Magician and presenter Ban Hanlin described Welshpool as “a gig like no other” when he performed in the Powys town - after selecting it by throwing a dart at a map of the UK.

On July 19, Ben Hanlin, best known for his magic that has garnered him over a million followers on Tik Tok, as well as competing in the 12th series of Dancing on Ice, performed at The Bay Tree vintage tea room in Welshpool's Church Street after picking the town at random.

Ben picked the venue earlier in July by throwing a dart at a map of Britain, declaring he would perform at the town closest to where the dart landed just one week after picking it.

True to his word, one week after posting the video on Tik Tok, he arrived at Welshpool’s The Bay Tree, with tickets for the venue selling out in less than 48 hours.

Speaking to The County Times just before the show, he said: “It was a bit of a challenge really, to see if I could pull off a gig with just a week’s notice, mainly using social media to advertise it.

“Having landed on Welshpool at random, I had no idea what to expect or if there would even be a venue that was suitable for me to perform in, let alone whether anyone would turn up.”

County Times:

When Ben selected Welshpool for his hastily planned performance, Judy Hancock, owner of The Bay Tree, reached out as a potential host.

She said: “We sent Ben a video of the interior and I think he chose us because we suit his performance. We are a bit of a quirky location so we compliment the magic and mystery of his act.”

Ben first started performing magic in 2009, showcasing his illusions at local venues and even on the streets.


He added: “It’s all a bit of an experiment, especially as in recent years I’ve become used to performing in big venues so being in a more intimate setting like this adds to the challenge.

“It’s a venue where you can really see the audience and they can see you, they could literally see anything that was up my sleeves, so it’s a real challenge. It reminds me of my earlier days as a performer from way back in 2009. It’s a proper parlour show.

“It’s especially challenging for magic as well. Comedians, for instance, can work the same way whether they’re playing to a large arena or a small crowd. But magic can so often be about the environment you are in.

“It’s also more intimate. I’d say about half the people seeing me tonight will be involved in the show in some way, which I always love doing.

“It’s really welcome after the pandemic as well. It was a horrible time for performers, being away from audiences for so long. I was able to find an audience on Tik Tok and grow from there but there’s nothing like a live crowd.”