NO MATTER what age you are, there’s something captivating about illusions and magic.

From Harry Potter to Derren Brown, I’m sure we’ve all seen at least one trick that’s left us in awe or disbelief.

And now the UK’s leading band of mind-blowing illusionists and magicians will be visiting Somerset to perplex, astound and thrill audiences from all over the country.

Grand illusionists Young and Strange, master mind reader Alex McAleer, award-winning queen of close-up Fay Presto and international stage magician of the year Edward Hilsum will be performing incredible feats of mind-reading, stunning close-up, daring large-scale illusions and a death-defying, heart stopping finale.

Touring since 2013 and seen by nearly a quarter of a million people, with over 20 million online views between them, this is the champion of all family viewing magic shows.

We spoke to the cast of Champions Of Magic, ahead of their forthcoming tour to find out the secrets of their success.

After four tours, how do they manage to keep the magic alive?

Alex said: “Each member of the cast is showcasing their particular speciality in the field of magic, be it mind reading, close-up magic, or grand illusions, so audiences are not seeing us all doing the same kind of thing; there’s a real variety to the show.

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“I think that’s the key; it makes the show appeal to a broad range of people; young, old, families and friends on a night out to the theatre.”

Magicians are said to be notoriously competitive with each other, especially when you get a group together for one show to compete for the audiences attention, but this group say they all get along really well.

Is there ever any competitiveness?

Alex, a successful writer in the magic world, said: “We all have a genuine respect for each others acts and what we each bring to the show. Every time we go on tour it’s like a group of old friends or family coming together.”

Fay added: “We have a respect for each other’s disciplines, Ed’s manipulations are as tight as they could possibly be, Richard and Sam’s illusions are both slick and witty and their sense of fun is true both on and off the stage. If anybody is going to get inside my head and walk around, I want it to be Alex McAleer.”

Young and Strange, who met when they were just eight years old, said: “Our act is always the audience’s favourite, so there is no need to be competitive or have any sort of ego.

“Compliments should go to the rest of the cast who are great fun to work with and who are also our very good friends. That really helps in the world of magic which is littered with magicians whose self-belief and importance outstrips their talent.”

What do the cast believe magic’s popularity is down to?

Edward, who is credited as being one of the brightest of the current crop of emerging magic entertainers, said: “There are some fantastic TV shows which have taken magic to a larger audience so more people now want to see it live.

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“But I also think that in the current information age, where the answer to most questions is available instantly online, we all crave that sense of wonder that comes from a real mystery.”

Fay, who is a member of the Inner Magic Circle, said: “There is so much that can be created ‘digitally’ these days, to see something you cannot explain ‘live’ and in the flesh, unfiltered by the tricks that can be played with video and transmission through television and computer is very special.”

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Young & Strange also believe that TV and the internet have helped bring magic back into the 21st century.

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They added: “In the past 25 years the success of David Blaine, followed by Dynamo and then the resurgence of David Blaine more recently has helped carve a new interest and fashion for magic.

“In the 80’s and 90’s it had a reputation as being too cheesy and dated. With the current wave of television talent, magic doing very well on the ‘Got Talent’ shows and magic being perfect for online viral videos, it’s brought magic right back into the 21st century.”

  •  Champions of Magic will be at the Octagon Theatre in Yeovil on March 18.

For more information and to book, visit or call the box office on 01935 422884.