A magician who was born without hands or feet but managed to fool two of the magic world’s toughest critics, is bringing his unique act to the borough
Mahdi Gilbert will lead an invasion of magicians from across the Atlantic heading to South Shields for the 14th annual South Tyneside International Magic Festival from March 16 to 19.
Now living in New York, Mahdi has developed every single technique he employs in his illusions from scratch. And, despite having no hands, he has become one of the world’s finest sleight of hand magicians.
He first decided he wanted to become a magician when he was a child, drawing inspiration from David Blaine and Derren Brown as he initially specialised in mental-based magic.
But at the age of 16 he abandoned the mind work, bought himself a deck of cards and a book on card tricks and began to teach himself.
He famously fooled American TV magic heroes Penn & Teller in the third season of their Fool Us show with his own version of a famous card trick, winning a trip to Las Vegas to open for the duo’s stage show.
He said: “I am so excited to be coming to England, which I love like a second home. When I was young I was just a poor boy who never thought he was going to go anywhere or do anything.
“But luckily, I was fortunate enough to experience great magic at the hands of masters of their art and that is part of what drove me to reach the level where I am today and to be able to do the things I’m doing.
“Last year was incredible. I fooled Penn & Teller, world famous magicians on National Television.”
For tickets, call 454 1234.