Harry Potter's favourite magician

HARRY Potter s favourite magician, illusionist Paul Kieve, hosts a Magic Festival at Stratford Circus later this month, writes MATT TROLLOPE. Paul, 42, who grew up in Buckhurst Hill, is the only magician to have appeared in a Harry Potter film – the thir

HARRY Potter's favourite magician, illusionist Paul Kieve, hosts a Magic Festival at Stratford Circus later this month, writes MATT TROLLOPE.

Paul, 42, who grew up in Buckhurst Hill, is the only magician to have appeared in a Harry Potter film - the third one - as a wizard in a pub scene.

As well as devising illusions for the hit film series, he's worked on more than 100 leading theatre productions, including West End shows of Roald Dahl's The Witch, Scrooge, Zorro The Musical and Our House, the production based on the music of Madness.

A former pupil of Davenant School, Loughton, he lived in Ilford in the early '90s and now lives in Hackney.


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He told the Review: "I got on really well with Harry Potter actor Daniel Radcliffe, so much so that I gave him magic lessons in his spare time.

"Then Daniel wrote the introduction for my book, Hocus Pocus, which was really nice of him."

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And Hocus Pocus is the title of Paul's segment of the day of workshops and performances at Stratford Circus, one of five sessions which run from 11am on Saturday, November 28.

Also a technician on Derren Brown's Enigma show, Paul explains: "I've become known as someone who devises illusions for theatre and film.

"I prefer the term illusion to magic, because whether it's on stage or for a production or a movie, we're creating an illusion so that you believe it's magic or has magical effect."

His book, and the Stratford Circus show, bring to life the famous tricks of some of the great magicians of the past, and in the 3pm slot is aimed at eight-year-olds and over.

Christoper Howell kicks things off in the morning at Stratford Circus, Theatre Square, Stratford, with the Enchanted Island workshop for four to seven-year-olds, then there's a wizard workshop at 12.30pm for five to seven-year-olds.

After Paul's session, there is a magic masterclass for eight-year-olds and over at 4.30pm, and the main show in the evening is a double bill from 7pm called Love and Other Magic Tricks and Magic To Cry For, aimed at adults, but fine for 14-year-olds and over.

Paul said: "It's great to be involved in this event at Stratford Circus. I've had links with the neighbouring Theatre Royal Stratford East since the early '90s, when I worked on the Invisible Man, which later went on to West End."

Individual workshops for the Magic Festival cost �3, tickets for the evening double bill are �12, while a family ticket (two adults and two children) to one day time event, is �17.

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