Published: 06:00, 25 April 2021
A society for magicians has made a plea for new members eager to learn a trick or two as lockdown restrictions are eased.
The Kent Magicians Guild, based in Dunton Green, Sevenoaks, has been celebrating the talents of magical acts across the county for the past 38 years and has a motto – 'Habeo Magicus Incessus' – Keep the magic going.
That's exactly what it hopes to do by attracting new talent to join.
After what has been a devastating time for performers, next month the club is looking forward to finally meeting face-to-face, albeit socially distanced, for the first time since the start of the pandemic.
The club is partnering up with The Kent Entertainers Guild of Performing Arts to welcome ventriloquists, jugglers, musicians, clowns and a whole host of other entertainers.
Club member Mike Ingham, who has been performing as Micky the Magician for more than 35 years, said: "There are a lot of mental health benefits to taking up something like magic after the lockdown.
"It's an art of storytelling and it helps build confidence as well as a way of learning how to communicate with others.
"We would love to welcome new members because we'd love to see their talents as well as share tips of our own."
The club has 20 members who perform individually across Kent.
They meet on the last Tuesday of every month to rehearse acts in front of an audience, share tips and try out new ideas.
On occasions they will even have lectures by some of the best magicians in the country.
Mr Ingham says anyone over the age of 16 is welcome to join but the club would particularly like to attract younger performers.
He said: "When I went to my first magic convention in Brighton, I was 16 years old and I remember then thinking I was one of the youngest ones there.
"When I go to magic conventions now, I'm still one of the youngest ones and I'm 62 so there is plenty of room for new talent.
"It’s hard to draw in young people when magic is not on mainstream TV but we see this as an opportunity to help them come out of lockdown.
"I started doing magic when I was eight. My uncle showed me a trick where he made a handkerchief disappear and I was hooked from then.
"We want other people to have that too."
The club has a rich history. It was set up in 1983 by Reg Martin who is famous for designing tricks for The Paul Daniels Magic Show.
He put postcards in various shops asking for those interested to contact him with a view to starting a magic club.
Adverts were also sent to the local press and on Tuesday, August 2, 1983, during its first meeting in a hall at the back of the United Reformed Church, the Orpington and Sevenoaks Magic Circle was born.
Early 1984 brought about a change in the name. The club says The Magic Circle in London was not happy with it using that name and after much deliberation, the current title was adopted.
The guild eventually relocated to the Bat and Ball Community Centre before its final move to the Dunton Green Social Club where it remains today.
Members have still been meeting on Zoom throughout the pandemic but are looking forward to being reunited on May 25.
Newcomers can join with a three-month trial before becoming a fully fledged member.
To learn the trick of the trade, contact Kent Magicians Guild here or call Mike on 07724273157.