It’s Magic

May 10 2018 | By More

MagicFest returns with new venues, dates.

Edinburgh’s MagicFest is back this Friday 11 May 2018 for its ninth iteration with a week-long celebration of all that is magic as it moves its dates forward from early Summer.

Flashing into existence with a spangly Wizard World Gathering in honour of fictional magician Mr Potter at Assembly Roxy, the week works up to a Fast and Furious Final Gala at the Lyceum for three performances only.

Renz – appearing at the Storytelling Centre.

In between the festival continues with its tried, tested and successful reliance on quality acts performing in intimate venues, whether performing solo in the Netherbow Theatre of the Scottish Storytelling Centre, or combining close-up magic with tours of some of Edinburgh’s historic buildings and dark history.

“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,” says MagicFest founder and artistic director Kevin Quantum.

faster than the eye?

Quantum is a performer himself. He recently wowed the Adelaide Fringe with is 2017 EdFringe hit Anti-Gravity to sell out performances and winning the overall best magic act and memorably introduced the programme for the first MagicFest by making an LRT bus disappear.

This year he is appearing as compere to the final gala, welcoming an array of acts renowned for their swift pace, in order to examine the question: “is the hand really faster than the eye?”

Quantum explains: “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.”


Wizard World Gathering
Assembly Roxy 2 Roxburgh Place, EH8 9SU
Friday 11/Saturday 12 May: 6 – 11pm (Ages 18+ only)
Matinees Saturday 12/Sunday 13 May: 12 – 5pm. (Under 18s must be accompanied by an adult)
Tickets and details:
A Party created by Harry Potter fans that want to do more than just read and watch. Blurring the lines between fantasy and reality, it will be centred around the Grand Hall, with winding passages, hidden theatres and bars spread over four levels from lower basement to first floor.

MagicFest Gala: Fast and Furious
Royal Lyceum, Grindlay Street, EH3 9AX
Friday 18/Saturday 19 May: 7.30pm; Matinee, Sat: 2.30pm. (2 hours 15 minutes) Ages 6+
Tickets and details:
Fasten your seatbelt, pull your visor down and enjoy a breath-taking mix of illusion, mind-reading, theatrical pickpocketing, comedy and deft sleight-of-hand from a selection of the world’s best magic and variety acts. Hosted by Kevin Quantum with appearances by Magnus Utopia with The Fantasy Illusionists, James Freedman (The Man of Steal), Card Ninja, MC Hammersmith and Tom Crosbie.

Card practice at Lauriston Castle. Pic Tommy Ga-Ken Wan

The Secret Room @ Lauriston Castle
Lauriston Castle, 2a Cramond Rd South, Davidson’s Mains, EH4 5QD
Monday 14 – Thursday 17 May.
Twice daily: 5.30pm & 7.30pm. (1hr 15 mins). Ages 10+.
Tickets and details:
Imagine secret passages, alchemy, clandestine laboratories and a game of cards that resulted in a loss of your money, reputation and home. All of this becomes a reality at the secluded Lauriston Castle.
Featuring: Chris Cook, Ian Kendall, Billy Reid (16-17 May) & Kevin Quantum (14-15 May).

The Secret Room @ The Writers’ Museum
Lawnmarket, Lady Stair’s Close, Edinburgh EH1 2PA
Monday 14 – Thursday 17 May.
Twice daily: 5.30pm & 7.30pm. (1hr 15 mins). Ages 10+.
Tickets and details:
The final resting place of the work and artefacts of Scotland’s most lavished writers; Robert Burns, Walter Scott and Robert Louis Stevenson. And most recently, temporary home to JK Rowling’s hand drawn edition of Harry Potter.
Featuring Lewis Barlow, Michael Neto and John Henry Blackwood.

Lewis Barlow – Cards, Coins & Minds
The Scottish Storytelling Centre, 43 – 45 High Street, EH1 1SR
Sunday 13 May: 2pm & 4.30pm (50 mins) Ages 7+
Tickets and details:
Lewis Barlow’s fascination with magic began by watching a Bunco Booth operator when he was just five years old. Lewis’ breathtaking and original show will take you on a journey towards the essence of the accomplished conjurer, demonstrating a range of advanced magical abilities along the way.

Chris Cook – Control
The Scottish Storytelling Centre, 43 – 45 High Street, EH1 1SR
Sunday 13 May: 7pm & 8.30pm (60 mins). Ages 15+
Tickets and details:
Chris thought he was in control of his life. Then, on New Years Day, he crashed his car at 80mph. In that moment, it seemed like the space between life and death was decided by little more than luck. He is renowned for his shows that merge storytelling, comedy and magic tricks into something that might just change your life…

Billy Reid – Storyteller
The Scottish Storytelling Centre, 43 – 45 High Street, EH1 1SR
Monday 14 May: 7pm & 8.30pm (50 mins) Ages 5+
Tickets and details:
One of the UK’s most devilishly brilliant close-up magicians. An expert sleight-of-hand artist and three times finalist at the Magic Circle’s Close-up Magician of the Year competition, Billy shares stories from his life in magic, vividly brought to life with dazzling sleight of hand magic.

Renz – Poet of the Impossible
The Scottish Storytelling Centre, 43 – 45 High Street, EH1 1SR
Tuesday 15 May: 7pm & 8.30pm (55 mins). Ages 10+.
Tickets and details:
Magic and verbal wizardry come together to give you a glimpse of the magicians secretive mind, compel you to think about magic in your own life, and, most importantly, to knock your socks off with demonstrations of the utterly impossible!

Vincent Gambini – The Chore of Enchantment
The Scottish Storytelling Centre, 43 – 45 High Street, EH1 1SR
Wednesday 16 May: 7pm & 8.30pm (55 mins). Ages 14+.
Tickets and details:
The world is in turmoil. Can magic provide the much-needed solace and enchantment for these difficult times? Magician Vincent Gambini is not so sure. Disillusioned with illusions, he presents a theatre show about the hidden difficulties of being a magician: the arduous job of manufacturing amazement, especially when the world edges towards collapse.

MagicFest website:
Twitter @magicfest
Facebook @edmagicfest

Online –
By Phone – 0131 226 0006
In person – Fringe Box Office, 180 High Street, Edinburgh, EH1 1QS


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