Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner. Facebook Messenger An icon of the facebook messenger app logo. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Facebook Messenger An icon of the Twitter app logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. WhatsApp Messenger An icon of the Whatsapp messenger app logo. Email An icon of an mail envelope. Copy link A decentered black square over a white square.

What it’s like growing up in Aberdeen when your magician dad put your mum in a guillotine

Father and son magicians Ivor and Eoin Smith have been performing magic for over 15 years but have yet to take to the stage together.

Eoin and Ivor Smith with some flying playing cards at the Lemon Tree in Aberdeen.
Eoin and Ivor Smith have been magicians for over 15 years but have never performed together. Image: Darrell Benns/DC Thomson

Seeing your mother in a guillotine as a child might be slightly upsetting but not for Eoin Smith – if anything, it was just another birthday party.

Vividly remembering turning eight years old, the only child said some of his friends seemed a bit worried at the sight.

But as a kid of a magician, he said: “It was just business as usual.

“I just knew that everything was in control, nothing was going to go wrong.”

The Rosemount resident rushed to say: “Not that dad put mum in a guillotine every day.”

Ivor and Eoin Smith on holiday.
Ivor and Eoin outside the MGM Grand, on a family holiday to Las Vegas in 2004 to see the world’s greatest magicians. Image: Eoin Smith.

The guillotine and another trick involving an appearing and disappearing drawing of a rabbit are some of Eoin’s earliest memories from his dad and magician, Ivor Smith’s, party performances.

However, despite Ivor’s passion for the craft, it was never something forced upon Eoin.

The dad and co-founder of Fifth Dimension added: “I was going to be delighted if Eoin found magic interesting enough to be a hobby if nothing more, but I was never going to make him do magic.

“The feeling was that he had to find it for himself. I was always there and willing to show, help and guide him if required.

 Ivor and Eoin Smith.
Ivor (left) and Eoin Smith. Image: Darrell Benns/DC Thomson

“[Growing up] if he was having a party, I would ask you ‘Do you want me to do something again’, it was not something I forced on him for this party.

“It was only if he wanted it to be there. He always said yes, which was great.”

From career as housing manager to magician, and new sparkly business

For Ivor, it was a Christmas present in his early 20s that made him catch the magic bug.

Seeing that he enjoyed watching it on TV, his wife Helen, got him a book on magic for Christmas.

From there, the Seafield resident slowly delved further into the world of trickery, illusion and flare.

After joining the Aberdeen Magical Society in 1991, he started taking the subject more seriously.

Success was on the cards in Fifth Dimension's early days. (l-r Bill Duncan, Jeff Burns, Ivor Smith)
Success was on the cards in Fifth Dimension’s early days. (Left to right: Bill Duncan, Jeff Burns, Ivor Smith). Image: Ivor Smith

Working as an area housing manager with Aberdeen City Council and then as a marketing officer with economic development, Ivor realised there was a unique way he could bring some life to dry presentations and training sessions.

That’s right – he’d use magic to “pep things up”.

He said: “Because it was going over so well I started thinking there might be a business idea there and decided to set the company up with two other colleagues.

“With a view to use magic when dealing with soft management skills, communication and teamwork and also to work at exhibitions for companies to attract a crowd.

Travelling the world and meeting Neil Patrick Harris

“We were just looking at how we could enhance the business person’s experience with learning.

“And one of the things that happened very quickly was that we got involved in health and safety training.

Jeff Burns and Ivor Smith performing their double act.
Jeff Burns (left) and Ivor Smith performing their double act. Image: Eoin Smith.

“A company asked us if we’d be able to do that, and it became our biggest market and still is, delivering safety presentations to companies around the world.”

Teaming up with Jeff Burns, who Ivor also performs a double act with, and Bill Duncan, they named the company Fifth Dimension.

This has led to many highlights and great opportunities over the years.

From travelling to Australia, throughout Europe and the Middle East, Singapore and Thailand to performing at the Magic Castle in Hollywood (a mecca for magicians) and Neil Patrick Harris visiting backstage, Ivor said it has been a “fantastic experience”.

‘I had my history teacher in the guillotine quite fittingly’ says son Eoin

The week Ivor joined Aberdeen Magical Society was also the same week Eoin was born.

Joking maybe his dad just wanted to get out of the house, Eoin added he also became addicted: “I don’t remember a time when dad wasn’t a magician.

“I loved it. The nice thing is that dad never forced me to like magic. It was very much an organic thing but I just couldn’t help but be drawn towards it.

Magician Eoin Smith's first performance on stage with his history teacher in a guillotine.
Eoin’s first performance on stage with his history teacher in a guillotine. Image: Eoin Smith

“As dad said once you get hooked, once you get that bug, it never leaves you.”

Inspired by his past birthday parties, Eoin’s first on-stage magic trick involved a guillotine.

Competing in Hazelhead’s Academy talent show aged 17, Eoin added: “Having been inspired by seeing dad perform…I had my history teacher in the guillotine quite fittingly.”

Coming second, something he assured us he was not bitter about, the PR marketing manager with Planit Scotland started performing solo shows and close-up magic.

However, despite performing for the last 15 years, the 33-year-old said the father and son had “unbelievably” failed to perform a show together.

Something they are planning to change in September.

Ivor and Eoin Smith back to back
Ivor and Eoin have never performed together on stage before. Image: Darrell Benns/DC Thomson

Four Magicians Aberdeen – first show together as father and son

The father and son, are planning to host a show called Four Magicians at the Lemon Tree in Aberdeen in September.

Hosting with Jeff and fellow magician James Dickson, Eoin said never performing with his dad before was one of the reasons they wanted to put on the show together.

“But also it just seemed like a really fun thing to do,” Eoin said. “The four of us get on really well.

“We share quite a lot of ideas about how we like to perform but we also like to push each other and challenge each other to try new things and we put the show together to do just that.”

Eoin Smith flicking cards at his dad Ivor.
Eoin said he and his dad have a similar sense of humour. Image: Darrell Benns/DC Thomson

To mark the occasion, they have created a new father-and-son magic trick to perform together.

For Eoin who has been a solo performer for so long, he said he is looking forward to sharing the stage and working with his dad.

He said: “The trick that we’ve come up with together is probably something that neither of us would ever have thought of performing on our own.

“We’ve got different performing styles but we’ve got quite similar sense of humour.

“Dad and Jeff are usually a double act and seeing that in magic is rare enough but I think seeing four magicians on stage performing the same trick altogether, is something really new and different for audiences.”

Ivor and Eoin Smith outside the Lemon Tree where they will be performing Four Magicians together in September.
The duo are looking forward to performing together in September. Image: Darrell Benns/DC Thomson

Not just magic in common

With their shared interest, career choices and membership in the Aberdeen Magical Society, it is no surprise the pair have a close relationship.

However, Ivor said: “It’s not just through the magic, but just in life generally.

“We’ve got a very eclectic taste in music. Anything from classical through to heavy metal. Pink Floyd, rock, indie, you name it.

“That love of music meant that we’ve always gone to gigs, we took Eoin from a reasonably early age to gigs, and we’re still going together. We just got tickets the other day to go and see David Gilmour down in London.”

Eoin added: “We’re quite a close family. We always got on really well.

“Although mum’s not necessarily into magic, we all share other interests, like reading and we all love going to see live music and the theatre. We’ve got a lot in common. We all introduce each other to new things.”

Eoin and Ivor Smith
Eoin and Ivor’s wives prefer not to know all the secrets of the trade. Image: Darrell Benns/DC Thomson

Other halves prefer keeping the mystery alive

After being married for 41 years, Ivor said Helen is used to seeing all sorts around the house.

But he said she prefers not to know the ins and outs of the tricks being performed so it does not ruin the magic when she goes to watch Ivor at the bigger shows.

Eoin admitted his wife Aimee is the same.

First meeting when they were 14 years old at school, Eoin added: “She really likes to be involved and she actually helps me come up with things.

“Sometimes she comes up with a solution to a problem I’m having because she’s thinking about it, not like a magician.

“She’s really creative and has good practical skills.

“It’s something that we can kind of work on together sometimes but I don’t share everything with her.

“It’s like knowing what’s in your Christmas presents.

“Sometimes it’s best to keep that air of mystery.”

To find out more about the show Four Magicians from Ivor and Eoin at the Lemon Tree in Aberdeen on September 14, click here.