Jonathan Shotton is bringing a touch of magic to Richmond Theatre’s pantomime, Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs, as Mephisto, the henchman to Jane Asher’s Wicked Queen.

The magician, who trained at The Magic and Mystery School in Las Vegas, has plenty of tricks up his sleeve. He has been wowing the panto crowds with his illusions, including a spectacular one that sees him levitate Asher and make her vanish into thin air.

Shotton, who says he is a magician who specialises in grand illusions rather than close-up tricks, is delighted to be getting a chance to bring this style of magic to big audiences at Richmond Theatre.

“This is my fourth panto but Richmond is a prestigious one so it was an honour to be asked,” he says.

“I was really pleased the producers wanted to put magic into the show because variety has really suffered recently. It has become a bit of a dying art.

“I think the public is crying out for it, though, there is a real hunger for good-quality speciality acts.

“People don’t get to see live stage magic in the UK any more. It takes people by surprise when they see it done, particularly when I make Jane disappear.”

Mephisto is, according to Shotton, a cross between Willy Wonka and the Child Catcher from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, and he says he is relishing the opportunity of playing a panto boo-boy and being part of a devious double-act with Asher.

“Jane is lovely, she’s quite the pro, and is a pleasure to work with,” he says.

“She has been a brilliant magician’s assistant.”

With panto being a genre in which audience participation takes a starring role, was Shotton worried eagle-eyed kids in the crowd might spoil some of his tricks?

“No, because a lot of kids really believe in magic – they don’t see it as a trick and that is the way magic should be viewed.

“The people who enjoy magic the most are not the ones who try to work it out but those who suspend their disbelief and see it as entertainment – that is exactly what it is at the end of the day.”

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Richmond Theatre, until January 10, for further details and to book, visit