My Blog - Tricky Toby

Welcome to Tricky Toby's blog. Here you will find the amazing life of a children's entertainer working all around London.

  1. Happy 2017! Magician London New Year Resolutions

    So another year passes and a fresh new 2017 arrives! Last year was very busy and I was fortunate to be invited to so many birthday parties in London and surrounding areas. There were also school events, christenings and weddings. The phone has started to ring and emails are arriving too for my magic, music and games party entertainment in the coming months. Check out the little video of me on the home page of this website. You have to scroll down a bit to find it! 

    So my first resolution is to write more blogs for this page and keep you all updated on what is happening in the world of magic with me,  Tricky Toby. My other resolution is to make better use of my time at home with my own family! I have five children and they range in age from 27 to 13 years so quite an age spread. My dear wife Mari is a wonderful mother and honestly I think she is a much better parent than me. I am grateful to my own parents who raised me with so much love and kindness. We learn so much from our own upbringing and I am always remembering back if I find myself wondering how to improve as a daddy (as my kids call me).

    I am also grateful to be able to have my magic show and visit so many families where I know parents have planned and worried about their children's parties for weeks (if not months!). I always try to bring some magical fun and a little mystery (and a real rabbit!) to entertain. Most of my experiences of being a magician over the past ten years has shown me that the most important thing is to be friendly and kind. Sounds simple but I can still remember my first ever magic show in Streatham Hill in 2006! The only thing I was  worried about was whether I would survive my stage nerves! Today I am pretty relaxed and generally I can cope with any type of crowd and keep them genuinely entertained. It's an unusual job but someone has to do it!!

    My best wishes to you all for 2017. Drop me an email request or call me on 02086834616 or 07960074477 for your inquiry.

    Relax. Magic for your event with Tricky Toby- you know it makes sense!

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  2. Epsom Magician Super Hero

    A leafy lane in Epsom saw little Leo celebrate his fifth birthday in style. All his friends came dressed as super heroes and there were a few odd super squirrels I didn't recognise too! Leo had decided at some point in the morning that he would be dressed as 'Leo' (meaning he was wearing his normal clothes!). Furthermore he had decided that for the magic show I should be in a specific corner of the room and also made it clear that he was quite ready to help me do some magic. I love children who clarify my life.

    Happily, Leo and I were a great team and he thought I did quite well overall, considering his friends were a little wild. Two spidermen had met up and decided that was one too many. Mums intervened and a possible conflict between Batman and a Saviour of the universe was luckily avoided. Everybody was silenced when I got Dad to help with the magic too. He just had to sit still with a jug of magic water on his head! Can't imagine why he looked so nervous! Super hero not!

    Apparently alien life forms were welcome on Leo's planet and he was very proud to introduce a magic rabbit to the other children, although it 'might be a robot rabbit'! I assured him it was quite real but the word robot seemed to mean that as little rabbit was checked out by everyone, there was a need to cuddle him to see if he was breathing or not! After the magic bit, I made balloon light sabres and swords for all and sundry including one for Leo's baby brother who at four months old was less than impressed. Leo got a certificate to prove he was the best magician's assistant in Epsom which did impress his friends.

    A relieved Dad told me I had done a fantastic job of keeping sixteen little boys entertained. Mention of pizza in the kitchen meant that all the kids had run off and the room became oddly quiet. 'Just an hour more, then I know the house is safe!', joked Dad. Somehow we both knew he wasn't entirely joking.

    Birthday party magician in Epsom 'home insurance'. You'll need Tricky Toby!



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  3. Magician in Blackheath Star Wars Force Awakens Party

    A rainy morning in Blackheath and most of us would probably be laying in for a warm snooze. But for those under 6 years old, it was time to 'Awaken" (get it?) in a quaint little park club house hidden away in deepest Rebel base of South London. Edward was up for a 'The Force Awakens' party, but had decided to wear his best Minecraft outfit! Princess Leia, two Reys and a host of really rather odd looking aliens also appeared. After two close encounters with plastic light sabers, I felt it was time to sit down, just chill and have some great magic. Parents were duly asked to 'turn the chat level down please!' Magician at work please! The galaxy depends on Edward's party being out of this world.

    Ed and his friends enjoyed some hilarious magical fun. Planet Mish has a rare snake who kindly put in a performance worthy of an Oscar and convinced us all that magic is alive on other planets too. It was lovely to meet Ed's parents Fiona and Martin who had been planning for weeks. I know the look of relief when they can see my crowd control techniques are fully up to scratch and the force is definitely with me. A  real live dwarf white rabbit from Planet Mosh made a welcome visit and amazed faces were magically smiling.

    Thank you for the whole whacky event! We all promised to be as noisy as possible for the games too which I also made sure were exciting and a little wild. The rain lifted and the children could have a play in the little swings outside too. Those little Rebels will relax tonight having returned from Planet Party. Tricky Toby- I've got a GOOD feeling about this (children's entertainer).




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  4. New Year Magic Party Audience in Dulwich London

    Best wishes for the New Year! What a hectic month December was. I have been performing all over London, in schools, nurseries, even at the Royal Mail Xmas event. Thank you for letting me entertain you! It is always a special time of year and everybody seems just that little bit more cheerful. Now January and some darn cold weather is upon us. But we can still have fun, right?

    i was invited to Harry's party in Dulwich last weekend. A lovely sports hall and rather quiet when I first arrived. So I got set up, met Harry and his little brother Fraiser and saw a few guests arrive. I turned my back for five minutes and suddenly there were at least forty little ones ready to be entertained! What a trick- you all arrived at once! Large crowds are a challenge if you factor in another forty parents too. But it all went swimmingly and Harry said he had a wonderful time. I also organised the games too. So after a little food and a fantastic birthday cake (sensible parents avoiding those volcano candles which I think are so dangerous btw), we all hit the 'dancefloor' and played some great games and I gave out a load of little prizes. Prizes for every child! Yes I plan to make it an absolutely 'no tears' event every time. I'm a dad too. I hate to see anyone crying at a party!

    Mum came up to me after. "Thank you so much. All the parents thought you were great!". Er.....what about the children?! (Actually I know they loved it)

    So don't let some plastic clown entertain your children. Try the real live Tricky Toby with real live rabbit. The real deal for magic and fun!

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  5. How to hire a childrens magician for a party?


    It's time to organise your child's birthday party. They have asked for a magician! Definitely it's good to choose a date and get the hall booked first or plan to utilise home space or even the garden (risky in British weather conditions!). Stressed yet? Plan ahead and do not leave it until the last minute!

    So, how to choose the right entertainer in the London area? Clown or magician?

    Some entertainers fill their show with lots of clowning and that is fine if you need that. But even really small children need something with real magic in it. I was booked for a school fair and there was a clown who followed my act. All I can say is, clowning can be brain-numbingly stupid at times! I must add that there are some brilliant clown acts out there too. I avoid too much silliness as it can lead to chaos! My teaching experience can come in handy here.

    More advice...

    Has your child seen an entertainer/magician at one of their friends parties or did somebody come to school and put on a magic show? Did your child like it? Have any good friends hired a successful magician?

    How to find an entertainer for your party?

    Then it's time to get online and google! First and MOST IMPORTANT- you need a real children's magician or entertainer! Some magicians cater for children as a side-line to their adult magic work. This is often not good enough. There are some amazing magicians out there but kids magic is AN ART! I suggest a local search where you put 'children's magician in London' for example.

    Make use of reviews and other resources.

    Be sure to check local forums for authentic experiences from parents. For example, a conversation started on East Dulwich Forum about choosing a magician and someone had booked me and was happy to share my name and this sparked off a good discussion about how long a magic show should be and what is a reasonable price. So look locally at forums. Places where people with children chat or review things online are popular resources. For example try netmums which has local online services.

    Lots of names will pop up and you will know pretty quickly that a few will not quite fit the bill! Also check for photos or a link to a short movie clip on youtube. Also there are agencies that can supply a magician for a price.

    How much does an entertainer charge?

    THE PRICE! Now that's a big question! Most magicians will not post a price on their website for a good reason. They want to talk to you as It is vital that you have a conversation to get some first impressions. Then talk about your plans and get some advice. I can definitely offer loads of sound and stress-tested advice on how to organise your party. Regardless of whether you book me or not. If you sense any kind of awkwardness when chatting to potential entertainers over the phone, move on and find somebody else. Trust your gut feeling on this!

    How long to book an entertainer for your party?

    How long is a magic show? Not a trick question! Generally a magic show booking will be for an hour or two. If you have a group of little ones around the age of three or four, a forty minute show is quite long enough with balloon modelling after the magic bit to finish the hour.

    Many parents don't want to organise games as this can be stressful too. I offer to organise games which normally happen after a short break for food and cake cutting. I make sure all the children are involved and nobody feels left out. Again, experience is crucial. But also as a dad myself, I know what games kids like and a limbo competition is fun (as long as I get somebody else to demo the method!).

    Be genuine too.  We magicians have to cope with a lot which is naturally part of the job. Please ensure that once the booking is confirmed, you don't suddenly decide to cancel at the last minute. I can assure you that most magicians are incredibly sincere and try their best to make the children happy on the day. Most people would not take up this career path if they really understood how tough it is!

    And lastly..

    You should give yourself a pat on the back, especially if you got it all sorted in time! Being a parent is a wonderful but hard life! Why not plan some great food for any adults who might join you on the day? Just make sure you leave a plate for me after my amazing magic show.

    What can Tricky Toby offer?

    There's a whole bunch of information on my site. Check out specifics about entertainment for your party, see some of my previous magic shows across London, read some of my blog posts. And of course, please feel free to email or call me at any time! Thanks for reading!

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