It’s showtime!

Mr Albert, whose shows will be on at the Grand Theatre during Showzam!
Mr Albert, whose shows will be on at the Grand Theatre during Showzam!
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THE sixth annual Showzam! festival kicks off tomorrow, though it’s hard to know where to start when trying to describe it – there’s almost too much going on.

Put simply, it is a 10-day extravaganza of circus, magic and variety that will light up Blackpool and, or so tourism bosses hope, bring visitors flocking to the town.

Starting tomorrow and lasting until February 24, there will be 300 shows, featuring more than 150 performers – some high-profile names, along with many street artists and never before seen acts.

It is a mix of ticketed and free events, and family friendly and adult only shows, performed throughout Blackpool, at famous landmarks like the Winter Gardens, the Grand Theatre and on the streets.

“We have amazing acts lined up ready to perform but as so many of the shows are exclusive one-off’s for Showzam! you never really know what you are going to get or what you are going to see,” said Natalie Wyatt, managing director of Marketing Blackpool.

“The great thing about the festival is that there really is something for everyone – whether you are a youngster, or adult, who wants to practice your juggling skills, to watch some rip roaring street comedy or enjoy a leisurely stroll on one of the many historic tours of Blackpool, Showzam! won’t disappoint.”

It’s a little mind-boggling looking at all the shows on in town over the next 10 days, so let us attempt to make it easy for you by picking out some of the main attractions.

The Wookey Hole Youth Circus are performing free shows daily at the Olympia in the Winter Gardens, while the Invisible Circus are on at the same venue with what is described as a stunning show. Circus Hilarious takes place at Winter Gardens on February 18.

Christopher Biggins has a one-man show in The White Tower at the Pleasure Beach. Spy Monkey’s Spookshow is at the Winter Gardens Baronial and Renaissance Suite, with matinee and evening shows from tomorrow until Tuesday.

Blackpool Tower hosts the increasingly popular Carnival Ball, an over 18s event featuring music, dance and entertainment. For the fourth year running, Romany Diva performs a magic show at The Sands from Thursday 19 to Saturday 23.

The Grand Theatre has two events – Mr Albert’s Big Finish and Mr Albert’s Trade of Tricks.

These are interactive magic shows with the audience encouraged to learn how to pull a tablecloth from under a plate of crockery (which, to be fair, does sound like good fun) and magically floating a glass of water in the air.

Michael Jordan, the Magic Circle’s Young Magician of the Year in 2011, is putting on a show at the Horseshoe Bar at the Pleasure Beach for six consecutive nights. His High Jinx Magic and Illusion Show takes place from tomorrow to Wednesday, starting at 7.45pm.

But all that’s just the tip of the iceberg – there are many other shows, as well as street theatre events daily in the town centre (including the bizarre Racing Granny’s) as well as talks and tours throughout the week.

“Showzam! marks the first of Blackpool’s big events of the year and is a great time to welcome visitors into the resort, along with residents looking for something to do with their families over the half-term holidays,” added Miss Wyatt, from Marketing Blackpool

“I am looking forward to seeing some fantastic shows and entertainment over the next 10 days and I hope to see many thousands of people doing the same.”

For details on all events taking place over the 10-day Showzam! festival go to www.showzam.co.uk