The Magic Circle, or ‘The Circle’ as members refer to it, is a world-famous magic club in London. It has around 1500 members and has been around for over 100 years. It’s a place for magicians to get together and share ideas and ‘talk shop’.
History of The Magic Circle
The Magic Circle was founded in 1905 when twenty-three magicians got together in Pinoli’s Restaurant in London with the view to starting a magic club.
Their first meetings were then held in the Green Man pub in Soho before moving into a room above the stage of St. George’s Hall in Langham Place. The first-ever president was David Devant, one of the great magicians of his time. From there it grew and now boasts over 1500 members worldwide.
The Magic Circle’s logo
The Magic Circle’s logo contains the symbols of the zodiac along with their motto indocilis privata loqui, which in Latin means “not apt to disclose secrets.”
When joining the circle, you agree not to share or expose the secrets of magic other than to students of magic. If you’re found to be exposing how they work you can and will be kicked out! It isn’t just a threat either. In 2015 Stephen Mulhern was suspended from the Magic Circle for revealing how some tricks work on one of his T.V shows.
How do you become a member of the magic circle?
If you want to join the Magic Circle there are few things you’ll need. You’ll have to:
- Be over 18 years old
- Get recommended by two existing members (who’ve known you for at least two years)
- Be a competent magician
If you meet all of those requirements you’ll then be invited to come along to the circle for an interview with the secretary. If you’re under 18 then you can join The Young Magician’s Club.
In the interview, you’ll have a chat about how you got into magic, what tricks you like performing, who your favourite magicians are and other similar questions. It’s nothing too serious and more of a chance to get to know you and your personality to see if you’ll be a good fit and that you won’t embarrass yourself in the examination.
After the interview, you’ll have your Magic Circle exam. This is where you’ll perform for around 10 minutes in front of around 20 – 40 magicians, some of who are marking you! I had mine back when I was around 22 years old and it was genuinely a nervewracking experience.
You’ll be marked on things like your technical ability and performance and if all goes well you’ll be recommended for membership to the council.
The three degrees of the Magic Circle
The Magic Circle has three different levels of membership:
- M.M.C – Member of The Magic Circle
- A.I.M.C – Associate of The Inner Magic Circle
- M.I.M.C – Member of The Inner Magic Circle
If your examination is successful then you’ll be invited to join and become a Member of The Magic Circle (M.M.C). This is the first degree of membership.
For those who do well in their audition or go on to do a further examination, they can gain the second degree and become an Associate of The Inner Magic Circle (A.I.M.C). This exam is a lot stricter and is reserved for those who excel in their performance.
Lastly, you have the third degree which is Member of The Inner Magic Circle (M.I.M.C). This title is reserved for only 300 members at any one time who have been invited by the council for services to the art of magic.
The Young Magician’s Club
If you’re under 18 and can’t join The Magic Circle then you should definitely check out The Young Magician’s Club. It was formed in 1996 to help support young magicians. They hold regular workshops where professional magicians will teach and advise on performance tips and building routines. Definitely worth a look if you’re aged between 10 and 18 and want to learn more about becoming a magician. Probably the closest thing to a real-life Hogwarts!
Famous members of the Magic Circle
Being one of the most respected magic clubs in the world, the Magic Circle boasts some very well known members. You have the obvious members such as David Copperfield, Dynamo, Lance Burton and the late Paul Daniels but also some more that you wouldn’t necessarily expect. For example, HRH Prince Charles, Stephen Fry and even Sooty are members!
Can you visit the Magic Circle?
People often ask if it’s possible to visit the Magic Circle and surprisingly the answer is yes! Okay, so you can’t just walk in whenever you want but they regularly have public events that you can book tickets for.
They hold regular nights called At Home With The Magic Circle or Close Up At The Magic Circle, where you’ll be treated to members performing close up and or stand up shows. There’s also a family-friendly Christmas Show that might a good one if you’ve got little ones.
You can also hire out the headquarters for corporate and private events.
What do you do at the Magic Circle?
Club nights are every Monday evening and we’ll get together at the club’s headquarters in Euston. The club has a bar, a library (with over 6000 books about magic), a museum and a 160 seat theatre. Everyone will usually be found in the club room chatting and trying to fool each other with their latest magic tricks. Then there will often be either a performance, workshop or lecture from someone in the theatre. After we’ll go for a curry, it’s usually a very good night out!
Book a Magic Circle Magician
Anyway, I hope that helps answer any questions you might have about the Magic Circle. If you get a chance to visit I highly recommend it as it’s a very special place. If you wanted to book a magic circle magician then get in touch here!