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We create and present professional touring theatre for children in theatres,
arts centres, schools and community venues, festivals and at outdoor events.
Since 1982 our shows have been enjoyed by children in Rome, Singapore, Galway and Goole!

About Magic Carpet Theatre

Our Victorian melodrama for kidsMagic Carpet Theatre was founded by Jon Marshall in 1982 and has been touring all over the world ever since. We've toured from Genoa to Glasgow via Singapore, Ireland and most of Italy! We tour as a company of professional performers and crew, working with other talented, creative artists to create our original productions. We are especially interested in the traditional skills of variety theatre, circus, puppets, clown, slapstick and physical theatre.

Steve and the OctopusSteve Collison, Company Manager, has worked with Magic Carpet Theatre for almost twenty years. He is a talented comedy actor and workshop leader, his slapstick skills were first honed in his family act, The Crazy Brigade, that toured galas and carnivals. His early interest in juggling and unicycling was encouraged by juggler, Haggis Mcleod when Steve was a teenager on work experience with Zippo’s Circus. Steve also presents his solo act, Dangerous Steve, an hilarious street theatre show incorporating comedy juggling, audience participation, unicycling and ladder balancing.

Paula Reading playing Wilma Wise in Anthony Peters’ play Jungle Magic Many of these elements are incorporated in Magic Carpet’s productions, combining a theatrical and educational experience with performance skills to make Magic Carpet’s highly entertaining and unique style.

We work closely with specialist designers, prop makers, graphic artists, musicians and costumiers who help to make our shows so memorable and exciting to our audiences.

Anthony Peters. He’s collaborated with us on several recent productions including Mr Shell’s Seaside Spells, Jungle Magic, Professor Tumbling’s Tricks, dreaming up unusual and challenging shows perfectly crafted to suit our style and allowing us room for our theatrical magic, physical bits and business.

Anthony Peters’ jungle adventure playPaula Reading playing Wilma Wise in Anthony Peters’ play Jungle Magic Dave Whatt, is our Designer, we have worked with Dave since the early 1980s. He is a brilliantly inventive prop maker, scenic artist and set builder. We enjoy working with Dave from concept through production of a set model to completed scenery.

He is also a key member of our Sideshow project team - restoring and reinterpreting original Sideshows from the 1950s and staging them for new audiences, Dave has repaired and made wooden frames , re-touched and re-varnished paintwork and manufactured missing props, He completely restored a 1950s life-size, animatronic, Frankenstein monster to full scary operation!

hildren’s theatre designer Dave WhattOur scripts often call for the scenery to be practical – in our space show, working air lock hatches, robots, sliding space-dock doors and a moonscape are all required, Dave’s elegant solutions add so much to the enjoyment and involvement of our audiences who may not realise the amount of design expertise, fabricating and scenic painting involved in creating the sets.

Poster of Prof Tumblings tricks Jim Deighton, graphic designer, has, for many years, produced quality, eye catching and audience appealing logos, posters and bills enabling venues we visit to publicise our shows.

Magic Carpet are an extremely versatile and experienced touring company devising versions of their shows for venues and spaces of all types inside and outside, for audiences of all ages and needs.

Special Events

700 ParadeOver the years Magic Carpet have enjoyed accepting and working on many special commissions, among them – Circus 700 - we worked with over 150 young people to create a performance celebrating Hull's 700th Anniversary.

There were workshops in centres throughout the city with thousands of youngsters and two weeks rehearsal culminating in a splendid parade and circus show. (1999). Sponsored by Reckitt and Colman with assistance from Hull City Council and Yorkshire Arts.

Jon being fastened into his very hot Gorilla suit Teaching Italians English - We were invited to Switzerland to participate in the production of a DVD designed to teach English to Italian speaking pupils. It was fun playing the parts of a Gorilla Professor, Tarzan, Dracula and an American Policeman! And we toured Italy twice a year for several years working with promoter, Pietro Clementi. Visiting Theatres including venues in Venice, Mestre, Bologna, Genoa, Frascati, Ancona, Milan, Naples, Fererra, Lecco, Latina and Rome. In Rome we enjoyed playing at Teatro Verde and Teatro Colosseo. Molto Bene!

700 ParadeGlastonbury - We performed as the characters featured, in silhouette, for the BBC Glastonbury titles and logos for the last three. And most recently, with our designer Dave Whatt, creating and advising on special effects and props for Marisa Carnesky’s production, Dystopian Wonders that debuted with pilot performances at the Roundhouse, the Lowry and Sheffield’s Crucible Theatre. Olivier Award winning Marisa’s script called for a lady to levitate, a “half-lady” to be displayed and a dancer to climb inside a, live, reclining body and disappear!


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For more information call 01482 709939 or contact Magic Carpet Theatre today!
The Wizard of Castle Magic
Mr. Albers's Big Finish
Magic Circus
Circus Avago

“Thank you for the superb shows last week. Having sold out both performances I am sure that I made the right decision in choosing Magic Carpet Theatre to open our new series of children's entertainment.”
Dudley Leisure Services

“I have been involving children with Magic Carpet since the early 1990s. Every single show is different and I am continually impressed with the interaction between the performers and the audience. The ability and desire for impromptu interaction is a rare quality these days – the desire to allow children to participate is a refreshing change in this “top-down” world. The children shine in this show. I cannot do anything else than strongly recommend Magic Carpet to absolutely everyone. My advice - book them now! Many thanks for bringing a bit of magic back into education- for everyone.”

“A professional company who were friendly and appreciative of their welcome to our parish. This show held the attention of the complete audience ( this included young children aged 2 plus to adults 91 years old) for 1 hr and 15 mins continuously. An excellent show that all thoroughly enjoyed.”
Arts Council of Wales,
Night Out Promoter

“good, useful ideas for follow-up. The younger children have followed up with art work and the older ones have been writing and drawing. Thanks for the super performance.”
Literature Co-ordinator

“The production suited all ages and ability levels. The pre-show meeting with reception children was appreciated. The staff wonder how you always seem to find a “certain kind of child!!” to take part.”