“Magic Consultant” is one of the few jobs that peaks more interest than saying you’re a magician. The job description is to make a moment(s) in a performance situation look magical. I’m friends and colleagues with a few that have consulted on Dynamo’s show, and also others who have created magic in some of the biggest West End productions. The job has intrigued me. It’s like solving one big ever changing magical puzzle in the most beautiful way.
So it was with great pride that I was able to work with talented casts at two of the foremost producing theatres in the country, The Lyceum Theatre in Edinburgh and The Dundee Rep.
In Edinburgh I had the pleasure of working with actors Cristian Ortega, Pauline Knowles and Lewis Howden on The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe. My job was to create magical choreography that showed the audience the magical production of Turkish delights and hot chocolate for ‘Edward’ played by Cristian. The solution was a two person performance routine that involved timing, magic and quite a lot of smoke!
Much magic is accomplished using sleight of hand and misdirection, skills that take many years to master. It’s always a worry for me, how much time and respect non-magicians (in this case actors) give to learning these skills. These guys really went for it and made the ‘magic choreography’ really come to life. Lewis in particular had quite a lot of responsibility, and relished it. It was really impressive to see how quickly the actors took to learning these new skills and then embellishing them for the show. It was wonderful to see the smiles on the audiences’ face when the objects appeared in the live show. It was a wonderful production and the most successful Christmas Show the Lyceum has had.
Up in Dundee one of my roles was to animate an imitation snake in Roald Dahl’s dark and fabulous book ‘Witches’. This was such fun and after a few weeks of work I had a marvellous, metre-long wooden snake slithering out of a hand bag, up the arm of an actor before squirming around in their hands – perfect for enticing a young boy down from a tree and into the hands of a witch that would like nothing more than to remove the child from the face of the earth. It was thrilling to see how a number of prototypes slowly merged into this beautiful, sleek and sinister black snake. Not for the squirmish, but wow! I’ll try get a video on line for this eventually.
My second job was to help turn 3 people into mice! That was much trickier…