Magic and magic tricks are also to be found scattered throughout the history of masks and puppets. In the line drawings, prints and engravings from the past you can see magicians sharing the stage, marketplaces, beaches, galas and festivals with puppeteers.
Just as anyone can become a puppeteer so anyone can become a magician. However, it takes hard work and dedication to become highly skilled in a chosen area and many years of experience to approach mastery in a specific field.
Since 2008 the Centre has been home to the Scottish Conjurers Association that was founded in 1924. This Association meets three Wednesdays out of four in the month between September-June. It is a vibrant organisation with more than sixty members that organises an annual programme of visiting lectures, demonstrations, video nights and skill sharing sessions. The association has sessions on card magic, close-up magic, mentalism and illusionism with the emphasis on thoroughly rehearsing a trick before performing it. If you want to know more why not see their website: www.scottishconjurersassociation.org.uk
The SCA reference library is also based in a locking cupboard at the Centre. After all, if everyone knew how the tricks were done there would be no magic and so certain methods must be kept secret!
The Centre has always included a magician in its programmed seasons of puppet theatre. Mr. Magic, Magic Bob, Mr. Giggles, Mick Magic, Alex Proctor have all made unique and wonderful contributions. We also have Collection materials related to puppeteer-magicians such as those of Harry Vernon, Vincent Shackleton and Alex Proctor.
In October 2012 we shall be launching an annual festival called MAGIPUP to celebrate the ancient relationship between magic and puppets where you will be able to see magicians who use puppets and puppeteers who use magic!