A magician from Buckingham is hoping a set of spellbinding shows can kick-start a family entertainment revolution in the town.
Ollie Collins, an illusionist who uses light and lasers in his act and will be performing at the Christmas Cracker event on December 29, feels Buckingham would benefit from better venues for performers.
He said: “From my experience, there is a lack of live family entertainment in the town compared to a lot of other places and I would like to try and change all that.
“I've been away from home for many many years and just sort of acquired a lot of friends and contacts in the industry. So I've called on some good mates of mine.
“This is something Villiers would like to make an annual event and bring something new and different to the town.”
The former Buckingham School pupil, who moved away from the town to pursue his magical ambitions as a teenager but has recently returned with his family, is hoping to complement the town’s entertainment offering.
He added: “I Just thought it would be nice to bring something to Buckingham because I do a lot of touring and I’ve found there are towns smaller than Buckingham with two to three hundred seater theatres and the performing arts are really well promoted - there's lots of stuff going on.
“I think there's a lack of live entertainment, especially in the performing arts more generally, not just for what I do. We’ve got choirs in Buckingham having to go into tiny little rooms to get anything done, there's just no entertainment venue really in Buckingham for the performing arts.”
Having started touring in 2006, the 34-year-old illusionist wasn’t always destined for the limelight.
“I've got a little one who had his nativity play the other day - and he cried.” Ollie chuckled, “And I remember doing exactly the same when I was his age, and not being very showbiz-y.
“All of a sudden it just landed at my feet and I never looked back. I must have started at about 18 or 19. I wouldn’t want to be doing anything else.”
With 160 live shows in the diary for next year and exciting projects in the works, Ollie is confident that he’s at his peak but that he “hasn’t peaked yet.”
The Buckingham Christmas Cracker features two live performances at 1pm and 6pm on Friday December 29, at Buckingham Town Hall.
Ollie will be joined on stage by Steve Arnold, a juggler known for dangerous knife juggling who is currently performing on the Ken Dodd tour, and Alonso de Luca, a third generation performer with background in comedy, magic and the circus.
The magical trio will also be assisted by Georgi March, an ‘up-and-coming’ singer and performer.