Children swap pens and pencils for magic wands as festival arrives

Magic Andrew visits Bede Burn Primary School in Jarrow at the launch of the South Tyneside International Magic Festival.
Magic Andrew visits Bede Burn Primary School in Jarrow at the launch of the South Tyneside International Magic Festival.

YOUNGSTERS across South Tyneside are swapping their pens and pencils for magic wands.

All this week magician Magic Andrew is visiting schools across the borough as part of the South Tyneside International Magic Festival 2015.

Acting on behalf of organisers, South Tyneside Council, Andrew has devised a series of tricks and illusions specifically catered to appeal to younger audiences and tackle a number of key issues affecting them.

Some schools, including Marine Park Primary, South Shields and St Matthew’s Primary and Bede Burn Primary, both in Jarrow, have opted for all encompassing performances, while others have selected a more targeted subject matter for their children.

This includes St Bede’s Primary School, Jarrow and Holy Trinity Church of England Primary School, South Shields, which have both chosen a science-based show, as well as Monkton Infants School, South Shields, and four other schools using magic to tackle the perils of stranger danger.

Michael Arthur, headteacher at Bede Burn Primary School, Jarrow, said: “We’re always looking for new and vibrant ways to engage our students and the magic festival offers the ideal way for us to do just that.”

We’re always looking for new and vibrant ways to engage our students and the magic festival offers the ideal way for us to do just that.

The school performances, which last for around an hour each, form part of a week of activities taking place as part of the South Tyneside International Magic Festival 2015.

Other highlights in the 12th annual event, organised by South Tyneside Council with help from magician John Archer, include a Family Magic Extravaganza and two International Gala Shows being held at the Customs House, South Shields today, Friday and Saturday.

There is also a three-day convention specifically for professional performers and the most ardent magic fans, which is running at the Customs House until Sunday.

Councillor Alan Kerr, Deputy Leader of South Tyneside Council with responsibility for culture and leisure, said: “The schools programme is designed to make the South Tyneside International Magic Festival accessible to all ages and to engage the wider community as much as possible.

“It makes an excellent addition to the festival, alongside our three public events, and it’s always great to see how much the students enjoy it.”

Further details and a full line-up for the South Tyneside International Magic Festival can also be found at www.southtyneside.info/magicfestival
Tickets for the Family Magic Extravaganza and International Gala Shows, priced from £7 and £12 respectively, are available now from the Customs House on 0191 454 1234 or www.thecustomshouse.co.uk
Twitter: @shieldsgazette