BEST London Magic Shows 2018
As every grade-school child will tell you, Great Britain is the home of Harry Potter and all things magic. Older, more seasoned magic buffs have known about Merlin's magical abilities for centuries. It is only natural then that London would be a city thriving with magical treats and illusionists par excellence. So whether you are hopping on an iconic double-decker bus or navigating London's underground tube, there are plenty of ways to find yourself at one of London's magical parlours or an illusionist's well-crafted show. And if you really try, you might even find yourself magically transported to Hogwarts, unless of course, you're a muggle.
CURRENT Magic Shows in London
Various Theatres - Check website for dates
These two chaps met at Oxford and decided that spending a lifetime performing "miracles" and yucking it up on stage would be much more fun than becoming scientists. The "time-travelling" duo look as if they've stepped off a train in the latter half of the 19th century, swirly moustaches and all. They have several shows to choose from, ones for all ages, and the others that are geared specifically towards children. You will find them performing in many different communities and theatres as well as having occasional London dates. There is plenty of wit, whimsy, and magic to be had at a Morgan and West show.
The Centre for the Magic Arts - See website for public events
This members club for magicians began in 1905 with 23 professional and amateur magicians and now has over 1500 members worldwide. Even if you are not a member, they host several regular events that are open to the public. You will be able to learn a little about the history of magic, view magic memorabilia and of course see a magic show, where many of the world's best magicians today are showcased. Make sure you buy tickets for these events in advance. The Magic Circle also has its own line-up of awards given out to magicians in special categories. Some awards include the close-up magician of the year and the young magician of the year awards.
Drayton Court Hotel - Last Thursday of every month
Every month, Conjuring at the Court brings to the stage four different performers, including mentalists, illusionists, jugglers and more. Each show is different and is jam-packed full of entertainment. You get a full 2 hours of unbelievable magic. Tickets are very reasonably priced and the food in the hotel is decent, so you can grab a bite to eat before the show. Seating is limited, so be sure to purchase in advance or arrive early. It is common to see Magic Circle members here enjoying a show.
Sheraton Park Lane Hotel - Thursdays and Fridays
Travel back in time to the early days of parlour magic with Tony Middleton 'Sonic'. His show, "The Magic Hour" is filled with stories of Victorian magicians and their secrets, while he amazes you with his up-close talents. The evening takes place in a plush room with seats for only 68 people. Children above the age of 10 are welcome. Tony is a very personable and engaging entertainer who like to get to know his audience before and after the show.
Simpsons in the Strand, Savoy Hotel - Saturday Evenings
Spend a classy evening at a renowned hotel with two of London's best magicians. Tony Middleton of The Magic Hour (see above) and Dominick Zwolinski host a one hour and fifteen minute parlour show. Located in a private room in the Savoy hotel, a five star luxury hotel opened in 1889, the show is limited to 58 people and is suitable for the whole family. Just be warned that the performers are not up on a stage and if you sit in the back rows, you may have an obstructed view if you are not tall enough to see over the heads of those in front of you. The show garners great reviews, complimenting both the talent of the magicians and the fabulous location.
Various Theatres - Check website for dates
Jamie came to magic enthusiasts attention when he performed on Britain's Got Talent in 2015. He went on to wow audiences as a headliner in London's West End version of "The Illusionists". This autumn, he will be taking his show, "Making Magic", on tour in Great Britain. You will find him performing in several towns, including some not too far from London's centre.
Leicester Square Theatre - Check website for dates
Come and see various magicians showcase their talents. Award-winning magician Oliver Tabor is joined by magicians and variety acts from all over Great Britain. The show is suitable for ages 5 and up. You can also sign up your young budding Houdini for magic classes, where they can learn some basics of magic, and go home and impress their friends and family. Props and materials are provided.
Secret Central London Location - Check website for public event dates
Simon's house is like no other. This 4,000 sq. ft. mansion is all decked out for an evening of magic and mayhem. Walk through the spooky enchanted garden, explore the haunted cellar, enjoy dinner and a show and then top it all off with dancing, because who wants to go home after having all that fun? Simon Drake has worked extensively in theatre, stage, and film as well as being a premiere magician. His home has been turned into a unique entertainment experience, and you get to explore each sumptuous room, filled with curiosities and unique magic treasures. Although the House of Magic is often booked for private parties, there are several public events throughout the year, so plan your trip, get your tickets and enjoy a unique evening out.
London, home of wizards, pixies, fairies, and magic!
Of all the cities of western Europe, none have had a front seat to shaping the face of the globe quite like London. From nation building to conquering new lands to influencing modern society, London has been a key player in the history of the world. But if you look deeper, that history has quite a bit of magic to it.
Before there were bangers and mash, strange names for everyday objects (it’s a cookie, not a biscuit) or strict adherence to the metric system, London was a lush, green piece of land with access to the ocean via the river Thames. The earliest settlers of London were Iron Age people known as the Trinovantes. This early, Pagan-Celtic people practiced their own religion that bordered on mysticism along with nature worship. Later, leaders of this culture and religion were referred to as Druids. The Druids took pagan worship up a few notches when they erected a bunch of huge rocks fondly called Stonehenge. Still a mystery as to why the very formation elicits feelings of the mystical.
Passing from one conqueror to the next, London (and the rest of England) changed hands multiple times before the modern era. And with each conquest came the unpleasant task of learning a new language coupled with the magic of new mystical beliefs or the having preexisting beliefs suppressed.
By the eleventh century, London was shaping up to become the thriving commercial and political center it is today. At that time, travel shared ideas, and the idea of Buskers, or street performers, became a popular profession in London. The first performers started out with song and dance then quickly moved on to feats of magic, sleight of hand, illusion, and even simple alchemy. Buskers were good for attracting business to shops, but some were also good at picking pockets as well. Around this time, the now well-known wizard Merlin started to appear in various literary works, the character being pulled from Welsh poetry and myths. His supernatural powers are told, in one version, to come from the fact that he is born of a mortal woman and an incubus. Certainly the idea of otherworldly powers was starting to have a popular hold on the general public.
By the time the Renaissance rolled around, back in London, well-established street magic was a part of London life, permeating other mediums as well. Some of Shakespeare’s plays--the bane of many a high school student--used magic as a major plot device (Macbeth and the witches anyone?). The Bard used the power and fear of the mystical to drive his plays, and keep people interested and coming back for more.
As London became the hub of a powerful country, its influence spread and attracted numerous performers. The great Harry Houdini even used London as his home base as he toured Europe and performed some of his most daring escapes. Also in the early 20th century, the British magician David Devant was the talk of the town, and was sought after for Royal Command Performances. He was the first president of London's famed Magic Circle and his easy banter and sauve, witty stye won him many fans, some calling him England's greatest magician.
Modern day London still embraces magic, and honors its long history in illusions. Davenports' Magic Shop is the oldest magic shop and school in London. Established in the late 1800s, Davenports is still offering classes and fun tricks to try out. London is also home to world-class magicians who perform for celebrities and royalty alike. Performers such as Etienne Pradier, Tariq Knight, and Drummand Money-Coutts, have made a name for themselves with their mastery of sleight of hand and illusion for the rich and famous. And then there is Derren Brown! A master mentalist with truly mind-bending capabilities in hypnotism and the power of suggestion, Brown will make you question many things. Watch an episode of Mind Control and you’ll be a believer as well.
London has always been a place of rich culture, heritage, and magic. This is true both in London and Great Britain in general, and has led to the birth of the hugely popular magical phenomenon... the Harry Potter series. The power, imagination and joy of magic has obviously not been lost on the English.
PAST London Magic Shows
Derren hails from the UK where he has been bamboozling audiences with psychological manipulation and hypnotism for several decades. His TV show Mind Control in the UK was hugely popular and he has performed such stunts as successfully predicting the National Lottery and literally sticking TV viewers to their sofas. Derren's show Secret played off-Broadway in 2017. Derren is also an accomplished portrait painter and photographer, with his works being shown in prominent London art galleries.
So as you can see, there is plenty of mystery, magic and bedazzling entertainment in the buzzing streets of London. Keep checking back, as our list is always changing, just like this delightful city. Enjoy your many magical London adventures!