South Tyneside Magic Festival 2022: 'Honest conman' who advises FBI on deception among top performers coming to The Customs House in South Shields
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The festival, which has been running for the best part of two decades, was one of the many much-loved South Tyneside traditions put on hold during the pandemic.
Smaller-scale events held predominantly online took place in 2020 and 2021, but organisers are now thrilled to bring the full show back for 2022.
This year the programme will see magicians from as far away as the USA, Portugal and Spain as well as from across the UK, showcasing their skills.
Organisers say there will be everything from mentalism to close up magic, from manipulation to illusions, along with acts that are aimed at younger audiences.
Alongside the shows which are open to the public, the festival includes a convention where professional magicians turn out in force for a series of special lectures, workshops and a trade show.
The festival, which runs from Thursday, October 13, to Sunday, October 16, will include a Family Magic Extravaganza on October 13 with two Gala Shows on October 14 and 15.
All shows will take place at The Customs House, at the Mill Dam in South Shields.
Councillor Joan Atkinson, deputy leader of South Tyneside Council, with responsibility for Culture, Leisure and the Visitor Economy, said she was delighted that the event was able to return in full this year.
“The South Tyneside International Magic Festival is a fantastic event where we not only welcome some of the greatest acts in the world but also a host of professional magicians who come together to learn from their colleagues and share their knowledge,” she said.
“It’s also an amazing opportunity for audiences to see many of these renowned performers appear side by side in the gala shows and the family magic extravaganza.
“This is a much loved event and it’s great news for everyone that this year we are able to stage it once again in full.”
Among the big names on the line up is American favourite Gregory Wilson, dubbed ‘The Honest Conman’ due to his expert skills in deception and trickery.
So great are his skills that he has given lectures to the FBI and Homeland security on how less honest tricksters operate.
Also appearing will be former Britain’s Got Talent star, Alan Hudson, who was also seen on ITV’s Next Great Magician and on Penn and Teller: Fool Us.
Other performers taking part in the gala shows include Beijing-born Jeffery Wang, who specialises in coin magic.
He will be making his UK debut at the festival along with Javi Benitez, who managed to fool Penn and Teller, with the duo apparently reporting he was the best sleight-of-hand act they had ever seen.
Quick-change artiste Solange Cardinali, skilled card manipulator Arkadio and mind-reading expert Matt Daniel-Baker.