Richard Leigh is an illusionist, magical inventor, producer and director. An artist, sculptor, scenic painter and theatrical prop builder. His long and dedicated career has combined his interest in magic, theatre and art.
Born on the 17th April 1965. Real name Richard Day. Family home town of Stowmarket in Suffolk. Interests as a child were always connected to the theatre. It was a book on stage lighting that gave Richard his first insight into stage illusion techniques. Richard left school at 16 and worked in a timber merchant in his home town. During this 2 year period Richard created two themed magic acts. One with a Circus theme (click here to view trailer) and the other with an enchanting fantasy woodland theme (click here to view trailer) The majority of these early props and illusions are still in working order and are used in performance to this day.
Richard turned professional in 1985 with an illusion act called ‘Richard Leigh and Sheryl’ and worked extensively in the cabaret fraternity for the next fifteen years. From cruise ships to theme parks, from hotel floor shows to holiday centre cabaret shows, from end of the pier summer shows to pantomime.
In 1998 Richard produced a cabaret act for Dean Ozen and Gemma. An Adagio Magic and Illusion Act. This act toured for two years. By 2000 he had moved to London where he was to produce magic and illusion shows for the West End, Off West End and London Fringe Theatre. One such show, ‘The Illusion show’ (click here to view trailer) had its debut at The Westminster Theatre in Victoria, London in 2001. Sadly, it was to be the very last show at this venue before the theatre closed down.
2002. As one door closes….. ‘The Magic Cavern’ – London’s most intimate and atmospheric theatre of magic, opened it’s doors for the first time in September 2002. It is now London’s long running magic show. The show celebrated its 500th performance on the 31st August 2008 and celebrated 10 years at the Barons Court Theatre in September 2012. The show is still booking every Sunday at 3.00pm on an open ended contract (click here to view trailer)
In 2003 Richard produced a show in miniature called ‘Card Symphony’ – a close up magic show staged around a toy theatre and orchestra. Beautiful card magic set to a classical score. (click here to view trailer plus watch free trick) This show had its debut at the Barons Court Theatre. In 2011 the same show was re-produced and re-branded under the new title of ‘The Magic Symphony’
In 2004 Richard started to produce magic and illusion shows at The Jermyn Street Theatre in the West End. These shows run under the title of Late Night Magic and have been running for two seasons a year ever since. (February – April and October – December) These seasons have given opportunities to many magicians to present their acts and shows in the West End.
“There were very few magic shows open at that time to the general public in London and so I was aware this was a risky venture.”
Since that time Richard is delighted that there are now numerous London venues regularly housing magical nights as part of their performance schedule.
To be part of a forthcoming season of Late Night Magic in London please contact Richard Leigh. Next year (2013) Late Night Magic celebrates 9 years in the West End.
In 2005 Richard produced one of his strangest shows and by far one of his personal favourites. The Twilight Ballrooms featuring Malcolm Marvelle Master of Mystery and the lovely Rita! (click here to view trailer) Written and directed by Anthony Pearson, this bizarre magic and illusion show has played several seasons in London since 2005 and will continue to do so in the future. Full details can be found on our Twilight Ballrooms page. In 2006, Richard Leigh and Anthony Pearson took the Malcolm Marvelle Master of Mystery and the lovely Rita show up to Edinburgh for the Festival. Click here for a short film of that hectic week created by Anthony Pearson.
Also in 2006 Richard produced a play which included numerous pieces of magic and illusion. Christmas Ghost Stories written and directed by Crispin Dexter (click here to view trailer)
The following year, Richard produced The Sideshow of Wonders for The Jermyn Street Theatre in the West End of London. This show has turned into another successful long running show. Presented annually by Richard Leigh during the school half term weeks and for the two weeks at Easter. A magic and illusion show set in the fairgrounds of yesteryear. All Sideshows exhibits and live performances are created through magic and illusion.(click here to view trailer)
Also in 2007 Richard Leigh in collaboration with his long term agent Anne George of Trevor George Entertainments Ltd started to produce new speciality, magic and illusion acts for the cabaret, holiday parks, cruise ship and corporate market. This work is on-going. Acts to date include ‘Soft Cabaret’ (Comedy Speciality Duo), ‘Urban Myth’ (Illusion act), ‘Ami Lauren’ (Charming Female magician) and David Major who presents the cabaret version of The Magic Cavern show. David Major also presents The Magic Cavern theatre show in London at certain times during the year.
In 2008 Richard started to produce huge theatrical illusion shows for his chosen charity Momentum, raising money for terminally ill children and their families. Click here to read more or visit www.moment-um.org Also in 2008 The National Day of Magic was started in association with Jay Fortune’s Magic Moments. An opportunity for magicians everywhere to present magic anywhere, raising money for their chosen charity and creating awareness for magic as a theatrical art. The National Day of Magic is the first Saturday in October.(click here to view trailer)
In 2011 Richard produced three new productions which all opened in 2011. The spoof magic act of Malcolm Marvelle – Master of Mystery and the lovely Rita was transformed into a huge magical play called ‘The Twilight Ballrooms‘ in August and The Barons Court Theatre in London was transformed into The Twilight Ballrooms. Lions cage and all …. From large scale to miniture …. The Magic Symphony – formerly The Card Symphony opened at the Davenports Magic Shop in the West End on the 24th September. The Ice Cave, which forms the sister show to the long running Magic Cavern show in London opened on the 5th November 2011. All these shows including all of the other long running shows produced by Richard Leigh are still booking strong.
Richard paints all artwork for posters, designs and makes all props, illusions and scenic elements for all his productions which include highly decorative hand painted artwork and sculptural designs which have become a trademark of his unusual, creative and highly original work. Visit the archive section to view more past work.