MAGIC is being spread around Chepstow by a newly-formed group who are determined to show people their tricks.
The Magicians of Chepstow’s chairman and co-founder, Marc Hay, 20, started learning magic when he was 12 and had just started at the town’s secondary school. He took his inspiration from tricks he saw on the internet and on television and was quick to build up an impressive array of them to show to friends.
He said: “I saw it on TV and learnt a few basic tricks. I took them to school and baffled people with some decent ones. I just enjoyed amazing people. I thought: I’ve got to get into this more.”
Mr Hay has only been doing it as a career, with hours of practice, for a couple of years. When faced with what to do with leaving school, he decided a magic path was one he wanted to tread, just to see how it would pan out.
He added: “You can get books - but I don’t use them because I’m more of a visual learner. I like to learn them from a workshop or DVDs because then I can copy along then.”
The Magicians of Chepstow group largely operates through Facebook and came about when three entertainers found each other. Marc is one of three founding members of the group, along with Arnold Paul - or Arnold de Paul to use his stage name - and Ric Seaton.
Mr Hay said: “We met up just for a few weeks and then it kind of died out. We didn’t really have enough of us. I took the group further by pushing to get more people included. We’ve around about eight now. We’ve a lot of interest with people coming.”
The group started to meet at a number of pubs in Chepstow. Now they have made the Coach and Horses Inn on Welsh Street their informal base for meetings because they enjoyed the atmosphere and book a room so they can perform tricks in front of each other. But often the showmen can’t keep their talents private - and go out to impress the people in the pub before their night there is over.
Last month the group put on a variety night, their first big show, at the Severn Bridge Club in Bulwark, attracting performers from Gwent and beyond and about 100 magic fans. And Mr Hay hopes the expanse of talent in the group means more shows will be held in the future.
For more information on the Magicians of Chepstow group, visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/_chepstowmagicians and for Marc’s own page visit facebook.com/magicmarchay.