ORGANISERS OF a popular North East festival have conjured up three magical events for its return this week (10 - 13 October) - and there's still time to get tickets.
The South Tyneside International Magic Festival takes place at the Customs House, South Shields, from 10 to 13 October, welcoming a whole host of magicians from across Europe and the US.
And it will kick off on Thursday with the Family Magic Extravaganza, sponsored by Magicbox, where little ones can enjoy tricks from New York-based performer Mario "the Maker Magician" Marchese, who is known for his DIY props and inventions.
He will be joined by award-winning North East magician Graeme Shaw, with more than 15 years in the industry under his belt, and Durham-based close-up magician Tom Bolton who has been passionate about magic since the age of six.
Also entertaining families are world-renowned illusion and escapology act Amethyst, along with international magician and creator Steve Gore who recently returned from a week of shows at Hollywood's world-famous Magic Castle.
The following night magic fans can enjoy the first of the two gala shows, with Friday's line-up featuring Spanish performer Maga Gisell's unique theatrical act, master illusionist Olmac from France and award-winning Welsh duo Safire, with stand-up and cabaret magician Mark Shortland as compere.
Laura London will bring an extract from her acclaimed one woman show CHEAT, and representing the US on Friday night's line-up is Nate Staniforth, who has appeared on TV shows including Next Great Magician and Breaking Magic.2
Then, on Saturday, Britain's Got Talent finalist and ventriloquist Steve Hewlett will entertain with some special guests, along with Mike Pisciotta, the resident magician at Hollywood's world famous Magic Castle, and the current Magic Circle Young Magician of the Year, Adam Black.
And completing the line-up are Britain's Got Talent winner Richard Jones, Spanish magician and Penn and Teller: Fool Us champion Xulio Merino and Matricks, who perform high energy illusions.
Councillor Alan Kerr, Lead Member for Culture and Leisure at South Tyneside Council, is delighted to welcome an international line-up to South Shields.
"We're now in the 16th year of the festival and the calibre of the acts just gets better and better every time," said Cllr Kerr.
"This is the first time many of the magicians will be performing in the UK so it is a really unique opportunity to see a diverse range of entertainers all under one roof."
Tickets start at £13 for the gala shows, £8 for the family show and can be purchased from www.customshouse.co.uk or by calling 0191 454 1234.
The South Tyneside International Magic Festival is organised by South Tyneside Council and magician Steve Gore, supported by BBC Newcastle and sponsored by The Customs House and Magicbox.