Media Release: Catch the magic at the Edinburgh International Magic Festival

THE Edinburgh International Magic Festival launched in spectacular fashion today at Lothian Buses Central Depot, as artistic director, Kevin McMahon, pulled off one of the biggest illusions ever attempted in Scotland.

After transforming a single decker bus into butterflies, the audience and depot were covered in a snow storm of paper butterflies produced from his empty hands.

A popular motif in visual and literary arts, butterflies represent MagicFest’s metamorphosis from a fledgling festival into an event that is now a highly-anticipated fixture of the Edinburgh Festivals calendar.

Magic sets your heart fluttering and takes you to the fringes of reality.

Says a spokesperson: “A sensory feast awaits this summer as The Edinburgh International Magic Festival casts its spell across the capital and promises to take you to the extreme end of visual theatre.

“Attracting over 30 performers from eight countries including: France, Germany, Portugal, Australia, Italy, New Zealand, Ukraine and the UK, this year classic meets close-up, mindreading defies illusion, cabaret clashes with comedy and levitation renders the impossible possible.”

Artistic director, Kevin McMahon, says: “Magic demonstrates, in a creative manner, that the human soul has within it the capability to rise above the forces of nature and flourish.

“It is the artistic example that any impossible challenge can be overcome. We aim to inspire the audience in every show and to spotlight ‘Magic, the art of the Impossible’, like no other event on a national scale.”

Once again The Royal Lyceum theatre hosts the Magic and Variety Gala Opening night. A breath-taking spectacle of the finest acts in the magic world, the addition of a aala afternoon preview show opens up the world of unreality for just £10.

The spokesperson add: “From the Ukraine, VORONIN has a uniquely powerful and mesmeric presence, the looks and charisma of a matinée idol and a complete mastery of legerdemain and illusion. A mute magician and master of smoke and mirrors, a Dracula-cum-Casanova, he is inexplicably alluring and both terrifying and flirtatious.

“LES CHAPEAUX BLANCS from France tells the marvellous adventures of two characters through the unique visual act of ‘black art magic’. A duality of illusions, an innovative visual feast, Claude Brun and Jérôme Helfenstein skilfully bring modernity to old world magic.

“PIERRE XAMIN presents the ‘changing faces’ act and joins Germany’s juggler JETON, Glasgow’s award-winning theatre company VOX MOTUS, Scotland’s foremost mind reader DREW MCADAM and Italy’s clown-magician, TINO FIMIANI, to complete the bill.

“MagicFest is proud to bring the UK premiere of VOYAGEURS EGARES to the capital. Produced by the spectacular Les Z’enfants Terribles, this unavoidable trip into an imaginary world is part play, part circus, with magic, clowning and the illusion of shadow theatre all rolled into one.

“The first man to fool Penn & Teller, JOHN ARCHER, brings a brand new show to a new MagicFest venue this year. ‘Forget about the Tricks’ at Traverse Café Bar weaves stories, silliness and audience participation into a night where the most amazing events become just part of the fun.

“Britain’s Got Talent’s COLIN MCLEOD promises to keep his trouser on as he replicates the mythical deductive powers of Sherlock Holmes, whilst attempting to reveal everything about you, find hidden objects and memorise vast amounts of information.”

The spokesperson added: “No-one played truant from MAGIC SCHOOL last year and it proved so popular, that this year’s MagicFest has a brand new five day programme for kids aged 7-10 years old. Pupils will be taught by former Magic Circle Stage Magician and BBC’s ‘Help my supply teacher is Magic’, JOHN ARCHER.

“JAV JARQUIN, aka Card Ninja, is one of the most skilful card handlers in the UK, his Street Magic Master Class, sponsored by, for 11-14 year-olds promises to teach the coolest street magic effects that will blow your friend’s minds.

“Levitating forks, cards turning to glass and disappearing wine! Adventure seekers should head to The Royal Scots Club for MAGIC DINNER, an evening of delicious food, magical cabaret, mindreading and show stopping close-up magic that promises to mess with your head.”

And the spokesperson went on: “MagicFest closes on Friday 6 July with the ever popular FOUR NATIONS MAGIC-OFF. The UK’s top comedy magicians use every trick in the book to win your vote. Who wins, you decide at this late night MagicFest party. The line-up, featuring stars from the main programme, remains top secret until just before the festival.

“Immerse yourself in the extraordinary world of mystery and illusion from the 29 June – 6 July. Be amazed, see things differently and catch the magic at The Edinburgh International Magic Festival 2012.”


Notes to Editors

Edinburgh International Magic Festival Dates: 29 June – 6 July 2102
Tickets available online at  by calling Hub Tickets on 0131 473 2000 or in person at Hub Tickets (The Hub, Castlehill EH1 2NE)

Follow us on twitter @magicfest

Venues: Various venues around Edinburgh city centre (The Royal Lyceum Theatre, Royal Scots Club, Sandeman House, The Scottish Storytelling Centre, Traverse Bar Café, The Vault and Voodoo Rooms)

MagicFest would like to thank this year’s principal supporters: –  Branding, Design and Marketing – for providing ideas, marketing expertise and designing all Festival print materials. – Light Stage Sound and AV Solutions, who supplied technical and creative expertise for the launch event and turned it into a spectacular. – The UK’s top city bus operator 2011 – for supplying venue, buses, staffing and technical support for the launch. – The beautiful, iconic Edinburgh Hotel for our performers’ accommodation. – Inflating brand awareness – for proving outdoor advertising in central Edinburgh locations.

Listings Info:

Magic and Variety Gala Show
Fri 29 June 2.30pm & 7.00pm
The Royal Lyceum Theatre
2.30pm (Preview) • All tickets £10
7pm • £20/£16 adults, £16/£12 conc, £10 child
Duration: 2hr 30mins with interval
Ages 5+

Voyageurs Egarés
– an unavoidable trip into an imaginary world
Jérôme Helfenstein, Claude Brun
Sat 30 June 2.30pm
The Royal Lyceum Theatre • £15 adults/ £12 conc/ £10 child
Duration: 60mins
Ages 5+

Magic Dinner

Sat 30 June 7.00pm
The Royal Scots Club • £50 per person • Discounts available for groups 10+
Duration: approx 3hr 30mins
Over 18’s only

Magic School
One-off Magic School Workshop • £15
Sat 30 June – Sun 1 July   
10.00am OR 1.30pm
5-Day Magic School • £75
Mon 2 July – Fri 6 July   
10.00am OR 1.30pm
Duration: approx 2hr 30min
Sandeman House Ages 7-10

Street Magic Master Class                                

Sun 1 July – Mon 2 July 11.30am
The Scottish Storytelling Centre (the Bothy) • £35

Duration: approx 5hr 30min

Ages 11-14

Javier Jarquin “CARD NINJA: ReDeal”
Sun 1 July 7.00pm

The Scottish Storytelling Centre • £12/£10 conc/£5 child

£30 family ticket available (2 adults and 2 children)

Duration: 50mins

Ages 5+

Colin McLeod ‘Sheer Luck?’

Sat 30 June 12.00pm
The Scottish Storytelling Centre • £12/£10 conc/£5 child
Duration: 55mins
Ages 12+

War of the Wizards Under 18’s       

Sun 1 July 11.00am (Duration: 60mins)

Open War of the Wizards

Sun 1 July 2.00pm (Duration: 90mins)

The Scottish Storytelling Centre • £5/£3 conc

Ages 10+

Matthew J Dowden ‘Magic of the Movies’
Sat 30 June – Sun 1 July 5.00pm
Tue 3 July – Fri 6 July 7.00pm
The Scottish Storytelling Centre • £10/£8 conc/£5 child
£25 family ticket available (two adults and two children)
Duration: 60mins
Ages 5+

Bruce Glen ‘The Gentleman Magician’

Sat 30 June – Fri 6 July (except Mon 2 July) 8.30pm

The Scottish Storytelling Centre • £10/£8 conc/£5 child

£25 family ticket available (two adults and two children)

Duration: 50mins

Ages 10+

John Archer ‘Forget about the Tricks’

Wed 4 July – Thu 5 July 7.30pm

Traverse Bar Café • £12/ £10 conc

Duration: 60mins

Ages 12+ 

Colour Ham
Colin McLeod, Kevin McMahon, Gavin Oattes

Thu 5 July 8.30pm

Voodoo Rooms • £12/ £10 conc

Duration: 55mins

Over 18’s only

Lewis Barlow ‘As Close As You Can’

Sat 30 June – Fri 6 July 7.00pm

The Vault • £10/£8 conc/£5 child

Duration: 50mins

Ages 7+

Michael Neto ‘UPCLOSE’

Sat 30 June – Fri 6 July 8.30pm

The Vault • £10/£8 conc/£5 child

Duration: 50mins

Ages 10+

Four Nations Magic-Off
Fri 6 July 10.00pm
Traverse Bar Café • £15/ £12 conc
Duration: till late!
Over 18’s only


Kevin McMahon, MagicFest artistic director

Kevin has trained with the best magicians in the UK and USA to create a modern, mind-blowing form of magic that never fails to impress and entertain. His appearance on Channel 4’s ‘Faking It’ show, saw him go onto become one of the country’s most sought-after magicians.

Kevin has since performed three years in a row at the world famous Edinburgh Fringe Festival and his sell-out, comedy-magic shows have received many acclaims. He has worked on other shows with the BBC and Channel 4 and recently appeared, alongside Jimmy Carr and Derren Brown, in ‘4talent’ a book produced by Channel 4 about the top 40, fresh and innovative talents in the UK. He works regularly at comedy clubs, private engagements at parties, balls, weddings and corporate events at home and overseas

Edinburgh International Magic Festival, 22 Palmerston Place, Edinburgh, EH12 5AL    Tel: 0131 226 1918
Registered in Scotland No: SC371015

For additional press details and images please contact:

Vicky Pitchers, VJP Media, 07973 304286

MEDIA RELEASE posted by Translate Scotland Public Relations & Marketing. You too can post media releases (aka press releases) on For more information, email here.

Contact: Vicky Pitchers
Phone: 07973 304286