The Magic Circle - A young person's first experience
Elliott Hodges

Last night I visited The Magic Circle for the very first time. I had been invited by a friend of mine and was very excited at the prospect. I turned 18 last November and would like to apply to join The Circle before too long.

The first thing that struck me was how tucked away it is. We parked opposite and I started getting excited when I saw the brass plaque with the logo on the doors. We were greeted by a small team who were very friendly and I was taken through to the clubroom where I recognised one person from the magic community. Then down to the Library (a lot smaller than I thought it would be), but nonetheless I was gobsmacked by the amount of books. I had a quick look down there and met up with a friend who I’d arranged to meet and then was taken up to the museum. A lot of work has obviously gone into organising it and putting things in to groups of “types of tricks” as well as eras of magic.

Back up to the clubroom where I was given a cup of tea (The Magic Circle do make a very nice tea!). As I was drinking and chatting to a friend then a couple more people that I recognised came in and my excitement levels grew slightly. After consuming my tea and stealing a Magic Circle beer mat (I’m honest if nothing else) I was taken to the Devant Room, up an amazing winding staircase I might add. The Devant Room is really cool. There is a table at one end and seats can be set out in front of it although there are no fixed seats. There are also some more bits of magic history to be seen, including Harbin’s original Zig-Zag Girl (I was really surprised to see that there are no hinges - rather the door was attached by the equivalent of gaffer tape.

I’ve mentioned before that I got slightly excited about the number of people I recognised and I think this was a case in point when Michael Vincent took the empty seat to the right of me just before Pat Page walked in. Wow wow wow. Other people I recognised and met included James Freedman, Fay Presto and Duncan Trillo.

After a good look at the Devant Room and a chat to some more people we headed up again, to the theatre. I’ve always thought that if a theatre looks nice, you’ll enjoy what you are seeing there far more. The Circle’s theatre is very, very nice. It seats about 160 people I think but is very intimate, very compact and clearly designed to be a setting where magic can be performed.

I had a hugely enjoyable time at The Circle and look forward to going again. Hopefully with a view to joining.


© Elliott Hodges, April 2009