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There's magic in the air as festival nears; South Tyneside International Magic Festival takes place next week. What's On Editor GORDON BARR chats to North East magician John Archer about it.

he TEESSIDEBASED magician John Archer is a huge fan of the annual South Tyneside International Magic Festival.

Now in its 12th year, he has only missed it once, and this year has taken a more active role, helping organisers schedule the event.

e festival, run annually by South Tyneside Council, will return with more than a dozen world-renowned magicians, with a series of performances in schools across the borough, along with a Family Magic Extravaganza and two gala shows at the Customs House, South Shields.

on e Gala Shows, on Friday and Saturday March 13 and 14, will feature appearances by 12 performers, including John, who stars in CBBC show Help! My Supply Teacher is Magic.

"I remember when the rst one was happening and it was like, 'Oh, we are having a magic convention in South tyneside.' .' It didn't seem like the place to have one, really, but it has been a big success. Everybody has loved it. "I t's done well," he says.

"I think I have performed in all but "Fne of them.

"For me this year it was more a matter of stepping in and throwing names at them and helping work out what the programme would be so it would work for magicians and the public.

"ere is more to programming than just throwing a load of acts on stage. It was getting the balance right. at has been my input.

"ere is a great line-up this year. We have illusionists, jugglers, mind readers, magicians, so there is a good "Icross-section "I think both the gala shows are really well-balanced."

c m n m n Former police o-cer John enjo" the broad range of ages you get in the audience for the gala shows, but admits he was in his late teens before he started taking magic seriously.

"I didn't get into magic until I was 19. I have an uncle who used to do card tricks at Christmas and they were always the same tricks and I think that is what got me interested in it.

"I had a book in my teens which I loved and I learned how to vanish a coin, but it was just a passing interest. When I was 19 I went to art college in London and there used to be a magic shop across the road.

"e man who ran it was a real eccentric and the type of guy who, if he knew you were interested in magic, would throw everybody else out and lock the door and teach you.

would throw everybody else out and lock the door and teach you.

"I used to go in there at lunchtimes, and I started buying books o him. I got a terrible degree but learned loads about magic!" " Other acts set to appear include comedy magicians Michael Finney ande Great Nardini, mind readers Luke Jermay, Satori and Atlas and A Looch, family entertainers Dave ndrews and Russ Brown, illusionists High Jinx and Diamond and Jade, card experts John Carey and Gordon ruce and theatrical performer Kieron Lefever.

"I used to go in there at lunchtimes, and I started buying books o him. I got a terrible degree but learned loads about magic!" " Other acts set to appear include comedy magicians Michael Finney ande Great Nardini, mind readers Luke Jermay, Satori and Looch, family entertainers Dave Andrews and Russ High Jinx and Diamond and Jade, card experts John Carey and Gordon Bruce and theatrical performer Kieron Lefever.

ey'll be joined by a host of North East talent, who'll be performing in schools across South Tyneside and appearing in a special Family Magic Extravaganza, in association with MagicBox on Wednesday.

ey'll be joined by a host of North East talent, who'll be performing in schools across South Tyneside and appearing in a special Family Magic Extravaganza, in association with Magice South Tyneside International Magic Festival, which regularly attracts visitors from as far aeld as Hong Kong, will also feature a specialist convention, designed exclusively for professional magicians and the most ardent magic fans.

e South Tyneside International Magic Festival, which regularly attracts visitors from as far aeld as Hong Kong, will also feature a specialist convention, designed exclusively for professional magicians and the most ardent magic fans.

e three-day event, running at the Customs House from March 13, will include a series of lectures, closeup sessions and performances, e three-day event, running at the Customs House from March 13, will include a series of lectures, closeup sessions and performances, along with additional mast e rclasses and a special midni ght show.

along with additional mast e rclasses and a special mid-ni ght show.

Key dates for the festival Family Magic Extravaganza Date: Wednesday March 11 Venue: Customs House, South Shields Start time: 6.30pm Part of the South Tyneside International Magic Festival 2015, this fun-filled show will feature performances by some of the North East's top magicians and is ideal for magic fans of all ages. Sponsored by Magicbox and organised by South Tyneside Council. Tickets PS7 Contact: The Customs House Box Office on 0191 4541234 or www.customshouse.co.uk More details are also available at www.southtynesidemagic.com International Gala Show 1 Date: Friday March 13 - Venue: Customs House, South Shields Start time: 8pm Add a bit of magic and mystery to Friday the 13th with a showcase of performances by top international magicians, including multi award-winning mentalist Satori, TV star John Archer, illusionists High Jinx and Diamond and Jade, family entertainer Dave Andrews and mind-reader Luke Jermay. Part of the South Tyneside International Magic Festival 2015, organised by South Tyneside Council. Tickets PS14 or PS13 concessions Contact: The Customs House Box Office on 0191 4541234 or www.customshouse.co.uk More details are also available at www.southtynesidemagic.com International Gala Show 2 Date: Saturday March 14 Venue: Customs House, South Shields Start time: 8pm See spellbinding performances from a whole host of international magicians, including The Great Nardini, comedy performer Michael Finney, family entertainer Dave Andrews, mind-readers Atlas and Looch and dazzling duo High Jinx. Part of the South Tyneside International Magic Festival 2015, organised by South Tyneside Council.

Tickets PS14 or PS13 concessions Contact: The Customs House Box Office on 0191 4541234 or www.customshouse.co.uk More details are also available at www.southtynesidemagic.com South Tyneside International Magic Festival Convention Date: Friday March 13 - Sunday March 14 Venue: Customs House, South Shields Times: 9am March 13 - 4pm March 15 Are you a professional magician? Enjoy three days of workshops, lectures, close-up sessions and performances as part of the South Tyneside International Magic Festival 2015. You'll have the chance to learn from some of the best in the world, meet fellow artists and buy from a variety of trade dealers. Tickets PS65 for the weekend Contact: 0191 4247986 or email events@southtyneside.gov.uk More details are also available at www.southtynesidemagic.com

To find out how you could win tickets to the Magic Festival Family Extravaganza log on to www.chroniclelive.co.uk/whats-on

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Mar 6, 2015
Words:1184
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