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Magic Carpet Theatre present professional, touring children’s theatre
for young audiences and families in arts and educational venues and at festivals.
Read about our current activities here.

Latest Tour News

The Butterfly Girl at Davenport’s Magic Kingdom
(Februaty 2015)

The Butterfly Girl at Davenport’s Magic KingdomThe amazing Butterfly Girl, part of our Sideshow project, is now fluttering her wings, mystifying and beguiling the visitors to Davenport’s Magic Kingdom in Norfolk. It’s a great, magical day out and as well as our Butterfly Girl Sideshow installation there are loads of interactive displays for all the family to experience including a show.

Sideshows at Butlins
(January / February 2015)

Sideshows at ButlinsIn between Moon Magic performances we were busy with our Sideshow projects working with our friends at Butlin’s Resorts in Minehead and Bognor Regis updating the sideshows we installed in 2013 and 2014 and directing the brilliant new teams ready to start thrilling their guests with Igorstein the Monster, the Werewolf, Battina - Half Girl-Half Bat, Madame Pavlova the Living Half Lady, Arachnia the Half Girl-Half Spider and the Dungeon of Doom!

Outdoor Shows too!Outdoor Shows too!
(December 2014)

Our Moon Magic December schools’ tour was completely sold out . Magic Carpet also provided outdoor entertainment for many towns and villages Christmas festivities at fun days and evening Christmas lights switch ons including Pocklington, Howden and for Rotherham Council.

Moon Magic new cast member arrives Moon Magic new cast member arrives
(November 2014)

Magic Carpet rehearsed our new version of Moon Magic. A new member of the team arrived - Flossie, to help us fly the Space Ship. Florence Collison appears by permission of her mother Alex Boanas.

Riverside Special School in GooleRiverside Special School in Goole
(September 2014)

Steve is pictured having a quick warm up on one of our circus fun bikes just before the pupils and staff arrived for a brilliant Circus day at Riverside Special School in Goole.

Le Grand Depart - Keighley Hub
Le Grand Depart - Keighley Hub(July 2014)

Our Wonder Wheeler’s unicycles and fun bikes were on offer to entertain the thousands waiting to see the riders flash past the Keighley section of the route. Keighley Council had provided a giant screen so the crowds could follow the race.

Pocklington Bicycle Day
(July 2014)

Pocklington Bicycle DayAs part of the excitement leading up to Le Grand Depart Yorkshire. Pocklington hosted a bicycle fun day and Magic Carpet provided a Wonder Wheeler’s Workshop. As well as unicycles of all sizes participants could have a try balancing on and riding our collection of fun bikes including our very tall bicycle, bendy bike, humbsty bumbsty bike, Penny Farthings, Circus bikes and Fun Wheels and Pedal Goes. No one managed to win the Unrideable Bike Challenge!

Circus Skills at Anlaby and Horndale Schools
(July 2014)

Circus Skills at Anlaby and Horndale SchoolsAnlaby Acre Head Primary School and Horndale Infant School are two of our favourite schools - we presented a whole school circus skills session at Horndale and worked with Year 6 and 2 as part of their transition activities at Anlaby Ace Head. Mr Stevens at Horndale thrilled the children riding our tall fun bike and his unicycle.

Theatre resource for schoolsTheatre resource for schools
(July 2014)

Magic Carpet Theatre, with the help of Leo, on work experience from Hull Collegiate, provided and focused the lighting for Sidmouth Primary School's play.

You can be a Circus Star
aaa(June 2014)

Circus Avago is a popular attraction at many outdoor events in the Summer - we created many new Circus Stars at venues from Burton Agnes Hall, Preston Village Show, Askham Bryan College open day, and many more.

Magic Circus at Pocklington
aaa(April 2014)

We are always delighted to visit Pocklington Arts Centre. It is great to establish a relationship with such a well run and popular venue in our region that attracts excellent audiences.

Corporate Workshops
(March 2014)

Corporate WorkshopsGF Smith, long established paper firm in Hull, booked a day circus skills workshop as part of a series of fun day corporate activities for their work colleagues. Held at The Albermarle Centre we enjoyed working with them and those taking part had no inhibitions in stilt walking, tightrope balancing and juggling.

The incredible Ten in One Show
(February 2014)

The incredible Ten in One ShowDr Phantasma’s Ten in One Show proved a hit at the Tattoo Tea Party at Event City in Manchester as part of our Sideshow restoration project.

Do Not Feed the Zombies
Do Not Feed the Zombies(October 2013)

There was a Zombie take over of Albert Square and the Winter Gardens for Sheffield’s Fright Night. we provided the training, making-up the Zombies and provided lights, sound and smoke to scare the thousands attending Fright Night.

Over a thousand in the audience!Over a thousand in the audience!
(August 2013)

Huge audiences enjoyed our performances of The Magic Circus for Norwich City Council and North Norfolk Council Summer Children’s Theatre Festivals.

Debut performance for Brent
(August 2013)

aaaBrent Civic Centre, right next to Wembley Stadium, is recognised as the greenest public building in the UK. Magic Carpet Theatre were invited to be the first theatre company to perform in The Atrium in which the grand staircase doubles as amphitheatre seating for the audience to watch our performance of The Wizard of Castle Magic. The performance was part of Brent Libraries Summer Reading Scheme activities and we also presented a magic workshop in Kensal Rise Library.

Black Country Touring
(July 2013)

We had a great time performing Wizard of Castle Magic and presenting a magic workshop at the RSA Academy in Tipton for Black Country Touring. What a brilliant Drama studio they have at RSA Academy.

Black Country TouringPacked with Circus shows and Workshops
(June 2013)

June is packed with Circus shows and workshops. After two performances of our children’s theatre production. The Magic Circus,  at Gorringe Primary in Mitcham, South London we have visited three of our favourite schools with Circus Avago - full day circus skills workshops - Thoresby Primary in Hull, two days in Marshlands Primary in Old Goole, working with the entire school. This is a school we have visited many times over the years since 1982 and it’s interesting that some of their ex pupils who we worked with in a 1996 week long, circus/drama project collaboration with Remould Theatre are now parents of some of the pupils we worked with during our latest visit.

We spent two days at the invitation of Headteacher Paul Bowlas working with staff and pupils  at Holy Trinity Junior School in Ripon, each day culminating in a show involving all the pupils, years 3 and  6 on one day and years 4 and 5 on the next day. This schools really lives up to it’s School Motto - “Encourage Challenge Inspire.” We really enjoy working continuously with large groups of mixed age pupils, it's non-stop fun and excitement especially with the brilliantly enthusiastic staff and pupils at schools like Holy Trinity, and Marshlands.

Paul was kind enough to write and tell us - “Just to let you know we love you coming to our school! Staff and children had such a great time and you really know how to get the best out of everyone.” Paul Bowlas, Head Teacher, Holy Trinity Junior School, Ripon

Brownies, Fleas and a Headless Lady!
(May 2013)

The Headless LadyIn May we started touring with a workshop for 20 brilliant Brownies from Hedon as part of their weekend camp activities. The Brownies all dived into juggling, unicycle and tightrope with excitement and enthusiasm. All earned their circus skills badge. And as a complete contrast Professor Vanessa of the University of Sheffield’s National Fairground Archive, with Sheffield City Council, booked Professor Jon with his Flea Circus to appear at Sheffield’s May Fayre in Weston Park. With our Sideshow project  we have installed our original 1950s sideshow - Yvette The Headless Lady at Davenport’s Magic Kingdom museum attraction in Norfolk for the summer season.

Workshop for Barnardo’s
(April 2013)

BarnadosWe had a great day working with Debbie Gray and her colleagues from Barnardo’s DSI Service and youngsters who attended our Circus Avago Day held at Hornsea.

After, we received a lovely thank you mail from one of the mums - “Hi just a quick thank you, my daughter, A, attended your workshop for Barnardo’s in Hornsea today and had a brilliant time well done and thank you.”

From Norfolk to Wembley
(March 2013)

Lyon ParkAs a professional touring company we are often asked, “will you travel to us?” and the answer is Yes! We tour continually and over the years have performed in venues from Singapore to Scarborough, Goole to Galway and Rotherham to Rome. During the month our travels took us, with The Magic Circus, to regular friends at, local to us, schools - Westfield Primary, Cottingham; Wybers Wood Academy, Grimsby; William Alvey School in Sleaford; Westwoodside and Crowle ,North Lincolnshire Primary Schools, with a trip up to Heighington Primary School in County Durham for an after school, early evening performance. We were also delighted, in March, to make return visits to Taverham Hall pre Prep School near Norwich with our full day Circus Avago workshop, and to take The Wizard of Castle Magic for a first visit from us to Wembley’s Federation of Lyon Schools, Thorne GreenTop Primary School and Earl Spencer Primary School in Northampton, all who had “lotions and potions”, “magic and fantasy” as themes for topic work.

Grand Theatre sellout!
(February 2013)

ShowzamAs part of Blackpool’s Showzam! Festival Magic Carpet Theatre presented Mr Albert’s Big Finish! for the half-term week in Blackpool Grand Theatre’s Studio. With a daily workshop - Mr Albert’s Tricks of the Trade the shows attracted full houses. There are some great photographs by Brian Ledgard on the Showzam! website -

“From start to finish the hour long performance was packed full of slapstick comedy. It was perfect family entertainment which had the younger members of the audience on the edge of their seats. With only a clapometer to save the theate it was a good job the audience roared with applause.” Julia Bennett, Blackpool Gazette.

Fylde Coast Schools workshops
(February 2013)

Workshops"Fylde coast children were encouraged to witness the spectacle that is Showzam! Blackpool’s variety festival when Magic Carpet Theatre visited primary schools across Blackpool teaching youngsters some of the finer skills of traditional variety. Plate-spinning, juggling and slapstick comedy were all included in the sessions. Jon Marshall who plays Mr Albert in Magic Carpet’s show said, ‘It is fantastic to visit schools and involve the children in some of the tricks of the trade. The response is great and it is really lovely to see their amazement with some of the work we perform’.” Blackpool Gazette

Magic Carpet Theatre visited Christ the King Primary, Park School, Thames Academy, Revoe School, Devonshire School and had a great session with Zac and his team at Tramshed Theatre at Montgomery School.

“To Clancy Mason, Arts Engagement Manager - Just wanted to thank you for arranging the Magic Carpet workshop for us. They loved it and so did the staff and volunteers! Both Jon and Steve were professional and executed an exciting, funny and well thought out workshop. Please pass on my thanks to them, we will be promoting their show at Showzam!.” Zac Hackett, Arts Team Co-ordinator, TramShed Theatre Company.

Sideshows at Bognor Regis
(February 2013)

ButlinsOur Sideshow Illusions’ project team - Jon, Steve and James ( - restoring and presenting old sideshows and creating new ones) had a busy few months working with Dave Whatt, Mark and Sarah and the Insect Circus team and Richard Morris  designing, building, installing and rehearsing the cast, in time to open for the February half-term with three new sideshows for Butin’s holiday resort at Bognor Regis. The Werewolf, Madame Pavlova - the Living Half-Lady and Arachnia - half- spider half-girl will be thrilling guests throughout the season in Butlin’s 1950s style revamped fairground.

Workshop for Nursery Age Pupils
(January 2013)

Stockwell Primary SchoolOur tour of schools with The Magic Circus continued in January including visits to perform for our regular friends in Healing, Westwoodside, Benjamin Adlard Primary in Gainsborough, Quay Primary and Burlington Infants in Bridlington and many more, it’s great to revisit school where we have a regular relationship. A new project was a visit to Stockwell Primary School in Hull with a circus skills workshop for their Nursery age children, they were amazing, fearless on the tightrope!

Magic Circus in Schools
(December 2012)

Magic CircusMagic Carpet entertained, with their new production of The Magic Circus, thousands of school children in Hull, East Riding, Lincolnshire, North East Lincs and North Yorkshire Primary Schools - everywhere from Grimsby to Cottingham, Hull to Ripon, Easington to Sledmere and on the last day of term our 30th visit to the excellent Craven Primary School in Hull, always a happy occasion.

Half-term in Wales
(November 2012)

Savoy TheatreThe Wizard of Castle Magic, with a magic workshop, was a perfect Halloween treat at The Savoy Theatre, Monmouth. Chris and his team were great hosts. Magic Carpet also appeared at Penllwyn Millennium Centre, near Blackwood, as part of the excellent Arts Council of Wales Night Out scheme. The volunteers, Sian Woosnam, Chris Lloyd and their colleagues work extremely hard to bring theatre shows to their community.

Zombies in Sheffield, again!
(October 2012)

ZombiesFor the fourth year Magic Carpet trained student Zombies from the University of Sheffield for Sheffield’s superb Fright Night. It’s a huge event and the Magic Carpet team really enjoyed working with Scott Barton of Yellow Bus Events and Professor Vanessa Toulmin and her staff of the National Fairground Archive .The Magic Carpet team of, Jon, Alex Boanas, who applied the make-up and crafted the  latex scars and wounds, and Jess Jackson, flash mob expert and chorographer ran workshops and trained 20 Zombies who thrilled the crowds in the Zombie Garden in the Millennium Galleries and Winter Gardens and performed their Zombie Dance routine in Tudor Square.

Cumbria Schools
(October 2012)

Cumbria SchoolsMagic Carpet Theatre visited schools in Cumbria with the Wizard of Castle Magic.Children in Maryport Infants, St James’ Catholic Primary, Millom, St Bega’s Primary, Eskdale Green, Bransty Primary, Jericho Primary and St James’ Infant School in Whitehaven, and schools in Gosforth, Beckermet were all brilliant audiences, and, we look forward to visiting them in 2013. And while we are on tour we are rehearsing for our next show, here’s a picture of Steve practicing riding his giant unicycle in front of the Wizard set at St James’ School, Millom.

Magic Carpet in Stately Homes
(September 2012)

Burton Agnes HallMany Stately Homes have presented Summer Theatre productions, as part of their visitor attractions. Magic Carpet has years of experience performing at outside events. This year we were delighted to visit some lovely old Halls including Harewood House (for the VW Festival), Burton Agnes Hall and Newby Hall with children’s theatre and Circus Avago.

Sheffield Fayre
(August 2012)

Sheffield FayreOur Sideshow project – Sideshow Illusions was invited back by the National Fairground Archive of the University of Sheffield and Sheffield Council to present our new Dr Phantasma’s Ten in One Show. The magnificent, colourful, canvas banner line looked brilliant outside. With Miss Elastina, Alex, Dangerous Steve, Bendini, Dr Diabolo and James Long all the shows were packed out, Professor Vanessa aided by assistant technician Chloe Thompson were on the door and a substantial sum was raised for the Lord Mayor’s charity and Friends of Norfolk Park. And we managed a company trip to the Edinburgh Festival in between shows and workshops for Norwich and South Norfolk Councils, The Radlett Centre, Beaufort Theatre, Blaenau Gwent and The Mill at Banbury.

Cottingham Day
(July 2012)

Cottingham DayWe had a re-booking at the annual Cottingham Day, this year, amidst a month of torrential downpours, our magic worked! For one day it was sunny and hot! The crowds took advantage of this novelty and enjoyed the parade, with stiltwalking, Major Long (, Professor Jon’s Flea Circus and Dangerous Steve’s street theatre, fire juggling and unicycling. We were joined by members of the Humberside Young Magicians’ group who enjoyed entertaining the crowd as much as the audience appreciated their street magic skills!

Cotswold Show – Wet, Wet, WET!
(July 2012)

Cotswold ShowThe rain and mud didn’t deter the visitors to Cotswold Show near Cirencester where we were presenting Circus Avago. It was tricky stiltwalking and riding pedal-goes in the mud, the children did not let the rain worry them though. We always take our wellies to outdoor shows and this year we needed them!

Newland High School Summer School
(July 2012)

Newland High SchoolNewland High School for Girls in Hull was one of many senior schools granted financial help to fund summer schools to assist the transition of primary school pupils to becoming year 7s.We were pleased to be part of their programme of events and to work with around 50 pupils at the University of Hull in a day long Circus Skills Workshop.

Black Country Touring
(July 2012)

Black Country TouringMagic Carpet Theatre often perform with regional arts agencies helping to take the arts to the parts other arts don’t reach and Black Country Touring have an excellent project involving Young Promoters in booking and presenting theatre.

We visited St John’s CE Primary School in Walsall Wood as part of that scheme where the youngsters manned the box office, did front of house duty and created and manned pre-show activity stalls.

Anlaby Acrehead Schools Mega Day!
(July 2012)

Anlaby Acrehead Schools Mega Day!We have visited Anlaby Acrehead School for many years with children’s theatre productions. When dynamic Head Rachel Robinson took up post a series of Mega days were instituted “Our whole school Mega Days are fun as well as educational. They build team spirit as well as key skills”. And Magic Carpet who had worked with Rachel at Hallgate and Newland St John’s School were asked to contribute to the incredibly varied and stimulating Mega Days programme. I don’t think we could express what we feel is the true value of teaching Circus Skills better  than in this quote from the school’s web site. And we have fun too!

“Mega Circus Skills Day is run by The Magic Carpet Theatre. All of Year 2 and Year 6 take part, usually on the last week of the year, giving an outdoor performance at the end of the day. It is paid for by parents' voluntary contributions and Friends of Acre Heads donation. It is part of a ‘moving on' series of events for Year 2 and 6 transition. By taking part in these days the children get to learn new physical skills or consolidate old ones. They balance, throw and catch, juggle, perform dance, drama and comedy and ride a unicycle. The children work in mixed age groups to perfect a routine for performance. They must co-operate, plan, discuss, review, rehearse, problem solve, communicate, co-operate and compromise. They learn to trust on the physical support of others.

This activity is single-handedly responsible for some children learning to co-ordinate two hands together. The confidence is palpable as it grows throughout the day. The children are trained expertly by the Theatre Group which always manages to bring out hitherto unearthed ability to perform. The psychological benefit cannot be underestimated. The day always proves tiring, enjoyable and surprising in its capacity to reach children in ways that classroom based activity or even usual PE lessons do not.

Diamond Jubilee events
(June 2012)

Diamond Jubilee eventsGoodness this was busy! Our Children’s Theatre production, The Wizard of Castle Magic, appeared at many schools including a first visit to Savile Park Primary School in Halifax, included in the audience were children from their Hearing Impaired Unit. Magic Carpet’s Steve Collison, with his one man street theatre show, Dangerous Steve entertained and thrilled thousands  of folk at Diamond Jubilee Celebrations at Cottingham’s Castle Hill Hospital, Howden, Bridlington and Alsager.
While Steve was busy juggling fire Jon took the Flea Circus to the Crich Tramway Museum and to an Edwardian Weekend at Thornton Manor on the Wirral, built by the eccentric Lord Leverhulme.

Kaleidoscope at Thoresby School, Hull
(May 2012)

Kaleidoscope at Thoresby School, HullThis caring and friendly inner city school have an annual Kaleidoscope week that gives all the children a chance to take part in many different experiences from Indian Dance to Philosophy and including, for the last few years, a visit from Magic Carpet Theatre’s Circus Avago – circus skills all day workshop. At Thoresby we usually present a whole school demonstration and entertainment for an assembly at the start of the day and culminate the day with a performance by the 2 year groups that are participating. It’s always brilliantly fun working with well behaved, friendly and desperately keen pupils!

Yvette debuts on Carters Vintage fair
(May 2012)

Yvette debuts on Carters Vintage fairWhen Anna and Joby Carter of Carter’s Vintage Fair asked us to take our Sideshow, Yvette The Headless Lady, to Pinkney’s Green we were really pleased. It was great to see the old Sideshow back in a show row, outside, with a real fair for the first time for over 40 years.

Norden Farm Centre for The Arts
(April 2012)

Norden Farm Centre for The ArtsWe had a great reception over two days of shows at Maidenhead’s Norden Farm Centre for the Arts. This was our third visit and we performed our Mr Albert’s Big Finish. The show is back into rehearsal where we are working on a new version for Blackpool’s Showzam Festival in February 2013 when the show will be at the Grand Theatre.

Packed month of School visits
(March 2012)

The Wizard of Castle MagicIt really was a packed month of school visits and a lot of travelling taking The Wizard of Castle Magic to schools in Hull and other towns and villages throughout the UK from Sleaford, Laceby and Gainsborough in Lincolnshire to Heighington and Newton Ayclyffe in County Durham (Horndale Infants is one of our favourite schools we delight in visiting Head teacher, Margaret Courtney, her friendly staff and pupils!). Along the way Jon amazed the public with Professor Jon’s Flea Circus in Scarborough, (to publicise the forthcoming Northern Magic Circle shows at The Spa), performed his comedy magic act at the York Circle of Magicians’ Dinner, and made a dash, by train, to London to train some barkers for a show at the Roundhouse in Camden in April.

Dr Phantasma’s Ten in One Show
(February 2012)

Dr Phantasma’s Ten in One ShowAs part of our Sideshow project – Sideshow Illusions took two original 1950s shows to the Showzam Festival at Blackpool – Yvette The Headless Lady and The Monster Show. We were delighted to premiere our new creation – Dr Phantasma’s Ten in One Show. It’s a re-creation of an American style sideshow complete with 40 foot banner line and outside bally platform. Commissioned by Blackpool Council and the University of Sheffield National Fairground Archive we worked with Mark and Sarah of The Insect Circus and our designer Dave Whatt with advice from Canadian showman Al Stencil and input from Todd Robbins to create this new version. Our great cast included, Human Blockhead - Tim Cockerill, Fire-eater - Dr Diabolo, No Middle Myrtle – Jess Jackson, Music – Nancy Langton, Sword Swallower – Bendini and Showman - Jon Marshall It had a brilliant reaction.

We made it in the end!
(January 2012)

Circus Avago!When Lucy Price, Assistant Headteacher, at St Joseph’s Catholic Infant School in Birtley got in touch to see if we could help with their whole school topic on Circus we were delighted to assist and make a trip to County Durham to present a full-day circus skills workshop. Sadly even Magic Carpet Theatre’s magic couldn’t lift the van out of a five hour jam on the A1! Luckily we managed to reschedule the visit for a week later and had a brilliant time on our first visit to this delightful small school.

The Wizard of Castle Magic Sold Out in December!
(December 2011)

Wizard of Castle MagicOur new show, The Wizard of Castle Magic, is sold out completely in December, it will be presented in primary schools in the Humberside area (and Holy Trinity Primary in Ripon, North Yorkshire).

Theatre shows, workshops in schools and rehearsals
(November 2011)

During October and November Mr Albert’s Big Finish! our theatre and arts venue touring show, attracted great audiences at Sheringham Little Theatre and Alnwick Playhouse, and we presented circus and magic workshops for Moorends Primary in Old Goole and Batley Infants School. Then it was into the rehearsal room to work on The Wizard of Castle Magic our new touring show.

Arts Council of Wales Night Out Scheme (October 2011)

Glasshouse - WalesWe have presented many of our shows in Wales for the Night Out touring scheme – and it’s great to be part of this scheme taking the arts to the parts that other arts don’t reach! In October we were at the Glasshouse, a community venue in Cefyn Mawr, a village near Wrexham. Both Moon Magic shows were sold out and we pleased to meet and work with Penny and Emma and their fellow volunteers who are working so hard to make a success of the venue as an arts centre for that area.

Zombies in Sheffield, again! (October 2011)

Zombie in SheffieldFor the third year Magic Carpet trained the Zombies at the University of Sheffield for Sheffield’s superb Fright Night. It’s a huge event and the Magic Carpet team really enjoyed working with Scott Barton of Yellow Bus Events and Professor Vanessa Toulmin and her staff of the National Fairground Archive at the University of Sheffield. The Magic Carpet team was, Jason Coyle, who applied the make-up, latex and acted as Zombie Master at the Millennium Galleries/Winter Gardens Zombie Cage site, and Jon and Steve at the Exchange Alley site. In the Exchange Alley a team of seven student Zombies lurched and shuffled through smoke and in silhouette to terrify, excite and amuse thousands of the Fright Night participants.

East Riding P’Arts Workshops (October 2011)

Magic Carpet was asked to present three days of magic themed workshops for the East Riding Council Arts Development Team during half-term. We visited Hessle, Bridlington Spa and Hornsea Floral Hall for sell out day long sessions.

Cumbria Schools (October 2011)

Magic Carpet Theatre spent two weeks touring Cumbria Schools, taking children’s theatre to many schools that they had visited before including, St Begha’s in Eskdale, Fairfield Infants in Cockermourh, Jericho Primary and St James’ in Whitehaven, Gosforth, Beckermet, Maryport Infants and a first visit to Flimby Primary School. We look forward to visiting Flimby in the summer term 2012 with a Circus Skills day. Nathan Leafe wrote a brilliant letter “Soar with the laughter” on his word processor, thanks Nathan, pleased you enjoyed the show. You can see Nathan’s super letter on our Feedback page.

Eurocol (September 2011)

EurocolSideshow Illusions project – the restoration of the Butterfly Girl Sideshow, tracing the origins of this Jon Gresham show and how we worked with Mark Copeland and Sarah Munro of the Insect Circus, our designer Dave Whatt and others to bring this lost show back to life.

Order of Merlin Presentation (September 2011)

Order of MerlinAt the International Brotherhood of Magicians British Ring Annual Convention in Southport Magic Carpet’s Director , Jon Marshall was presented with the Order of Merlin by International President Vanni Pule. Jon is also a member of The Inner Magic Circle and is pleased to use his magical skills in creating theatrical illusions for Magic Carpet’s shows, Sideshow Illusions and occasionally for other Theatre companies.

Moon Magic at Anlaby Acre Head Primary School (September 2011)

Acre Head Primary SchoolWe were delighted to visit our friends at Anlaby Acre Head Primary School with a performance of Moon Magic. This is what they said – “This morning the school hall became a space shuttle, the audience became the passengers on a thrill packed trip to the Moon. We had exploding robots, asteroid storms and strange plant life! Once again we said thank you to our good friends, the Magic Carpet Theatre group. Every year we appreciate their comedy and creativity when we begin the school year off with a superb production. This year was no exception - Moon Magic was hilarious!” Thanks to all our friends at Acre Head, we enjoyed our visit to you, especially performing with star actress, Rebecca!
Read more about the visit and see the photographs on the school web site -

Theatres and Outdoor Festivals (August 2011)

We visited one of our favourite venues, Pocklington Arts Centre, with Mr Albert’s Big Finish and also played the show at Banbury, Norwich, and South Norfolk, just a few of our tour dates during the Summer holiday period. We had a great time at, stately home and grounds, Harewood House where Magic Carpet presented Circus Avago for visitors at the VW Festival.

Sheffield Fayre (August 2011)

Sheffield FayreOur Sideshow project – Sideshow Illusions was invited back by the National Fairground Archive of the University of Sheffield and Sheffield Council to show three restored Sideshows at Norfolk Heritage Park in Sheffield for Sheffield Fayre. There were huge queues on each day and thousands were able to see The Living Half Lady, The Butterfly Girl and be scared out of the show in The Mummy.

Hull Truck Workshop (August 2011)

We enjoyed working with youngsters who had signed up for a Circus Workshop day at Hull Truck as part of the Creative Learning team’s summer activities. Some talented young people turned up, one had been paid for as a Birthday present! The improvised circus show at the end of the day was brilliant.

Cottingham Day (July 2011)

Cottingham DayIt was great to make a return visit to, the annual, Cottingham Day. And this year the sun shone and huge crowds turned out to enjoy the attractions. We were involved in presenting entertainment for the families and in presenting Circus Avago throughout the day. Many hundreds tried their hand at juggling, plate spinning, unicycling and walking the tightrope!

Summer Reading Challenge – Circus Stars (July 2011)

Circus StarsRoll up, roll up for Circus Stars, the Summer Reading Challenge 2011 The Summer Reading Challenge is a flagship library success story in the UK. Promoted by The Reading Agency, it focuses on reading for pleasure, and involves 97% of UK local authorities. We were delighted to present workshops and shows for family audiences in libraries from the London Borough of Brent to Hull City.

Four Oaks Cluster Group - Cris Baker (July 2011)

Four Oaks Cluster GroupFor several years Magic Carpet have presented children’s theatre for the Four Oaks (Sutton Coldfield) Cluster Group Week, we were delighted to perform Moon Magic twice daily for their Primary Schools this year, and we send best wishes to Cris Baker who has been their brilliant co-ordinator and has retired from that post this year.

Wizard of Castle Magic Booking Opens (June 2011)

Wizard of Castle MagicMagic Carpet Theatre’s new production of The Wizard of Castle Magic will tour from December 1st 2011 to November 2012.. It’s based on the traditional Sorcerer’s Apprentice tale and is guaranteed to enchant audiences of 3 – 11 year olds and their families. The production is set in the Wizard’s castle and the scenery is colourful and interactive with mysterious, moving portraits, sliding panels and trapdoors. It’s a very funny play, guaranteed to scare your socks off, occasionally! There are a few dates available in December 2011 and January 2012 for schools in the Humberside, Lincolnshire, North and West Yorkshire region. February 2012 is fully booked. Email or ring for latest availability.

Chester Vaudeville Festival (June 2011)

Chester Vaudeville FestivalJon was delighted to be invited to attend the Chester Vaudeville Festival as part of our Sideshow project – Sideshow Illusions. It was a brilliant weekend of street theatre, Burlesque, magic, comedy and Vaudeville shows. Jon’s talk about how the Sideshows have been restored was held in the intimate Watergate Deli. It would be great to present one or more of the Shows next year.

North Yorkshire Shows (May 2011)

The Milton RoomsWe made two visits into North Yorkshire county – to Lindhead Primary School, near Scarborough, to take the whole school to the Moon and back with our space adventure Moon Magic. Lindhead pupils are a brilliant audience.

Magic Carpet Theatre director, Jon Marshall is a member of The Inner Magic Circle, and theatrical illusions are often featured in their productions. Jon was delighted to put that talent to good use in performing for the opening Gala of Malton’s new Arts Centre, the Milton Rooms in a sold out show compered by the inimitable raconteur and comedy writer, Barry Cryer.

More Circus and Rain (May 2011)

Downham Market FestivalDownham Market Festival in Norfolk is an annual event, we took Circus Avago there in 2010, they asked us back this year and it was a fun day until the rain arrived and then it was wet! But it didn’t put the families off and despite the rain we were busy introducing fearless youngsters and damp parents to the joys of juggling, plate spinning and unicycling!

Circus Avago (May 2011)

Circus AvagoThis school term we are very busy presenting Circus Avago, our all action Circus skills workshop day, in schools and at Festivals and galas. Schools have told us that they are delighted that Magic Carpet work with all pupils involved all day, all ages, all at once from 9am to 3.30pm. And that they all take part in the performance with 15 to 20 acts at the climax of the day. Some schools have previously experienced workshops where each class just has a one hour session with a limited range of skills. Thoresby Primary School, in the centre of Hull, is a school we have visited many times and we spent a brilliant day creating a Circus with their Year 5s. Afterwards the pupils sent some great letters and pictures; This is Ben’s, age 7 ½ , he’s drawn the tightrope the audience and someone saying, “Arrh”. Hope they are not falling off! Mahanur, Freddie and Soraya’s pictures are on our Feedback page.

Return Visits (April 2011)

Danger BoysMost of the schools we visit are those that we have presented shows at for many years. It’s great to have that friendly relationship with our audiences. We made a quick return, and enjoyable, visit to, new friends, Holy Trinity Juniors in Ripon, this time with a two-day presentation of Circus Avago our circus skills workshop. And we returned, after 17 years, to perform at East Riding School - Westfield Primary. Rachel Hunt, teacher in charge of our visit, said – “Just a quick note to say a big thank you for two fantastic performances at Westfield on Tuesday. The pupils really loved it, will definitely be in touch to book again for next year”.

Our Company Manager and skilled performer, Steve Collison, when he is not touring with Magic Carpet is one half of the amazing, and very funny, Danger Boys and they have started their summer tour with April dates in London, Birmingham and Luton!

Great Feedback (March 2011)

Rob Alanna UlcebyWe receive brilliant letters, computer art work and pictures from schools for Moon Magic. Headteacher, Mike Wardley at St Nicholas Primary in North Lincs sent us some from the pupils and they told us about their performance of Scrooge. St Nicholas has a tradition of outstanding school drama with music and super costumes. We’ve put some of the letters in our Gallery pages along with some from Benjamin Adlard Community School pupils in Gainsborough.

The Butterfly Girl Flies (February 2011)

Buterfly GirlOur Sideshow project – Sideshow Illusions took three original 1950s shows to the Showzam Festival at Blackpool - The Living Half Lady, Electra, The Mummy and a re-creation of the 1960 show the Butterfly Girl, commissioned by Blackpool Council and the University of Sheffield National Fairground Archive. We were delighted to work closely with Mark and Sarah of The Insect Circus and our designer Dave Whatt to create this new version. It had a great reaction and we received double-page spreads in The Stage and The World’s Fair. Showzam had an attendance of 25,000. During the festival Magic Carpet Theatre’s Sideshow Steve appeared with his solo juggling routine at the North Pier in Madame Galina’s show on the North Pier.

Before heading off to Blackpool we visited Plover Primary School in Doncaster, again, with a full-day circus workshop and our team had a great day, with great kids in a really friendly school, and they’ve booked again for next year!

First Visit to the Junction (January 2011)

We made our first appearance at Goole’s new arts centre – The Junction. We had performed many times in the Junction’s previous incarnation, The Gate, and now we were delighted that Charlie and Nicola invited us to present Mr Alberts’s Big Finish and a workshop in their great new centre. One of the young audience, Milly Johnston, sent us a Facebook message – “hey I saw your Mr Albert’s Big Finish and I went to the work shop you’re the best”.

The Snow Must Go On! (December 2010)

Adelaide School SnowBoots and shovels were loaded in the van as the snow came down. We dug our way in and out of Adelaide Primary School in Hull with the help of Headteacher Brian Roberts and caretaker Andy. And then we, and all our school venues, were snowed in for the next eight days! We were pleased to visit Ripon for two performances at Holy Trinity Junior School. We gave them a date at the last minute when a theatre company let them down. Paul Bowlas the Head kindly emailed – “Today was brilliant and the feedback was outstanding” ... “the best show we've ever had”, “laughed so much I cried”, “the actors were really inclusive of all the children and dealt particularly well and sensitively with a child who has special needs”. Pupil, Ella, mailed – “Thank you for your outstanding ride into space! Me and my school thoroughly enjoyed your performance. I loved it when Bobby tried watering the moon plant and spayed the water on the audience. It was also hilarious when Bobby sat on a teachers lap. I hope you have more success on your next journey to space”. We booked new dates for all the schools who were snow bound and even managed to make it out to Bridlington on the last day of term for Martongate School and back to Hull for Craven Primary, schools Magic Carpet have visited on that day for 28 years!

Moon Magic opens in Schools (November 2010)

Moon MagicMagic Carpet Theatre is in rehearsal - preparing for December performances of Moon Magic in primary schools throughout Humberside. including Adelaide, Clifton, Thoresby, Hedon, Easington, Southcoates, Broadacre, Brandesburton, Allerton Immingham, St Nicholas Ulceby, Mersey, Spring Cottage, Martongate Bridlington and Craven Primary, many are schools that Magic Carpet Theatre first visited in the 1980s. Craven Primary school in Hull first had a performance from Magic Carpet Theatre on 17th December 1982, for pupils of the then Headteacher, Geof Marham, as well as occasional workshops they have had a children’s theatre performance on the last day of the autumn term every year since then – twenty-eight years, and they are always a brilliant audience!

BBC Radio Humberside (November 2010)

Richard HoggarthJon Marshall makes an appearance on the James Hoggarth music and chat entertainment show on BBC Radio Humberside on Wednesday 24th November 19.30 – 22.00. Jon will be talking about Magic Carpet’s new show and the progress of the Sideshow illusions project, said Jon, “I’m in good company on James’ show as guests earlier in the week include Elaine Paige and Roland Gift”.

Children in Need (November 2010)

Children In Need JuggleSteve and Jon, with volunteers from Round the Block, Phil and Rob and fellow juggler Callum, were delighted to help marketing director, John Gilbert and his Eskimo Soup team who were attempting a “keep the balls in the air” endurance feat at Hull’s St Stephen’s Shopping Centre to raise money and awareness for Children in Need. Leaving the football skills to John and Rich and Team Soup, Jon and Steve and the others offered a “have-a-go” juggling experience and training to passers-by in return for a donation.

Join us on Facebook (November 2010)

FacebookMagic Carpet Theatre is on Facebook. We hope you will “like” our page - join us on (or just click on our facebook link button, bottom of our web pages) to read more news of our travels and view tour and “back stage” pictures.

Round the Block Circus workshop (October 2010)

Round the Block Circus workshopThe Magic Carpet team enjoyed seeing the film made of the week long circus workshop held at Spring Bank Community Centre in Hull in the summer. The screening was part of a half-term follow-up, full day circus workshop presented with Sue Alvis and her Round the Block volunteers.

Extended School Project (October 2010)

During half-term week we made a return visit to Newlands Primary School in Ramsgate, Kent to present workshops and a performance of Mr Albert’s Big Finish for their Extended Schools Project. Co-ordinated by teacher Niki Curran and her colleagues we were delighted to work with their pupils, our visit culminated in a performance by all the participants including young Kieran, a star unicyclist whose determination and concentration was excellent. We are delighted to have assisted schools who participate in Extended Schools’ projects occasionally. I see that Ofsted have discovered compelling case-study evidence that, “extended services had made life-changing differences to pupils that had led to better attendance and attitudes” “The major benefits to children, young people and adults were enhanced self-confidence, improved relationships, raised aspirations and better attitudes to learning”. Just what we think our circus skills workshops can assist with.

Zombie Workshops for Sheffield University (October 2010)

Zombie WorkshopProfessor Vanessa Toulmin has asked Magic Carpet’s team to facilitate Drama workshops with a Zombie theme for students at Sheffield University to create performance pieces to play in non-theatre spaces including the Winter Gardens and Marks and Spencer’s shop window on Sunday 31st October for Sheffield’s Fright Night. The University based National Fairground Archive have also commissioned a performance installation, first seen at Blackpool’s Halloween Ball for Sheffield Crucible Theatre’s foyer – Madame Arcana’a Mirror of Destiny, a tongue-in-cheek “psychic” presentation with the infamous seer, Madame Arcana, incorporating illusionary techniques and a scary climax!

Cumbria – Lake District Schools Tour (October 2010)

Gosforth, St Bega’s, Bransty, Millom, St James', Whitehaven St James’, Maryport Infants and Beckermet are just some of the Cumbrian primary schools that Magic Carpet are presenting Mr Albert’s Big Finish at this month. We really enjoy touring this beautiful area and building a relationship with the schools that we have made many visits too.

Francis Askew School whole school workshop (September 2010)

Francis Askew Primary School in Hull has had many visits from Magic Carpet Theatre and we spent two brilliant days working with the whole school, half the pupils on each day who each spent the entire day participating in a circus workshop including juggling, unicycling, and tightrope walking and each day finished with a performance by the pupils.

Margate’s Dippers and Dunkers Festival and Sheffield Fayre (August 2010)

The Headless LadyFor a number of years Magic Carpet Theatre have developed a Sideshow project. Called Sideshow Illusions we have worked with a team of experts, especially, designer, Dave Whatt who has restored and built the props that have enabled the presentation, for the first time since 1969, of several original sideshows. Magic Carpet’s Sideshow Illusions team have worked closely with Professor Vanessa Toulmin of the National Fairground Archive to present these shows to new audiences – reinterpreting the styles of presentation and dramatising them to create a fascinating and popular promenade production. Over 7,000 saw the shows at Margate’s Dippers and Dunkers Festival and at Sheffield Fayre over five days. Our performances at Margate were included in a BBC Inside Out documentary broadcast on 18.10.210

Spring Bank International Circus (August 2010)

Magic Carpet worked with Sue Alvis and volunteering group, Round the Block, over six Wednesdays during June and July when Jamie Waudby ran training sessions that lead up to a week’s non-stop rehearsal period that culminated in a Saturday afternoon presentation of the Spring Bank International Circus for the Spring Bank Community Centre’s International Fun Day. And it truly was international, children participated from Polish, Turkish, Pakistani, Somali, local English and Kurdish communities.

Big in Norfolk (August 2010)

Magic Carpet were delighted to play return dates for South Norfolk Council and Norwich City Council both as part of their season of children’s theatre. Shows were packed out and Norwich’s outdoor Childplay performance festival in Waterloo Park attracted a huge audience of around four hundred for an outdoor version of Mr Albert’s Big Finish.

Non-stop touring! (July 2010)

Land's EndShows for Cluster Group - We made a seventh annual visit to Sutton Coldfield’s Four Oaks schools to present a week of children’s theatre for their cluster days.

Lands End! It’s a long way from Hull to Helston, even on a Magic Carpet! Finding we were performing a close to Lands End we couldn’t resist driving the extra few miles to take a picture, and fish and chips in Penzance were very good too!

Kelham IslandKaleidoscope Circus Skills - Magic Carpet were delighted to work with pupils from Hull’s Thoresby Primary School to present their circus skills as part of their annual Kaleidoscope Arts week.

Kelham Island Industrial Museum An unusual venue where Magic Carpet Theatre was asked by Sheffield University National Fairground Archive to present family oriented Edwardian entertainment for a Wakes Weekend event.

St Margaret of Antioch Primary School – our last visit. (June 2010)

Sadly this year will be the last time we visit St Margaret of Antioch Primary School in Liverpool. This delightful school, right in the centre of Toxteth, was over one-hundred years old. Magic Carpet has been presenting shows and workshops there since 1982.

Tightrope Walking at St. MargaretsSadly the “powers that be” had decided that it was too small to be “educationally viable” and all pupils were to be dispersed to other schools in the area. The head, Jim Craig had invited Magic Carpet to present our current show and a workshop before their final end of term. Our show, Mr Albert’s Big Finish had a particular poignancy for us as of course the show is about a building faced with closure that is ultimately saved. We will always have a special affection for St Margarets, my (Jon’s) cousins went to school there, my Grandmother lived just around the corner and my Dad went to school just up the road. Jim Craig and all the staff were the friendliest we have encountered.

We always looked forward to visiting them. We attended their farewell concert, a very moving occasion – celebrating 100 years of the school’s history with songs, sketches covering music hall and melodrama, evacuation and the blitz, the swinging 60s right up to present day culminating with “We’ll meet Again”. Jim Craig and his staff have always involved their pupils in drama and theatre, Jim has a passion for musical theatre, music hall and drama a wonderful confidence builder for their not so academic pupils, for many English was a second language. Jim and his staffs act of generosity to us was both surprising and immensely appreciated and will enhance our work in bring theatre to others especially to the parts that other arts don’t reach.

Jack on Work- Experience (May 2010)

Jack sorting Lighting GalsDuring May, Jack Gleadow, of Andrew Marvel Business and Enterprise College, spent two weeks on work experience with Magic Carpet Theatre.

Jack assisted with performances and workshops in schools in Liverpool, Staffordshire and in Theatres including the Radlett Centre helping with the get in, setting up, operating sound effects, assisting with lighting.

Magic Carpet creates illusions for Dystopian Wonders (May 2010)

Magic Carpet Theatre and designer and prop builder, Dave Whatt worked with Carnesky Productions to create some unusual effects and illusions and advise on the staging and lighting.

Dystopian Wonders“We need to see a Living-Half-Lady, walk around her and then watch a lady float into the air! And can a dancer climb inside a reclining girl’s belly and disappear?”, asked Olivier award winning performance artiste, Marisa Carnesky. All these effects were for her amazing promenade production Dystopian Wonders that debuted this year at Camden Town’s Roundhouse as part of their Circus Festival, Manchester’s Lowry and the Crucible Theatre, Sheffield.

What the Manchester Evening News said - “Carnesky, who mutates from ringmaster to Folies Bergere showgirl, has assembled an international cast of performers and intends this 50-minute salvo to be the first of a seven-part series… a man exhorts us to join his cult and donate our bodies, bit by bit. A circus performer climbs a ladder of sabres in bare feet. An erotic dancer adulates the body with the open stomach, before disappearing into it. Paul Daniels would be proud of the illusion, as he would of the apparent half-woman or the one sawn in half. Is it performance art or experimental theatre?”


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

“You had an excellent relationship with the audience, everything was very much child centred. All classes followed up your visit and your Teacher’s Pack was great (saved us a lot of precious time). The staff and pupils thoroughly enjoyed your visit and it stimulated many ideas – it was great for our special needs children, very visual and timed to perfection.”
Selby County Primary School

“It’s always tough to give a carefully crafted show in the inevitably informal and noisy circumstances of a tented outdoor festival. We much appreciate the company’s skill in making good connections with the audience in less than perfect conditions. Please pass on our thanks to your company members. We look forward to working with you in the future.”
Chester Le Street Playfest