Kevin Quantum, Flaming Canonballs at Edinburgh Castle stunt

At 1pm today (Thursday 29th April), the global premiere of a daring stunt at Edinburgh Castle by scientist and magician Kevin Quantum was unveiled on YouTube.

Kevin Quantum, Flaming Canonballs at Edinburgh Castle stunt

Article Source: Kevin Quantum
First Published: 29 April 2021 15:06
Updated: 29 April 2021 15:14

At 1pm today (Thursday 29th April), the global premiere of a daring stunt at Edinburgh Castle by scientist and magician Kevin Quantum was unveiled on YouTube to celebrate Scotland’s journey out of COVID-19 adversity.

Broadcast worldwide on YouTube, and now available for all to see, the 6-minute film premiere of Flaming Cannonballs at Edinburgh Castle shows Quantum relying on science, self-belief and hope as he walks blindfolded through nine flaming cannonballs swinging from a huge pendulum on the ramparts of the capital’s iconic landmark.

Relying on scientific studies of the pendula’s patterns and calculations of the precise magical moment the cannonballs harmoniously aligned, Quantum emerged unscathed from his feat at precisely the moment Edinburgh’s famous One o’Clock Gun was fired.

Internationally acclaimed magician Quantum, also known as Kevin McMahon, lives in Edinburgh and his last performance was as a semi-finalist on ITV’s Britain’s Got Talent. He gained exclusive access to Edinburgh Castle to stage his dramatic performance in the shadow of Mons Meg, the famous Medieval Bombard and one of the largest cannons in the world.

His stunt was designed to mark the moment the country begins to open up after life in lockdown and the chance to reconnect with friends and experience the joy of live performance.

Edinburgh Castle, which reopens to the public on Friday 30th April, was chosen because the One o’Clock Gun once connected the city to Leith Docks where ships’ captains would set their maritime clocks by the gun. The soundwave travels at around 760 miles per hour, the speed of sound which was studied by Austrian physicist Ernst Mach.

Mach also created the Harmonic Pendulum; a beautiful, hypnotic visualisation of harmony. For his performance, Quantum created his own industrial-sized version of Mach’s pendulum. The 12ft-high steel structure featured a gauntlet of nine swinging, flaming cannonballs each weighing 15 kilogrammes.

Commenting in his stunt, Quantum explained: “I’m proud to unveil the premiere of this stunt and would like to thank Edinburgh Castle for allowing me to perform in this wonderful internationally recognised historic location.

“My background is in science and with this performance I wanted to highlight the role science has played in helping us emerge from the global pandemic. I also wanted to demonstrate how self-belief and courage can get you through extremely challenging circumstances at this significant moment in time as we start to emerge from such a difficult period.”


Quantum originally studied Physics at the University of Edinburgh but his life took a new turn into the world of magic after he appeared in Channel 4 programme, Faking It, in 2005. In the show, which was watched by around seven million people, he convinced a panel of judges, including Paul Daniels, into believing he was a professional magician after just four weeks of training.

After later being trained in Las Vegas by the world-renowned magicians, Penn and Teller, Quantum went onto to perform at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 2006. In 2010, he founded The Edinburgh International Magic Festival, also known as MagicFest, and has worked extensively in Edinburgh and around the world.

In addition to reaching the semi-final of Britain’s Got Talent in 2020, Quantum also reached the final of Italy’s Got Talent, and his YouTube videos have been viewed millions of times. Earlier this year, he educated children about gravity on BBC Bitesize during home schooling lockdown.

Flaming Cannonballs at Edinburgh Castle is a Kevin Quantum event conceived and produced by The Derring-Do Partnership and filmed by Edinburgh video specialists Heehaw.

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