Joining the Circle / Academy of Magic


Middlesbrough Circle of Magicians are always looking for new people to join the group and we offer 2 avenues for entrance detailed below;

The Middlesbrough Circle has been in existence for just over sixty years and is a group of people who practice magic and other arts.

We are a group of magicians, not a group of people who like magic ! This is very important. We are all, to a degree, workers. It is this concern with practical magic that has produced members such as Paul Daniels, Pete Firman and John Archer.

We have about fifty members all told, but this includes honorary members, vice presidents and some living outside the area, so our usual meeting has around twenty members. The Circle is very friendly.

We hold meetings every second Monday except when bank holidays intervene, and August when we hold only one meeting. Approximately half of the meetings are lectures, competitions or visits from dealers, the remaining being nights organised, and usually performed at, by members on prearranged themes. We usually hold three competitions each year - a stage competition, a close-up and stand-up on a given theme. We also perform at fund-raising shows for local organisations and schools.

New members are expected to become involved with circle activities reasonably quickly. You get the opportunity to perform a lot of magic !

There is a joining fee of £30 and an annual subscription of £35, which is excellent value when you consider we spent over a thousand pounds last year on lecturers alone ! You must be at least 16 (sixteen) years of age to join.

The Main Circle

The audition is in two parts Ė An interview with the committee, and a ten-minute performance before the members.

The interview

We donít know the prospective member and you donít know us. It is a chance to ask some questions to find out about you and your magic. The interview is low key.

The Magic Act

You will be expected to perform for about ten minutes and although the time is not critical, too short an act may not help.

I have referred to the performance as an act deliberately because that is an important point. You will not be expected to perform tricks we donít know. Nor will we be surprised at nerves. What we are looking for is keenness. An attempt to show that you have tried to fit the tricks to yourself with some personal patter and an act to the audience.

This sounds daunting Ė for a good reason Ė in the past I have pointed out that we are nice guys and want you to join us, which is true, but we have high standards for prospective new members. The gap between doing a trick for your mates in the pub and a magic performance is huge.

You can do whatever tricks you like, but involve the audience. Donít run through the act at high speed looking only at your cards or the assistant. I mentioned the fund-raising shows; if you can perform an act, which would fit into these family shows, you will have no trouble.

It is very important that you only do tricks that you are very comfortable with. Please donít take any risks with top changes or clever palms. Try to routine your effects and demonstrate a range of competencies (Rope / Coins / Cards etc - i.e. - not 10 minutes of just card tricks) . Show you are well rehearsed and a nice person.

We have a rule that all new members are on a yearís trial, which makes it easier for us to accept prospective members we donít know. They are only expected to attend meeting regularly and show commitment. After the audition you may be invited to stay for the rest of the night.

After the meeting the circle committee will discuss the audition and vote. The Secretary will write to you as soon as possible with the decision.

Application to the circle is made via application form which can be requested from the Academy of Magic organiser Eric Leonard.

If you are interested, please contact Eric Leonard on (01642) 898664 or (07900) 630729 or email


The Academy of Magic

History of the Group

The Middlesbrough Circle of Magicians was formed in 1953. During the years of its existence it has earned for itself much public esteem and an enviable reputation in the magical fraternity. The membership covers a broad spectrum of amateur, semi-professional and professional magical entertainers. Among the members there exists a wealth of experience and each member knows the difficulties faced by people wishing to further their interest in the magical arts.

With this in mind, the society decided in 1975 to form a Youth Section to make use of its specialised knowledge in instructing young people, in the age range 13-16 years, to prepare them for membership. This proved to be so successful that in 1979 the upper age limit was abolished and the Youth Section became the Preparatory Group. In 2014 the Prep Group was rebranded as the Academy of Magic. This is open to all beginners, both boys and girls, men and women who have reached their 15th birthday, with a genuine interest in magic. There is no upper age limit for joining the Academy of Magic and many adults have taken advantage of this route to train to become full Circle members. Some have progressed to serve on the committee of the parent organisation and serve as Circle President. Others are currently appearing on TV magic programmes.

The group is currently being run by Mr. Eric Leonard & Mr. Steve Lewis.

Entrance Requirements

15 years of age plus with a keen interest in learning and performing magic !

If you are interested, please contact Eric Leonard on (07900) 630729 or or Steve Lewis on (07747) 394396 or


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