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Date announced for opening of Davenport's Magic Kingdom in North Walsham, "Great Britain's only museum of magic"

PUBLISHED: 18:21 23 May 2013 | UPDATED: 18:21 23 May 2013

Davenport's Magic Kingdom prepares for the big opening. Magician and owner, Roy Davenport.
PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY

Davenport's Magic Kingdom prepares for the big opening. Magician and owner, Roy Davenport. PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY

Archant Norfolk 2013

Davenport's Magic Kingdom, a major new Norfolk tourist draw, will open its doors on May 25.

The North Walsham attraction will tell the story of British magic spanning 500 years, from witchcraft to modern conjurers.

Magician Roy Davenport, whose family collection of magical memorabilia is at the heart of the venture, said it would be Great Britain’s only museum of magic and would exhibit the largest collection of magic and allied arts memorabilia in Europe.

Visitors will be able to view a Witches to Wonder exhibition, a 30-minute live magic show, headless lady sideshow, and the re-creation of the Davenport family’s 1915 shop in London, where a magician will demonstrate magic tricks from the period.

Exhibits will range from an edition of the first book in English to contain magic tricks, the Discoverie Of Witchcraft, published in 1584, to a full-size reproduction of Harry Houdini’s Chinese water torture tank, built for the film Death Defying Acts starring Catherine Zeta Jones, and magician Lewis Davenport’s 1928 Rolls Royce limousine.

The exhibition will also feature the Davenports’ collection of ventriloquists’ dolls, magic tricks from the past 300 years, a collection of over 100 magic posters and prints and tricks, plus costumes and stage sets which belonged to the greatest magicians in the history of magic.

A souvenir and magic shop, and licensed café will also be open.

The magic kingdom, on the former Crane Fruehauf trailer factory site, Cromer Road, has already created more than 20 jobs. Mr Davenport said they had used local contractors for the building work, and would be selling locally-sourced food and drink.

He believes it will put North Walsham on the map, attracting an international audience keen to see a significant and historic collection.

In keeping with its magical theme, ticket prices are described as: wizards and witches £9.50, retired sorcerers £8.50, apprentice conjurors £6, and magic family £29.

■ For more information visit: www.davenportsmagickingdom.co.uk

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