WHEN I popped down to the Wyvern Theatre this week to meet some of the Champions of Magic who will be performing next month, I was a little bit sceptical.

Not being a great fan of magic tricks I am not usually impressed by all that smoke and mirrors.

But Alex McAleer was out to prove me wrong.

Currently on tour around the country after finishing a hit season in London’s West End, Alex gave me a piece of paper, turned his back on me and asked me to draw anything that came into my head.

Not much of an artist myself I hastily scribbled a house in a fairly childlike manner.

Alex then set about drawing what he thought I had drawn and I was bowled over.

Not only had he drawn a house to but his sketch even had the wonky windows and a misshapen roof, just like mine.

In the space of a few seconds this world class illusionist had won me over.

The illusionists will continue to astonish and surprise when they appear at the Wyvern Theatre on April 9 as part of their fourth nationwide tour.

Mind reader Alex said he was thrilled to be back out on the road.

“The West End is great but I prefer touring around because each day is in a new place, a new city, a new theatre, it’s fun,” he said.

“ There’s five of us and a lot of crew all travelling on this rock 'n' roll-style tour bus and we get to hang out together all the time.”

And he added: “I recall that last time we were in Swindon, when we arrived, we thought it would be fun to duct-tape Edward Hilsum [one of the illusionists] to a wall backstage and just leave him there.

“We tied his hands up so, of course, he couldn’t just snap his fingers and magic his way out.”

Alex looks back fondly on his first time on stage, which inspired him to turn his passion into a career.

“It was at a theatre near Norwich, they were doing one-act plays and they invited me to come up on stage. I did about 10 to 15 minutes and, looking back, it was terrible,” he said.

“But it spurred me on to do more.”

To book show tickets go to swindontheatres.co.uk