Meet The Artist: Caolan McBride

Caolan Mc Bride is a 37 year old Professional Magician from Armagh. Caolan has been performing magic since he was thirteen years old , around the time he got his letter for Hogwarts! Caolan pursued his passion by going full time and as if by magic, he was snapped up by Cahoots NI in several stage shows and time has not stood still since!

What genre / style do you create in?

Close Up Magic, Stage shows and Illusions.

What would you be best known for?

Pre-Covid, I co-founded and ran a monthly Magic night in Belfast called “Midweek Magic.” We have been running it for over 8 years!

What would you consider your biggest achievement?

Touring America twice with Cahoots NI’s “Danny Carmo’s Mathematical Mysteries”.

What would you consider to be the biggest lesson you’ve learned in your industry?

Always treat your audience with respect, never underestimate or undermine them!

What has been your biggest challenge to date?

Learning to find a happy balance between life as a performer on stage and ‘normal’ life…life when I’m not performing.

Tell us a little about your personal life, are you married, kids, hobbies etc?

Outside of performing I fill my days with music. I have music playing all day when I can and I try and fit in at least an hour a day playing my guitar. I also like to have a book on the go at all times. These are the things that keep me happy. Basically, I keep my mind and my hands as fit as possible, if they’re healthy, I’m happy.

Tell us about your most recent work?

My most recent show was called ‘Maverick, The Moon and Me.’ I got to work with 3 awesome performer friends and we wrote a show around a beautiful dog called Maverick. He’s large, friendly and fluffy like a big mop. Unfortunately he’s not a real doggie but the music and magic in the show really bring him to life. It was quite difficult being upstaged by a large mop, but loads of fun.

 What would you like us to tell people about?

I have completely adapted my show to suit our new online world of entertainment. You can book me for private and corporate events and I will perform over Zoom or Skype…Check out:

If you had to describe your work to someone who has never heard of you what would you say?

My job is to create moments of wonder. My goal is to use my performances and my audiences’ imagination to lift us away from everyday life and let them experience magic…even if that is only for a little moment or two.

What’s the funniest experience you’ve had in your business?

Too many to mention here. One that sticks out is the time I fell off stage during a show at The Grand Opera House in Belfast…that’s one I can repeat. There have been other experiences involving burning effigies, being hired to perform for illegal secret clubs and the time I was literally chased back to my car because certain members of the audience believed that performing magic meant that I was in league with the devil. But I won’t mention those.

What would your advice be to young people hoping to pursue the same industry?

If you want to succeed you have to completely dedicate yourself to the Art. Be prepared to sacrifice most of your time and energy into practice and study. When you’ve learned how to spend hours at a time practicing then do that. After that…practice more! But, if it doesn’t bring you joy then you’ll never be able to bring joy to an audience. Find out why you love it so much and bring that love into your work.

Anything else you want to tell people about yourself or your work?

Connect with me through and get booking! My show really is awesome and it’s not just my Mum who thinks that! 

You can stay up to date with Caolan on his socials here:

Twitter and Instagram: @magicbelfast


Who do you look up to and why?

In the world of Magic the majority of people that I look up to are dead and gone, but they have left behind amazing work that can be studied and learned. Outside of Magic I can’t help but look up to Nick Cave. I am completely transported by his music, lyrics and his stage presence. He has overcome a heck of a lot personally too and still manages to be creative. That’s a huge inspiration to me. At his best he transcends music and art and performance and becomes something else altogether…something bigger, something magical!

Caolan will be performing in the new Cahoots NI show the University of Wonder & Imagination. The show is an hour-long interactive digital theatre production that allows audiences to effectively direct the performance, based on their interaction with the performers. The University of Wonder & Imagination will be making it’s Northern Ireland premiere at the Belfast International Arts Festival from October 22nd – 25th and 29th – November 1. For more information or to book go to or  



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