Mahdi Gilbert was born without hands or feet and has struggled through bullying, loneliness and depression to become recognised as one of the greatest magicians of our time, a favourite of peers including Derren Brown and Penn & Teller. Following a hugely successful international tour, his show MAHDI THE MAGICIAN gets its UK premiere this month at the VAULT Festival. Be inspired, be mystified – and get booking!
Throughout his childhood in Toronto, Mahdi Gilbert was tormented for his physical differences and constantly wondered what would become of his life. Captivated by sleight-of-hand and card magic, he dreamt of becoming a professional magician – but as he began to study he came across a seemingly insurmountable obstacle: every magic book ever published has been written for performers with two hands.
‘An extraordinary magician’ – Derren Brown
‘You fooled us!’ – Penn & Teller
‘I believe Mahdi will be remembered in history as one of the great magicians’ – Juan Tamariz
‘The perfect magician’ – Teller
Undaunted, Mahdi started to develop his own techniques. At first, he struggled to even pick up a deck of cards, but through dedication and determination, he developed an exceptional act that fooled Penn and Teller and has amazed the greatest magicians in the world. In MAHDI THE MAGICIAN, Mahdi gives an insight into the fortitude and graft that have brought him to the top of his profession and weaves flawless, jaw-dropping magic through his amazing and inspiring life story.
Tony Middleton, one of the founding producers of Secret Cellar, which is bringing Mahdi to the UK, comments:
“I am a magician myself and I’m in awe of what Mahdi has achieved. To become so accomplished given the difficulties he has faced is not only incredible – but incredibly moving.”
Secret Cellar, founded by magician Middleton and writer and producer Matthew Stradling, has presented some of the world’s finest close-up magicians at the Secret Cellar in Waterloo. Performers have included The Magic Circle’s Close-Up Magician of the Year 2015 Will Houstoun; The Magic Circle’s Close-Up Magician of the Year 2016 Brendan Rodrigues; Paul Zenon, widely renowned as the progenitor of television street magic, and Vincent Hedan, France’s leading mentalist.
MAHDI THE MAGICIAN runs at VAULT Festival from Wednesday 31 January to Sunday 4 February 2018, with performances (60 minutes) nightly at 6.10pm and a 3.55pm matinee on Saturday 3 February. Tickets are priced £18.50. CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE!
We’ve become a little obsessed following Mahdi’s progress on his international tour via social media. Check out some of his behind-the-scenes and sightseeing photos plus his Facebook Live videos about life on the road.