IT was a magical experience for Hadleigh’s Tony Draper when he officially opened the smallest theatre in Essex.

With a bit of magic and some DIY Mr Draper, who uses the stage name Anthony Dee, transformed his garage into an 18-seat theatre which was officially opened on Sunday.

He said: “It went absolutely, swimmingly, fantastically – it was a perfect day.

“There was about 50 people there and we crammed them into the theatre.”

Southend Sorcerers Society president Adrian Fox cut the ribbon to officially open the theatre and performed on stage alongside Mr Draper and internationally known acts Leanne Valentine and James Gilroy.

Britain’s current close-up champion magician Oliver Ward and magic circle magician Richard Graham also took to the stage.

Mr Draper said further performances were planned.

He is also looking to start a magic school.