5 Types of Magic and Performance

The practice of magic has become a sort of natural instinct for all those who love to create the illusion that they can perform the impossible. While magic can be a great way to work on your performance skills, it is also a challenging profession to get into and with all the competition of London magicians it can often be difficult to get your name heard by the general public. The first step is to identify the different types of magic and performance so you can find the one that best suits your particular conversational and presentation style. Below we have compiled five key types of performance and magic that you can try at home to find which is the most ideal one for you.


Close-up magic is generally performed for a small crowd of people and focuses primarily on the act of sleight of hand, used to fool the audience. Props are also often incorporated into this act and it is done in close proximity to the spectator or spectators, making it all the more impressive to pull off. Close-up magic can be done in a number of environments and settings which all fall under sub-categories. For example, close-up magic performed at a table is often labelled ‘table magic’, for obvious reasons.

Cabaret Magic

This type of magic is usually performed in front of a larger audience and can be described as a show rather than a type of close-up magic. Cabaret magic can also be performed on a stage in front of a wide audience and generally, in this type of magic, larger-scale tricks are presented.


Though not strictly a type of magic, mentalism refers to when mentalists attempt to read the mind of another individual or in some cases, foresee that individual’s future. This type of ‘magic’ can be performed either on stage in a cabaret setting or as a close-up act.

Street Magic

As you may have guessed by the name, street magicians tend to wander around the streets looking for a band of spectators they can perform for. Oliver B for example, performed for various different audiences when he promoted O2’s Refresh deal, transforming a spectator’s phone into a brand new device, complete with their details and number.


Escapology refers to the trick of appearing to escape from an item that seems impossible to remove or escape from; a strait jacket for example. Magicians who specialise in this field are commonly called escapologists; famous examples would include magicians like Harry Houdini.

These are just five types of magic and performance. Do you have any more that you’d like to add to the list?

If you’re looking to perfect any of these types of magic, our advice would to be to start on a smaller scale in order to prevent any risk. Begin in front of a smaller audience so that you can work towards developing both your magic and your presentation skills. For tips on how to perfect your act, please see the rest of our blog for guidance and advice.

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