Andrew Van Buren

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Andrew Van Buren is a British performer who specialises in magic, large-scale illusions, juggling and plate spinning.


Van Buren spent his childhood touring the world with his parents' Fred Van Buren and Greta's magic and illusion show. He learned his trade in theatres and circus, on-stage, off-stage and backstage. During this time he teamed up with an Hungarian State Circus artiste who taught him the art of trick cycling, which led to his performing in unicycling, juggling and plate spinning with real breakable plates.

Andrew has a daughter called Harley, with his long time partner and stage assistant Allyson Ampleford.

Venues and projects[edit]

Van Buren and his team have performed at the Brit Awards in the London Arena and members of the British Royal family at World Expo in Seville, Spain. He has regularly performed with and made appear, disappear and float in mid-air the cast of Coronation Street, comedian Peter Kay and Lulu. He has worked in British venues including The Royal Albert Hall and Wembley Arena in London, as well as regularly performing on international cruise ships and presenting shows in the United Arab Emirates. On 8 September 2011 Van Buren presented the opening show of the New Mitchell Arts theatre in his home area of Hanley Stoke-on-Trent - the first theatre he worked on as a solo performer, returning 30 years later to present one of his illusion shows as the launch of the new £4 million refit venue. During 2013 amongst other projects Van Buren worked as Magic consultant and advisor on the show Houdini, which toured theatres in the UK - starring Stuart Brennan, Jamie Nichols and Evanna Lynch.

Magic Illusion Show spectaculars[edit]

Andrew Van Buren presented a large-scale magic illusion show called Van Buren's Abracadabra Magic Around The World in Blackpool Tower Circus during the 2007 season supported by a cast of 24 international performers and numerous large-scale illusions themed to a journey around the world. Van Buren and his team have also made regular appearances in the Middle East - UAE, Dubai, Doha, Sharjah, etc. with their themed magic illusions and circus skills mixed into their shows, as well as regular performances on some of the world's largest luxury cruise liners.

In 2013 Van Buren and Gandeys launched The Victorian Wonders Carnival Show - The show description is "a mixture of Victorian Steampunk wonders mixed with elements of a theatrical play, a large-scale magic and illusion show with the showmanship of the fairground". Its first performance was at the Brighton Festival before taking it on an ongoing world tour.


Grand Order of Water Rats - Andrew Van Buren is a long-standing member of the showbusiness charity organisation The Grand Order of Water Rats.

The Magic Circle - Andrew is one of only a few Gold Star members of The Inner Magic Circle - Andrew Van Buren MIMC.

Equity - Also a member of Equity The Actors union.

Association of Independent Showmen - Andrew is also a member of the outdoor events fairground industry body the Association of Independent Showmen.

The Philip Astley Project - Andrew is continuing his families on going quest - which was started in 1981 - to gain the inventor of the modern circus Philip Astley greater recognition. Philip Astley was born in Newcastle-under-Lyme UK, which gives an even greater locational connection for Andrew. In 1992 Andrew commissioned a portable life size statue to be made of Philip Astley. Over the years Andrew has become an expert on the life & legacy of the "original ringmaster" Philip Astley. Now Andrew Van Buren is the driving force & leading light curator of the Philip Astley Project - creating & uniting archives, exhibitions and events all celebrating in 2018 & beyond the 250th anniversary of the first modern circus ring.

Television appearances[edit]

Van Buren has appeared as the plate spinner, illusionist, and guest on various television programmes and specials, including the opening scene of the music video of Charlotte Church's song "Call My Name". He has made repeated appearances on Blue Peter, Cilla Black's Moment of Truth, Ant & Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway, Jim Davidson's The Generation Game, Noel Edmonds' Telly Years, CBBC’s children's variety show The Slammer and Best of Friends, The Des O'Connor Show and The Money Programme as the corporate businessman plate spinner. He providing the opening credits on the series Spin Cities with international DJ Judge Jules.

Van Buren provided pizza spinning for the superstore Morrisons ident advert "Pizza spinner" either side of the Ant & Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway TV show. In 2015 Andrew starred alongside Stephen Mulhern & Sherrie Hewson plate spinning on ITV variety show Get Your Act Together. In January 2016 Andrew featured in a special 360 degree interactive film of BBC Breakfast News behind the studio scenes. On April 1, 2018 Andrew and his assistant Allyson featured on the new generation game hosted by Mel and Sue.

Family history[edit]

The Van Buren Story, a documentary produced by Ray Johnson MBE was released on DVD.

See also[edit]

External links & References[edit]