A MAGICIAN who lost five friends in a lifeboat accident when he was working on a cruise ship has opened his own magic shop.
Jack Dent threw himself into setting up the shop to take his mind off the tragedy, and now – more than a year on – the project has come to fruition.
JD’s Magic Box is due to open this weekend, in a blaze of performance and trickery.
Mr Dent, of Stanton Road, Stapenhill, said: “I was trying to keep myself busy, and put myself into a different situation.
“I threw myself into it, and it has been keeping me going.”
The 20-year-old will realise a lifelong dream when his store opens on Saturday.
He and his twin brother Tom have been interested in magic since they were children, and he became a professional magician several years ago.
He was performing tricks for passengers aboard the Thompson Majesty when his friends died last February.
Mr Dent was just yards away when a safety cable snapped on the lifeboat during a routine safety drill as the ship was docked in La Palma, in the Canary Islands.
Five people lost their lives, and a further three crew members were injured.
Mr Dent said at the time: “We all knew the people involved as we are like on big family.
“I was in a state of shock when it happened and a lot of people on board have been left traumatised.”
He said he has had a lot of support from family and friends, as well as counselling, to help him deal with the trauma.
The shop, in Main Street, Branston, presents a new start for the performer.
“I’ve always wanted to do this, as I want to bring magic to Burton. It’s a dying art. People are doing magic in various places, but in Burton, it’s dying.
“Magic is great because it’s all about knowing how it’s done.
“I remember buying tricks when I was younger and being amazed, and I want to give that to other people,” he said.
The shop has a theatre for magicians, and Mr Dent said he was hoping to bring in other performers. There is also a make a wish mirror, where people can donate money to charity as they wish.