MagicFest Listings

December 15, 2022 | By More

Edinburgh International Magic Festival dates

Edinburgh’s MagicFest takes place across the city from 17-31 December, featuring international stars including Edinburgh’s own Kevin Quantum and Spanish winner of the Magic World Championships, Héctor Mancha.

The event opens this weekend with a Magic School at Deaf Action on Albany Street, has two major productions at the Church Hill Theatre in the days before Christmas and New Year, and takes over the Scottish Storytelling Centre for four days from December 27.

Kevin Quantum and helper launch MagicFest 2022

MagicFest founder Kevin Quantum takes the lead at the Church Hill, with seven performances from Wed 21 to Sat 24. He will be joined by Magic Circle young magician of the year Adam Black and a special guest at each performance.

The pre-New Year show is Hogmanay House, running for three performances on 30 and 31 December. This portmanteau production looks to be a proper treat with the brilliant storyteller Andy Cannon joined by mind-reader Drew McAdam, magician Lewis Barlow and musicians Ainsley Hamill and Ron Jappy.

Kevin Quantum says: “This year’s MagicFest aims to contribute to the buzz in the city and bring a bit of escapism and wonder into your life. We’ve got a great programme lined up for audiences of every age. Enjoy big laughs, big gasps and accessible prices – tickets are less than half the price of a panto.”

Family audiences

Family audiences are particularly well served. Quantum’s own show is billed as a “riotously fun family Christmas show” and four of the Storytelling Centre shows are particularly suitable for a younger audience – including a special family show from Héctor Mancha.

The magic school is also aimed at a young sorcerers aged 7-10. Led by Magic School headmaster, magician Gary James, each two and a half hour workshop teaches tricks, introduces presentation skills and works on building confidence to ensure student conjurers get the best introduction to performing magic in front of audiences.

Deaf Action on Albany Street is the venue for the return of Fringe favourite, Once Upon a Raindrop. The walk-through performance for wee ones and their grown-ups includes sensory games and magic and was developed in partnership with Deaf Action to be accessible to d/Deaf and hard-of-hearing audiences.

Storytelling Centre

Also at the Storytelling Centre are three performers who provide a more grownup-orientated show (although not “adult”, in an exclusive way). Lewis Barlow with his Way of the Magician (Tue 27/Wed 28), Mancha – again – with This is not magic (Tue 27 – Thurs 29) and Billy Reid with Watch Closely (Tue 27/Wed 28).

The Magic School is also out on the road, with free magic lessons in seven primary schools around Edinburgh, targeting deprived areas of the city.

In another development, aimed at primary schools across Scotland and the England, MagicFest has also developed a new virtual classroom resource, using “choose your own adventure” technology, to allow participants to have as close to a live workshop experience as modern technology allows.

As well as magic, children will learn presentation and craft skills, numeracy and literacy skills – all linked to the Scottish and English curriculum. The eight-lesson course is free to all schools that sign up. Details here.

MagicFest Listing

Church Hill Theatre
33 Morningside Road, EH10 4DR.
Kevin Quantum Christmas Special with Guests
Wed 21 – Sat 24 Dec 2022
Matinee Thurs – Sat: 2pm; Evening Wed – Fri: 7pm.
1hr 45 mins (including interval). Suitability 5+
Kevin Quantum presents some of his most amazing illusions in a riotously fun family Christmas show. Kevin is joined by one of Scotland’s top up-and-coming talents Adam Black – The Magic Circle Young Magician of the Year – and either MC Hammersmith (Wed, & 2pm shows) or Yallin Lee (Thurs/Fri: 7pm). Book here.

Hogmanay House
Fri 30/Sat 31 Dec 2022
Matinee: 2pm (both days); 7pm (Fri only).
75 Mins. Suitability: 7+
Discover Scotland’s Hogmanay traditions and surprising origins in a joyous theatre show with live music, storytelling, magic and comedy. Hogmanay House makes merry with traditions from the past 500 years; black buns, lumps of coal, first footing, tall dark strangers and a very strange dance with a herring. Featuring singer/songwriter Ainsley Hamill, mind-reader Drew McAdam, storyteller Andy Cannon, magician Lewis Barlow and composer/musician Ron Jappy. Book here.

Deaf Action
49 Albany St, EH1 3QY
Magic School with Gary James
Sat 17/Sun 18 Dec 2022
10am & 1.30 pm (150 mins).
Suitability 7 – 10 years.
If you’ve ever wanted to learn how to properly perform magic, then join us for a spellbinding 2.5-hour workshop for young magicians. In addition to learning tricks, we’ll introduce presentation skills and work on building confidence to ensure student conjurers get the best introduction to performing magic in front of audiences. Book here.

Once Upon A Raindrop
Fri 23/Sat 24 Dec 2022
Matinees: 10am & 11.30 am (30 mins).
Suitability 1 – 3 years.
Jump on a parachute with kangaroos in Australia, join in a snowball battle with penguins in Antarctica, race with giraffes in Africa. A funny, cheerful walk-through performance for wee ones and their grown-ups with sensory games and magic. Book here.

Scottish Storytelling Centre
43-45 High St, EH1 1SR. Phone booking: 0131 556 9579
Héctor Mancha, The Magician is Here… You
Tue 27 – Thurs 29 Dec 2022
Matinees: 2pm (60 mins).
Suitability: 6+

A chance to join World Champion of Magic, Hector Mancha, for a family-friendly show where the audience does the magic. Book here.

Lewis Barlow, The Way of the Magician
Tue 27/Weds 28 Dec 2022
Afternoons:4pm (55 mins).
Suitability: 8+

Shrouded in secrecy and steeped in mystery, the Way of the Magician is a solitary yet fascinating path. In his breath-taking and original show, this internationally-acclaimed magician will take you on a journey to the essence of the accomplished conjurer. Book here.

Héctor Mancha, This is Not Magic
Tue 27 – Thurs 29 Dec 2022
Evenings: 6pm (60 mins).
Suitability: 12+

World Champion of Magic and Spain’s national champion entertains with card magic, comedy, manipulation, parlour magic, hand shadows and storytelling. And it’s the only show where all the tricks are explained. Book here.

Billy Reid, Watch Closely
Tue 27/Weds 28 Dec 2022
Evening: 7.30pm (60 mins).
Suitability: 7+

A spellbinding evening of sleight-of-hand magic and storytelling. Cards transform into a rainbow, sweets appear from thin air, and one of the world’s greatest artists makes an appearance. The show concludes with Reid’s signature Caledonia routine – the most beautiful card trick in the world. Book here.

Balloon Twisting Workshop with Magic Gareth:
Wed 28 Dec 2022
Morning: 10.30am. (60 mins).
Suitability: 6 – 14 year olds.

A fun and interactive session learning to bend, twist and create amazing balloon models with Gareth White (Magic Gareth). WARNING: This will make you the life and soul of parties. Book here.

Tricky Ricky, Me, My Elf and I
Wed 28 – Fri 30 Dec 2022
Matinees: 12.15 pm (45 mins).
Suitability: 4+

The Trickster returns with a new festive fun show starring Eddie Knox The Elf In The Box. Mischievous rabbit Sonny the Bunny adds madness and mayhem. Four-time Scottish Children’s Entertainer of the Year, Tricky Ricky will have you laughing your Christmas Socks off. Book here.

Magic Gareth, Magic Eye
Thurs 29/Fri 30 Dec 2022
Morning: 10.30am (45 mins).
Suitability: 5+

Kick-ass, eye-bending magic and a whole load of nonsense – plus balloons. Magic Gareth’s brand new rip-roaring family show features games, gifts and a whole load of silliness. Book here.

Future Magicians
Thurs 29 Dec 2022
One show: 4pm (90 mins).
Suitability: 7+

Five young magicians from the MagicFest new mentorship programme have created their own eight-minute act. These will then be shown at this special public show.Details here.

Magic School with Gary James
Wed 28/Thurs 29 Dec 2022
10am & 1.30 pm (150 mins).
Suitability 7 – 10 years.
If you’ve ever wanted to learn how to properly perform magic, then join us for a spellbinding 2.5-hour workshop for young magicians. In addition to learning tricks, we’ll introduce presentation skills and work on building confidence to ensure student conjurers get the best introduction to performing magic in front of audiences. Book here.

ENDS

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