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This week is MagicFest in Edinburgh and on Monday evening I had the pleasure of seeing Billy Reid, one of Scotland’s best close-up magicians in action.

If you haven’t heard of Billy Reid I have a feeling you will in the near future. He was captivated by magic as a ten-year-old and he has developed his undoubted talent to the stage where he recently gave up his day job to concentrate on his magic act on a full-time basis. His progress has been such that he is now a member of the Magic Circle.

Billy’s show was billed as an innovative fusion of magic, storytelling and art, a production that is both enchanting and memorable. It didn’t disappoint as he astounded his audience in the intimate setting of Edinburgh’s Storytelling Centre in the Royal Mile with some clever card tricks and a wee bit of mind reading which, if not quite in the Colin Cloud standard, was well presented and went down with the appreciative audience.

There’s a charm and degree of style from Billy that makes him a likeable character as soon as he comes on stage. His personal story of pursuing his dream to become a full-time magician resonated with this writer as I left a full-time job in human resources three years ago to become a fully qualified hypnotherapist. Never give up on your dreams is the message.

Billy’s talent is obvious and while the show lacks some of the polish of the more established magicians who have been doing this sort of thing for many years, this will undoubtedly come as will an increased presence as a performer.

A few years back I recall Colin Cloud making his first steps as a forensic mind reader and posting a review in the Edinburgh Reporter which, now on the cusp of greatness, he still uses to promote some of his shows worldwide. I have a feeling Billy Reid will also become a name that will be on many people’s lips in years to come. More information about this talented young man is available here.

Edinburgh Reporter rating: ****