THE mysteries of mind-reading and sleight of hand have long been used by magicians to tantalise their audiences.

But now one young magician from North Yorkshire hopes to dispel some of the myths and tell the story of magic over the past hundred or so years through some of its most famous characters at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

Chris Cassells’ show, From Houdini To Potter, takes a look at the driving forces behind some of the nations most recognisable magicians both real and fictional.

The 25-year-old, who works as a biology tutor at the Cranedale Environmental Centre in Kirby Grindalythe, near Malton, and lives in the village, said he has been interested in magic ever since his great gran bought him a magic set for Christmas when he was seven.

In his spare time Mr Cassells has worked as a magician for many years and would love one day to perform professionally on a full-time basis.

He said: “Ever since that Christmas when I was seven it’s been a habit I’ve not really grown out of really, much to my parents’ despair. I’d love to do it some day professionally and I’m hoping that doing the Edinburgh Fringe might open some doors in that direction.

“My show explores what drives magicians to spend their lives lying, cheating and deceiving all others. It explores the lives of a number of legendary magicians and revisit some of their most famous tricks.”

There are eight Fringe shows at the Surgeon’s Hall, St Nicholas Street, Edinburgh from August 3 to 11, but before that the University of York graduate – is embarking on a Yorkshire-based tour, starting in York, with the hope of gaining performance experience.

The tour starts on February 18 at the Upstage Centre Youth Theatre, Monkgate – a volunteer-run, intimate studio space in York that hosts a variety of acts.

Mr Cassells said: “I hope by making my 2012 debut at the Upstage Centre, I can encourage local people to seek out the smaller arts venues in York. I’m looking forward to it. I have been to the Fringe before, but only as a spectator, this will be the first time I’ve been one of the acts so it’ll be a great experience.”

After York he will perform in Sheffield and Pateley Bridge before taking on the Fringe.

Tickets for the Monkgate gig cost £6 and are available from