Pure magic: The festival where seeing is believing ...

Fifer Kevin Quantum is the artistic director of MagicFest. Pic: Colin_Hattersley.
Fifer Kevin Quantum is the artistic director of MagicFest. Pic: Colin_Hattersley.

Fans of fantasy illusion and high energy magic are in for a real treat next week when a spectacular festival heads back into Edinburgh for its ninth year.

The countdown is now on for Magicfest 2018 with the acts gearing up for another stellar run.

Magus Utopia are performing at this year's MagicFest Gala on May 18 and 19 at the Lyceum in Edinburgh. Pic: Piet-Hein Out

Magus Utopia are performing at this year's MagicFest Gala on May 18 and 19 at the Lyceum in Edinburgh. Pic: Piet-Hein Out

And if you love Britain’s Got Talent, be prepared to be dazzled once again as one of the programme’s star acts is set to perform for audiences at the city event which is a few weeks earlier this year from May 11-19, to allow for a bigger break between the showcase and the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in August.

Magus Utopia the ‘Fantasy Illusionists’ left the judges and viewers stunned when they took to the stage on the hit show recently.

They have only got one confirmed date in the UK and that’s at the MagicFest Gala on May 18 and 19 at the Lyceum in Edinburgh!

The festival’s artistic director and magician Kevin Quantum, who is from Fife, is bringing the popular event to audiences over nine-days.

Magus Utopia will perform at this year's festival. Pic: Vjacheslav Shishlov.

Magus Utopia will perform at this year's festival. Pic: Vjacheslav Shishlov.

And this year’s spectacular comes after Kevin was awarded the highest accolade for magic on the Australian festival circuit earlier this year.

The talented Fifer received the overall Adelaide Fringe Best Magic Award, ahead of almost 30 other magic shows at the event, for his show Kevin Quantum: Anti-Gravity.

And he is the first Scot to ever do so.

Speaking about his recent award, Kevin said: “I was surprised and delighted to receive this award on the other side of the world at one of the largest and most prestigious festivals in the world.

Tom Crosbie will be one of the acts taking part in this year's MagicFest.

Tom Crosbie will be one of the acts taking part in this year's MagicFest.

“It’s a real honour to win Best Magic and see the art of magic given such prominence. Adelaide Fringe is unique in that it recognises ‘magic’ as an individual category in their programme. I would love to see Edinburgh Fringe create a magic category.”

Next on the agenda for Quantum is this year’s Edinburgh International Magic Festival and hosting the spectacular, ‘fast and furious’ MagicFest Gala.

The gala marks the close of MagicFest, which kicks off with a sparkling Wizard World Gathering, casting a spell over the Assembly Roxy with DJs, live magic shows, a fantasy quiz and other surprises throughout the night.

This year’s festival also features the ever popular Secret Room which returns to the Royal Mile Writers’ Museum and Lauriston Castle, combining close-up magic with tours of some of Edinburgh’s historic buildings and dark history.

The Card Ninja is set to dazzle audiences at the festival.

The Card Ninja is set to dazzle audiences at the festival.

There are also intimate events throughout the week at the Scottish Storytelling Centre from performers combining magic with comedy, storytelling, and theatre, such as Chris Cook and Vincent Gambini.

Tying in with Scotland’s Year of Young People, Magic School again forms a part of the programme, teaching magic and performance skills to children.

Kevin said he is really pleased at how the festival has progressed over the last nine years: “We’ve brought some of the best magicians in the world to Edinburgh in that time, magicians that would not have had the opportunity otherwise. I’m really proud of how the event has grown and developed over the years.

“This is our second year of themed gala shows, this year we are looking at speed with a fast and furious theme.

“Speed manifests in various ways, Magus Utopia are renowned for their high energy illusion spectaculars, James Freedman uses deft touch with smooth actions which has resulted in the title of The World’s number one pickpocket.

“Tom Crosbie can solve a Rubick’s Cube faster than anyone else in the UK. Quickness of hand, mind and action – all together for our most ambitious gala ever.”

He revealed what visitors can expect from the first ever Wizard World Gathering: “ It will be a fantasy utopia, where magic, alcohol and imagination all come together. I genuinely can’t wait for this one.

“We have three wonderful magicians doing short taster shows that I hope people will love! But it’s all mixed in with this kind of Hogwarts-meets-middle-earth experience.

“MagicFest Gala is always a highlight and is simply a collection of the finest magic and variety talent from around the world.”

Kevin said there is something for all ages at the festival.

He added: “MagicFest is for people who love feeling the joy of wonder and fancy seeing some live entertainment.

“I think that’s just about everyone!”

For tickets to this year’s festival visit: www.magicfest.co.uk or telephone 0131 226 0006.