Oliver Mangham is described as a close up, or walk around magician. As a close-up magician Oli is ideal for table hopping before and between meal courses to keep everyone happy while waiting, bringing both magic and on the spot, impromptu humour to nearly any situation in a professional and non-intrusive manner. In addition, Oli also performs walk around magic, mixing and mingling with guests at the bar or reception, performing with open hands and rolled up sleeves, where in the most informal environments any object to hand can become an instrument of wonder. Even in the loudest environments, the magic shines through with visual stunts that need no words for introduction; particularly talked about is the table levitation that is the highlight of his repertoire, taking magic to new heights. This effect is something that only a handful of top performers in the country attempt on a regular basis off-stage, up close and personal, allowing the audience to interact and levitate the table themselves.

Magical Oli's strongest areas are mentalism, psychological mind reading and suggestion (recently made popular by Channel Four's Derren Brown), misdirection, and cutting edge, visual, modern card magic which can be both colourful and emotive at times. However he also brings along magic with coins, rubber bands, levitation, psychological magic (optional; e.g. pulse stops and touching people at a distance, none of which is real or dangerous), fire (again optional and subject to safe surroundings), impossible self and object contortion (that really gets medics and scientists talking), borrowed coin distortion/fusion, sponge balls (amazingly popular and funny), colour changes and more... Just click on some of the photos and the promotional videos to get a glimpse into the world of Magical Oli and the stunning interactive performances that he can offer you.
The unrestrainable Magical Oli is also adept at getting out of tight situations. He has performed escapology in a variety of close-up, stall, and stage shows, humorously showing off his bizarre collection of handcuff, shackle, chain, rope, and the ever popular strait jacket escapes and some of the techniques behind them, including a very visual arm disjointment. He is always trying to beat his personal best times, as well as the world's fastest escapes and offers open challenges for spectators to try and both help and prevent him from succeeding in escape, with a prize for anyone who can keep him restrained for over 5 minutes (so far only one person has ever succeeded in the freestyle escape by inventively blindfolding him, tying him to a chair with his hands behind and over his head and left upside down). Below is his best and worst record times that he has achieved at his various venues for his most popular escapes.

EscapeQuickest TimeVenue
Strait Jacket Escape2 mins 20 secsSt. Mary's College Summer Ball
The Freestyle Escape3 mins 29 secsWorcester College Garden Party

EscapeSlowest TimeVenue
Strait Jacket Escape3 mins 2 secsGreen Templeton College Summer Ball
The Freestyle Escape7 mins 10 secsWorcester College Garden Party
Balloon modelling, so often associated with fairs and children's parties actually goes down incredibly well at social events for university students and adults too, whether they be balls, garden parties, or weddings. Balloon modelling can easily fit into nearly any social event without interruption to the other entertainments or formal elements of the evening. It requires very little space and Magical Oli can roam the venue making personalised items for all the guests. Magical Oli can also make larger, more complicated models of almost any size, making a large centrepiece for important venues.
Magical Oli is covered to £5 million PLI (Personal Liability Insurance), giving you that little extra piece of mind when you book him.
A little history on the background of how Magical Oli came to be just quite so magical; Oliver Mangham has been performing professional magic for over eight years and non-professional long before that. He first got into magic seriously at a charity dinner when he was rather smaller than he is now, where he met a group of magicians called MEMS (The Mid-Essex Magical Society). They astounded him with their stand up and close up performances and taught him one effect to go away and practice, telling him that if he wanted to be a magician to practice lots and contact them when he was older. He went away and started practicing, giving his first stage performance at the age of eight in front of his primary school, and his first stand up magic and pick pocketing routine in his first year of secondary school, leaving a somewhat confused maths teacher, who thought that all his 'magic' must be based on maths, rather perplexed till this day. At the age of thirteen Oli returned to MEMS and was taught by two of their best close-up magicians and mentalists until the age of sixteen when he was able to join as a full member, soon participating in the charity events with MEMS that had first opened him up to the world of magic. Oli continued performing at college, with a set ten minute act each week during lessons when he would test out some of the very routines he performs now every day, and gaining experience performing to the most demanding and rewarding age group; teenagers and young adults, as well as some slightly overenthusiastic teachers. This experience has led to his maintained love of performing for university students across the country.
Now Oli is one of the very few professional close up magicians in the country (literally only a small handful) who is daring enough to regularly levitate a table, not just on stage but right in front and among his everyday spectators while they join in helping examine it and making it rise right up over their heads. Your guests can also get to have the rare experience of actually feeling as if real magic is happening in their own hands, as well as seeing the magic in action, as Magical Oli slows the whole process down and cleanly lets you see the slow transformation of cards and other objects, in plain sight, giving you the chance, for the first time by a magician, to 'see the magic' as it happens, making it even more impossible. There are no awkward and funny looking hand movements, only miraculous transformations, with sleeves nowhere in sight.
Oliver Mangham, a.k.a Magical Oli, has worked for numerous different groups and businesses over his career; from weddings to town council dinners, from pubs and restaurants, to university social nights and their year highlights; the Summer Ball, as well as frequently performing for free at charity events as a member of MEMS (the Mid-Essex Magical Society). While Oliver performs to a wide range of clients, he has recently focused his attention on working the university circuit, with great success. Here is a list of a few of the most recent clients that magician Oliver Mangham has worked for in the last few months in this field:
  • University Societies including; Durham university Anthropology fundraiser.
  • Durham University colleges' formal dinners and parties, including; St. John's Day, St Aidan's Halloween formal (second year running), Castle Christmas Ladies Night, and Grey Christmas formal.
  • Major college events at other universities including both Corruption at Robinson, and Girton and Sidney Sussex garden parties, Cambridge, Worcester College cocktail night, and Worcester garden party, and James College Fresher's Party, York.
  • Student Union events, including; Newcastle SU Annual Societies Ball at the Marriot Hotel, and Essex SU Freshers' Ball, Snow Ball, and Vegas Baby events.
  • End of year massive twelve hour marathon Summer Ball events, including; Aidan's (rebooked for 2010), Castle (Described by The Guardian as one of the top ten nights out in England), Van Mildert, St Mary's, Ustinov, and Stephenson colleges, Durham University, St John's College, Cambridge, and Green Templeton College, Oxford.
Great performance, the guests were very impressed
Martha Wright, St Aidans Social Secretary 08-9
Spectacular and very entertaining, especially the magic balls! Would definitely book again.
Chris Crowe, Sidney Sussex MCR President
Hi Oli, Thanks so much for those amazing tricks today at our house!!! Was nice to meet you, take care and thanks again!!!!
L. Slodicakova, Durham
Thanks so much for the other night you were really good.
J. Drennan, Oxford
What I believe makes me attractive as a performer at your event:

  • My professionalism and non-intrusive nature, both in performance and behind the scenes in the service I provide leading up to your event.
  • My flexibility towards any of your requirements for your special day, working round you rather than the other way around.
  • The positive feedback that I get after my performances both at the end of the night, but more importantly from each group of people that I perform to during the night.
  • My adaptability during performance, tailoring my act and effects to suit the interests and suitabilities of those watching. I always offer a choice of types of performance to each group so if some people really like/hate cards or levitation for instance, I can maximise their pleasure by only giving them what they are really in to.
  • The diversity of effects compared to other magicians' performances. I spend a lot of my income on constantly improving my act. I come up with many of my own effects but also incorporate some of the most modern effects and principles in magic all the time. This allows me to take a more daring approach than most other magicians are prepared to take and do things on an everyday basis that they would only do under special conditions, such as a close-up table levitation, usually reserved for stage performances. I am very interested in bringing the magic to the spectators in a way where they can experience it up close and personally, which leaves a much stronger, long term impression that they never forget. My performances are designed and improved from things I have discussed with spectators afterwards. For instance I make the 'magic' as clean and open as possible, taking away many of the odd gestures magicians seem to make to cover their actions so if a change happens, it happens visually in front of a spectator or in their hands, in full view, so they can see the change as it is happening, slowly transforming from one thing to another.
  • Price is very important for many people. I pride myself on charging a fair rate for the quality of entertainment you and your guests receive, not too little for an amateur magician's performance, and not an inflated agency price. However I always try to match a competitor's price for you if you can find a professional magician cheaper. I am frequently told by guests after just ten minutes at high-priced ticketed events that my close-up act alone was worth the money they paid to get into the event.
I often get asked some questions, so I've put together a few of the most common below:
  • Do you travel?
    Yes, anywhere in the country and when possible outside it too.
  • My performer has cancelled / I need a performer last minute. Can you do it?
    This depends on the other bookings I have around the time, however I always do my best to fit last minute requests in, even if they are just hours before the event is due to start. If the event is less than 24 hours away it is best to phone my mobile and I will let you know then and there.
  • What if you can't make it after I've booked you?
    I have never missed an event in the past but if for some reason I am unable to make it, I will do my best to supply you with a magician of equal ability for the same price for the night. If I am already booked when you enquire I can also recommend you a selection of magicians, if you want, who I have worked with in the past and trust to perform to an equally professional level.
  • How quickly will you reply to my enquiry?
    If you wish to book me or have any questions/problems please don't hesitate to email me and I will get back to you within 24 hours at the latest. Normally I can respond within two to four hours, or, if you are really lucky, straight away. If it is an emergency I should be able to be reached quickly via my mobile.
  • Do I need to pay a deposit?
    No advance deposit is necessary. If I have to pre-pay for travel arrangements to reach you, these are incorporated into the price quoted. If for any reason you have to cancel the event then any advance travel costs I cannot reclaim will still need to be paid however these will be agreed upon before the booking confirmation.
  • I have been advised that my performers should have personal liability insurance. Do you have this insurance?
    Yes I am covered up to £5 million PLI (Personal Liability Insurance), giving you that little extra piece of mind when you book.
  • I have a very tight budget. Will I be able to afford you?
    I am always open to individual situations and willing to negotiate if necessary. I also price match wherever possible. I tend to be cheaper than people are expecting anyway because many people go through agencies which add on a lot extra for their 'services'. However if you are worried about cost than let me know and we can see what we can do.
  • How long can you do per show?
    I can do any time required. I normally perform between 2-4 hours per show, either in segments or all in one go but I am very flexible about working times and requirements and always work around your needs rather than making my own demands on you.
  • My event is going to be very big. Should I hire more than one magician for my event?
    If you have over 200 people you may want another magician. If I worked alone I would either have less time to perform for each group of people or they may miss out. Therefore you may need to book me for a bit longer than normal or hire another magician as well. I can help recommend some of the best magicians and other entertainers for your event to help it run smoothly and successfully.
  • Do you perform for children?
    At my events I perform to people of all ages. Normally I perform for 16 year olds upwards. However if children are present they should still be able to enjoy most of the normal effects I do, and I can tailor my effects to suit them more. I also carry some effects that they specifically will enjoy. However I tend not to do 'children's parties'. This is partly because I am more of a close-up than a stand-up magician and my bigger acts such as the escapology are designed more to entertain older teenagers and adults rather than children. You would probably be better going for a professional children's entertainer if it is just going to be children in the audience. I can give you the names of some good children's magicians in Essex if you want.
To get a quote for your event, and to help me plan what is appropriate for your day, please email Magical Oli direct, naming as much information as you can such as the location address, proposed date and times, duration you want me to perform, number of guests, style e.g. close-up, walkaround, table magic, or a combination, and any special requests.

My prices include any travelling costs incurred and are very competitive compared to other professional magical acts as they don't include agents' fees etc, however if you can find a cheaper quote I am happy to try to match it for you. I have also recently started implementing a promotional offer that seems to go down well for universities and venues with several social events over the year, email me direct for more information.

If you have a very large event planned and feel you would benefit from having more than one magician, or if you are in or near Essex and want to run a charity night with lots of magicians performing table magic to everyone at once, with intervals of stage magic, then send Magical Oli an email and he can arrange this for you too.
NB: Oliver Mangham will not pass your details onto any third parties
Understanding Terms and Definitions: Close-up: Magic performed in more informal environments such as at dinner tables during and between meal courses, or at receptions. The magic is interactive and involving, allowing everyone who wants to, to participate or simply watch right in front of their faces rather than at a distance on a stage. This allows much more personal and memorable performances for spectators. Walkaround: This is a type of close-up magic. This involves approaching groups of people, usually at events like receptions where the entertainer mixes and mingles with guests, entertaining them as they gather round. Table hopping: This is a type of close-up magic. This is usually at a dinner party such as a wedding meal where the entertainer performers a few effects at each table individually. This gives everyone a chance to witness the entertainment and encourages them to seek it out further afterwards. This is a useful, filling performance during or between meal courses or speeches. Table Magic: This covers all magic done at a table, whether it be table-hopping or where the entertainer is at a set table for the performance and people come over to watch throughout the event. Escapology: The art of escaping from various types of restraints such as ropes, chains, handcuffs, shackles, and strait jackets. Mentalism: Mind reading and mind powered styled effects such as metal bending and objects moving without touch.