Magicians gather for South Tyneside International Magic Festival

A KIND of magic is going on in South Tyneside.

Magicians from across the world have journeyed to the borough for the South Tyneside International Magic Festival.

The week-long convention, now in its 12th year, has been organised by magician and TV star John Archer, in partnership with South Tyneside Council.

Performers, traders and magic fans were at the Customs House, in Mill Dam, South Shields, yesterday to officially launch the event, which is sponsored by store, the Magic Box.

John said: “I’ve been involved in the festival almost since the beginning, so it was great to be more involved this year.

“The atmosphere really builds over the weekend with the public shows, right through until Sunday when we’re all shattered and ready to never see a pack of cards again! It’s great to see magicians come from all over the world to this little place that they’ve probably never heard of, but it has a great reputation around the world.”

MAGICAL FUN ... The Customs House was the venue for the launch of this year's South Tyneside International Magic Festival - comedy magician John Archer.

MAGICAL FUN ... The Customs House was the venue for the launch of this year's South Tyneside International Magic Festival - comedy magician John Archer.

Stephen Young, who develops tricks for mind readers, travelled to the festival from Holland.

The trickster, originally from Manchester, said: “This is my first time at this festival and I think it’s great.

“It’s got a really friendly atmosphere and there are no egos – everyone is just happy to have a chat with everyone else.”

Magician Christian Schenk is visiting from Germany.

I gave a lecture the first time I came and fell in love so I’ve convinced them to let me keep coming back.

Magician Christian Schenk

He said: “This is my third visit to this festival. I gave a lecture the first time I came and fell in love so I’ve convinced them to let me keep coming back. I travel the world with magic – it’s the best thing I can think of.”

Twitter: @shieldsgazvicki