Performers from the US and UK will be joining forces early next month to entertain North East magic fans of all ages.

On Wednesday, March 9, magicians and puppeteers from both sides of the Atlantic will be performing live at the Customs House, South Shields – with a little help from a few furry and wooden friends.

The special Family Magic Extravaganza, which is being sponsored by Newcastle-based retailer MagicBox, forms part of the 1th annual South Tyneside International Magic Festival, organised by South Tyneside Council and magician Martin Duffy.

Its unique international line-up will be headlined by American puppeteer Scott Land, who has performed for Hollywood A-listers such as Steven Spielberg and Sylvester Stallone and had the honour of creating and operating a Julie Andrews look-alike marionette for Disney’s The Princess Diaries 2.

magic show shields

Gary Dunn

He will be joined by Scottish children’s entertainer Gary Dunn, as well as a host of spell-binding performers from across the North East, including Newcastle-based magician Flash, experienced entertainer Tony Junior and Magic Myrtle, who is likely to be accompanied on stage by one of her magic rabbits and puppet Colin the Parrot.

MagicBox co-founder Graeme Shaw, who is the youngest person ever to be elected president of the Newcastle Magic Circle and holds the most awards of any North East magician, will also perform.

Graeme said: “MagicBox have supported the South Tyneside International Magic Festival since it launched in 2004 and we are delighted to be involved again as it celebrates its 10th anniversary.  This year’s Family Magic Extravaganza promises to be the best yet and I’m honoured to be part of it both on and off stage.”

The Family Magic Extravaganza, which has been specifically designed for a younger audience, forms part of a week-long programme of events marking the South Tyneside International Magic Festival’s 10th birthday.

Other events being held between Monday, March 4 and Sunday, March 10 include a series of themed-performances in schools across South Tyneside, a three-day convention specifically for professional magicians and two International Gala shows at the Customs House, South Shields.

Cllr Alan Kerr, Deputy Leader of festival organiser South Tyneside Council, said: “The International Gala Shows cater primarily for teenagers and adults, while the Family Magic Extravaganza ensures that even the youngest magic fan can be part of our festival and help us celebrate a magical decade of family fun.”

The Family Magic Extravaganza starts at 6.30pm.  Tickets, priced at £6 each are available now from the Customs House on 0191 4541234 or www.thecustomshouse.co.uk.  A combined ticket for the Family Magic Extravaganza and both Gala Shows is also available priced at £25.

A full line-up for the South Tyneside International Magic Festival can be found at www.southtyneside.info/magicfestival