MagicFest 2017


Festival returns with a theme to give you a lift.

Image of MagicFest 2017
Photo: Colin Hattersley

Edinburgh’s MagicFest returns next month, and spirits are not the only thing it hopes to lift. This year the theme for the festival is “Levitations”, a style of magic ably demonstrated by festival boss Kevin Quantum in the launch photo (see above).

The festival “lifts off” over the weekend of 30 June – 2 July, with the MagicFair at Summerhall which features 80 live shows. One ticket allows entry to up to seven 20 minute shows in the venue’s various theatre spaces, with more going on in the courtyard. For kids, there’s Mini Magic School workshops and wand-crafting, while grown-ups can enjoy the Lates sessions which include horror magic and mind-control.

Self-styled “ginger ninja wizard” and Fringe favourite Dave Alnwick will be one of the Summerhall stars with a solo performance showcasing his enthusiastically delivered mind trickery. Festival regulars Paul Wilson and Luke Eaton also return.

Assembly Roxy, a new venue for the festival, welcomes innovative show From The Dark for its UK premiere on 2 July. Originally designed for the blind, Juan Esteban Varela’s show has been adapted so both non-sighted and sighted people can experience sensory stimulation which creates deception in the mind. “Magic is fundamentally a visual art form, but Juan’s magic show in the dark is truly ground-breaking,” explained Festival chief Kevin Quantum. “It allows us to reach an audience who have never experienced magic before. It’s really heart-warming.”

The popular “Secret Room” expands from its usual base at Lauriston Castle to new venues Riddle’s Court and The Writers’ Museum. Magicians will lead guests on a mysterious adventure through these buildings in a partnership with the Scottish Historic Buildings Trust, Edinburgh Museums and Galleries and Edinburgh World Heritage.

And as always, the closing Gala Show at the Festival Theatre on 8 July will be a particular highlight. French performers Cubic Act, silent master of suspense Aaron Crow and World Magic Champion Marko Karvo will be among the stars in the two and a half hour show, but some will again wonder, where are all the female magicians?

Edinburgh International Magic Festival is @ various venues across Edinburgh, Fri 30 Jun – Sat 8 Jul 2017. Full details and tickets are available at www.magicfest.co.uk