006 or in person at the Fringe Box Office
Fraser MacDonald | Image: Contributed