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Close up magic is good but if you want your event to be a success there is something much better....

It's generally accepted that if you want to really give your guests the WOW factor at your next event then hiring a magician is a great option. Magic is very 'in' right now. With performers like Derren Brown, Dynamo, Chris Angel, David Blaine and Ben Hanlin leading the way the future for magic is very bright indeed.

More and more event planners are realising this and therefore multiple events now feature a close up magician. For those readers that have been living under a rock for the last few years a close up magician is a magician that wonders around performing magic up close and personal. The magic happens in the hands of the spectators and can be very powerful.

close-up magician spreading out a deck of red playing cards

Unfortunately due to the increasing popularity of close up magic having a close up magician at an event as lost some of the WOW factor. It has gone from been unusual and unique to almost being expected. The other day I was performing close up magic at a large corporate event and went up to a group of delegates. I introduced myself as a close up magician and they said "we were waiting for you to come round".

Now to be clear magic was not advertised to be a part of the event. They were expecting me because the last seven events they had been to featured a close up magician. Although they enjoyed the magic and thought I was very good it was almost expected - like a DJ or a band.

In my opinion watching a magician should leave the audience feeling like they have seen something special. I always tell clients that booking Slightly Unusual will really give their guests the WOW factor. So the question is how can an event planner or wedding planner use magic at their event and make it unique and special?

The answer is simple - have a stage show at the next event you organise. The only thing more spectacular than close up magic is watching magic on stage. Seeing an illusion show (something your delegates will have only previously watched on TV) taking place right in front of your eyes is SPECIAL. Think about the last few events you have been to. How many of them featured a close up magician? Now how many of them featured a Grand Illusion Show?

I rest my case!

I guarantee that featuring a stage show at your next event will get your guests talking (for all the right reasons!). The next question is should you go for a cabaret show or a full illusion show. Really there are two factors that influence this choice - space and budget. Let's look at the difference between a cabaret show and an illusion show.


A cabaret show is a one person show combining magic, mind reading and custom designed smaller illusions. With a cabaret show the emphasis is on comedy and audience participation. Almost every trick involves members of the audience and the show is very, very funny. The Stage Newspaper described our cabaret show as "Like seeing Derren Brown on Speed!".

a magician and two assistants on stage performing magic using a red balaclava


Our illusion shows are amazing. We have performed the act on TV numerous times and in 2013 The Stage said we were "The Speciality Act of the Decade". Its a three person show combining grand illusions with laugh out loud comedy into one stunning package. Sky TV summed up the act better than anyone when then they described it by saying "Imagine if Morecambe and Wise performed the illusions of David Copperfield". During the show people appear, disappear and change places right in front of your eyes. There is also a lot of audience interaction with members of the audience invited on stage and encouraged to participate throughout. We can even open the show by making a VIP appear on stage in front of all their guests - imagine that!

two magicians reveal female magician assistant in a see through box and a red cloth


When deciding which show to book the first thing to take into consideration is the space that you have for the performance. An illusion show requires quite a large space. You don't need a stage but a dance floor would be ideal. As you can imagine you need fairly large boxes and would need a place to set them up. Obviously the show will be set up before the delegates arrive so that is not an issue. A cabaret show however is a much smaller show and will literally fit anywhere. As it is a one person show and the emphasis is on smaller illusions space is not an issue at all.

The second consideration is budget. The illusion show costs a lot more money. This is because of the time required to set the show up and that it uses three entertainers. The cabaret show is a much cheaper option and is more than half price. The costs are a lot less with a cabaret show as there is only one performer and less of a set up.

Both a cabaret show and an illusion show are stunning. Your guests will remember the performance forever. However if you want something truly epic the illusion show is the best option for you. On the other hand if your budget is limited the cabaret show is still a great option that all your guests will love.

CTA Banner illustration designed through adobe illustrator for a magician and illusionist company


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