For further information about the South Tyneside International Magic Festival visit www.southtyneside.gov.uk/magicfestival
Stars from as far afield as the USA, Canada and Asia will be jetting into the region where they will join some of the UK’s leading magicians when the annual festival, now in its 14th year, begins on Thursday, March 16, at The Customs House.
Run by South Tyneside Council, it includes a three-day convention for magic professionals and ardent fans, as well as three unique public performances.
It all begins with a Family Magic Extravaganza on the Thursday evening, followed by two International Gala Shows on Friday and Saturday, March 17 and 18.
This year’s stars include Canadian magician Mahdi Gilbert, who was born without hands or feet. However, this did little to stop him in his quest to become a leading magician.
Now based in New York, he has become one of the USA’s top stars, and even managed to fool Penn and Teller in their hit TV show Fool Us.
Also heading in from the USA are world-renowned mind reader and magician Asi Wind, sleight of hand and renowned trick creator Adam Wilber and magic entertainer and effects specialist, Rob Zabrecky.
From South East Asia, Singapore sensation Ning: Mind Magic Mistress will be performing her new act at the Friday night performance.
A huge influence on Singapore’s magic scene, Ning has become renowned for her large, highly-publicised stunts like predicting lottery results and reading 100 minds in less than an hour.
But after a two-year break from the spotlight, she is re-emerging with a whole new mindreading act, which she will unleash on North East audiences for the first time.
The international stars will be joined by a host of UK favourites too. These include close-up magician and illusionist Andrew Green, leading children’s magician Simon Hannah and comedy magician and escapologist Mark James.
There will also be regional interest with two separate performances from North Tyneside duo act Destiny.
Sisters Leah Mae Devine, 18, and Sara Jade, 15, of Monkseaton, made history when they became the first ever female winners of the Magic Circle’s Young Magician of the Year Award in 2015.
This year’s festival has welcomed a new booker in the form of magician Steve Gore, who will also be taking to the stage during the Saturday night performance.
“With this being my first year booking the acts, I wanted to try and attract as diverse a selection as possible,” he said. “The wonderful thing about magic is that there are so many different areas.
“I think we have managed to get a really interesting mix of stars this year. From big, bold illusions to sleight-of-hand stars to amazing mind-reading acts, we have a bit of everything for our audiences this year and I hope the event will be a resounding success.”
•Family Magic Extravaganza: Thursday, March 16, 6.30pm-8.30pm. Compere Kendrick introduces a line-up of children’s entertainers including Graeme Shaw, Simon Hannah, Destiny, Tony Junior, Steve Lucock and Snotty the rabbit. Tickets £8.
•International Gala Show 1: Friday, March 17, 8pm-10pm. Comedy magician Mark James comperes a night which will feature Canada’s Mahdi Gilbert, American Asi Wind, Singapore star Ning: Mind Magic Mistress, Destiny and Amethyst. Tickets £14 and £13 concessions.
•International Gala Show 2: Saturday, March 18, 8-10pm. Mark James introduces another batch of magic stars, including American artists Adam Wilber and Rob Zabrecky, Andrew Green, Two Men without Assistance and Steve Gore. Tickets £14 and £13 concessions. Tickets for the public shows – which are all held at The Customs House, are available from the box office on 0191 454 1234, www.customshouse.co.uk
•We’ve got two pairs of tickets to give away to the International Gala Show on Friday. To be in with a chance of winning, answer this question: Which of these is a famous magician?
A) David Copperfield; B) David Hasselhoff or C) David Cameron. Email your answer and contact details to Katy.Wheeler@jpress.co.uk by Tuesday, March 14.