Frequently Asked Questions
The calendar below gives you an idea of days Matt is already booked up. Please enquire directly for availability as some commitments won't be listed or some days he can make two visits if nearby.
What are you like to work with?
Matt's aim is to be a "friendly professional". What this means for you is peace of mind. You won't be dealing with some rigid corporate entity and you won't have to put up with sloppy work practices. There will be no nasty surprises. Dr Matt will turn up on time, do an excellent job and be willing to be flexible to changes (he fully understands how schools work!).
Do you employ other presenters?
Science Magic Shows is the name Dr Matt uses for his company. All communications will be direct with him and he will be the presenter who turns up. When you book him you're booking 12 years of experience working in schools, a strong science background, a professional magician, and someone who constantly invests in improving their knowledge and business. Be wary of franchise companies whose presenters are unlikely to match this.
What are your shows like?
Shows are designed to be fun and interactive. They will feature live demonstrations, magic tricks, multimedia, quizzes, questions and things that make you go "wow". Presentations will be tailored to the group's age and ability. The shows aim to enthuse the pupils about the subject and not hype them up into a crazed audience with needless cheering or silliness that you have to manage for the rest of the day. If you want to read what previous bookers have to say about the shows, you can read comments here.
What is the maximum audience size for the shows?
There's no limit to the audience size as long as the audience can see and hear. Depending upon the acoustics of the room and audience numbers, you may need to provide a PA system and microphone. Matt prefers to use a thin headset or lapel radio microphone.
How long do the shows last?
A show will typically last between 45-60 minutes. The exact length can be tailored to your timetable and audience age.
How many performances can you do in a day?
Matt limits the maximum number to 3 performances per day. Normally the show will be the same however in certain circumstances a second show can also be performed during the same day. An extra charge may be payable.
Can Nursery children be in the audience?
Due to their short concentration spans I'm afraid in most cases the answer is 'no'. The age range for each show is listed on the show listings page.
Can you present shows to children with SEN?
Yes. Over the years Matt has performed to a variety of audiences and has experience working with SEN groups. Matt is very happy to work with BSL interpreters.
Is there anything I will need to provide?
Ideally Matt would like to make use of the venue's video projector and screen. Please can you check the projector works beforehand. He will bring his own leads and connectors. If there's a problem making use of a projector, please let Matt know in advance. If the venue and audience size is large, you will also need to provide a PA system and microphone. Matt prefers to use a thin head set or lapel radio microphone.
The room should also have a table at the front that can be used to display props. Finally, Matt likes to drink tea - milk no sugar!
How much does a visit cost?
Please enquire directly as the cost depends on what, where and when. As a rough guide: a school in the Birmingham area, where Matt is based, booking a day visit will typically be charged £600. Further distances may incur a contribution towards travel and overnight accommodation expenses. There is no extra charge for VAT.
How far do you travel and where are you based?
Matt is based in South Birmingham but there is no limit to how far he'll travel. The furthest he's traveled so far is to Abu Dhabi.
What is your availability?
A calendar showing confirmed bookings is at the top of this webpage.
How do I make a booking?
The best way is to contact Matt directly, either by phone or email. See his contact details here. Please be aware that quite often his phone will go straight to voicemail as he's working in a school or travelling. The best time to phone him is between 3:30pm and 4:45pm.
What happens next?
After discussing your requirements and tailoring a package to suit you, Matt will email over a booking form for you to read through, fill in any missing details and then return it signed. This forms the basis of an agreement for the work. At this stage you will also be asked to send over a non-refundable deposit to guarantee the booking.
When is payment due and how can it be paid?
At the time of booking a non-refundable deposit is requested. Matt requests that the final balance is paid either in advance with the deposit or on the day of the booking. At the time of booking you'll be sent an invoice. There is an option to pay either by cheque or BACS (details on the invoice). If funding comes through the council, please can you start the invoice process early and let Matt have any forms that may have to be filled in to get him listed as a 'supplier' on the council's system. Especially now that lots of schools are having to deal with IR35 procedures.
What about IR35?
Currently the business model that Matt operates is he is self-employed. With the introduction of IR35 recently, organisations will often need to assess what category each of their suppliers falls into. If yours needs to do this, please let Matt know early on in the booking prcess as he can supply the required documentation to prove his self-employment status.
Health and Safety information
Has your electrical equipment been PAT tested?
Yes - it's tested annually.
Have you risk assessed your shows?
Yes. Risk assessments are available to view on request.
Have you got an enhanced CRB/DBS check?
Yes - and it's clean! However, as a school visitor who doesn't have 'regular and unsupervised' access to children, there is no legal obligation from Ofsted for me to be checked.
Have you got public liability insurance?
Matt has £10 million insurance cover through Equity.
You've listed a show on both the primary and secondary pages, will it be too simple/advanced for my audience?
Although the show names and general theme are the same, the content varies and is pitched to the ability of the audience.
What does an "Associate of the Inner Magic Circle with Silver Star" mean?
The Magic Circle is the world's most prestigious club for magicians. The headquarters are in London and house a theatre, library, museum and bar. Membership is through either audition or a submitted thesis. There are different ranks of membership. Matt is at the highest level achievable by examination having scored above 90% in his audition in front of 50 magicians. There are only about 300 members worldwide at this level.
What are your science qualifications?
In Sept 2006 Matt gained an unconditional pass with no corrections from his Ph.D examiners at Durham University. His research was in "Magnetic and optical manipulation of ultra cold atoms" OR making things extremely cold with lasers!