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james.ireland28
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I am trying to come up with some illusions to feature in a production of 'The Sorcerer'. The show is going to be performed outdoors (afternoon and evening performances) at the Minack Theatre (http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/5/53/Minack_Theatre_7149.jpg) which has very unusual sight-lines - essentially the audience is looking down on the stage.

The idea is to make the Sorcerer character appear to possess 'real' magic and so the effects I'm after need to be fairly natural and use ordinary objects in a way that does not feel like a magic 'trick'. Also, I have to assume the actor playing the Sorcerer has no magic experience and so the effects must be simple to perform.

The ideas I have so far are:
- Vanishing candle
- Appearing cane
- Shooting fireball from hands
- Airborne
- Rose to silk
- Various pyro effects around the stage which fire when the actor points to them
- Flame wallet

Does anyone have any suggestions of other effects I could include? Any help would be greatly appreciated!
plink
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A color changing 'shake type' streamer is showy and easy.
james.ireland28
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That's ideal, thank you! I will probably have to custom make one with colours appropriate for the show (rainbows aren't very Victorian...) but that should be fine
jimhlou
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With no experience you can probably do the flaming wallet - all the other effects you listed will require a bit of practice to master.

Jim
mrsmiles
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Dream Bag is pretty good too - 3 boxes of flowers from the bag one at a time. It might perhaps be possible to overcome the sightlines issue you mention if the performer angles the bag towards themselves at critical moments (not sure to be honest)
Good luck!
mrsmiles
(UK)
Dick Oslund
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Quote:
On Apr 21, 2015, mrsmiles wrote:
Dream Bag is pretty good too - 3 boxes of flowers from the bag one at a time. It might perhaps be possible to overcome the sightlines issue you mention if the performer angles the bag towards themselves at critical moments (not sure to be honest)
Good luck!


I don't think that "square bottom paper sacks are Victorian.
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Maxy
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Consider el*c deck ,doing difficult florishes with el*c deck.
Maxy
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El*c deck will make you look like master if you handle carefully without revealing the secret and it is very easy to do Smile
Sam Hagen
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Dancing cane?
May you live in interesting times.
james.ireland28
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I did think about el*c deck but there's no reason for the sorcerer character to have a deck of playing cards. I suppose it could work with tarot cards but it may not be worth it for such a small trick at such a distance.

Dancing cane is a great suggestion. I was thinking of having multiple cane effects which appear to use the same cane but in fact use different gimmicked canes for each effect (similar to Willy Wonka's canes in the Charlie and the Chocolate Factory musical). Hopefully there will be opportunity to change canes at convenient times. Does anyone have any other suggestions of simple effects with canes?
funsway
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Back when I did such thinks, cut and restored rope,thong or sash worked well -- just use a knife instead of scissors
"the more one pretends at magic, the more awe and wonder will be found in real life." Arnold Furst



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Aus
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You say that your looking for tricks for a theatrical production, is there some sort of narrative that these tricks are going to be placed in?

Magically

Aus
james.ireland28
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Most of the effects will probably happen during this song: https://youtu.be/Lw2bHXt8_aI

This means fast, flashy, visually stunning effects are best. It would be nice to include other effects throughout the show while the character is doing other things. For example a*rbourne during a piece of dialogue. In this sense most of the tricks needn't fit a narrative as such, they just need to fit the theme of the show which is fairly Victorian.
Aus
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Ok well try this: You start by opening a flame book ( http://www.murphysmagic.com/Product.aspx?id=50644 )grasp at the flames then throw a fireball (Hell's Flame http://www.murphysmagic.com/Product.aspx?id=52060 ).

Dancing Cane is another trick you might like to look into.

Magically

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Magicbarry
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My guess is that, since his original post was made eleven years ago, he or she has already made their choice.
james.ireland28
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My original post was a little over a month ago...

For clarity, the show opens on 7th September 2015 so I'm still very interested in hearing ideas!
jimgerrish
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That song by W.S. Gilbert (My Name is John Wellington Wells) is a difficult patter song to begin with. If the actor has to perform magic while singing it at that rapid patter pace, he will be in trouble unless he is given time to prepare and from now until September may not be enough. My suggestion is that all of the tricks be happening around him automatically and all he has to do is point to make a flash go off, or make something appear or disappear. It is all operated by a stagehand rather than the actor, who sings his song and then takes credit for all the magical effects that took place around him while he was singing.

Look at the stage set and then decide where you can make spring flowers appear by pulling a thread, or place a wooden candle that can appear or disappear into the tabletop on cue, and so on. The actor just has to know where to stand and towards what object he should make a magical gesture.

The original production used one main magic prop- that of a magic Tea Pot for brewing the love potion. It was the first time that electricity was used in a theatrical production to produce smoke puffs on cue. You should have no trouble duplicating that or improving on it.

One item the actor might be able to use with no trouble is a D'Lite (or two). Let the actor decide when to use it for best effect.
jimgerrish
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If you would be interested in hearing a suggestion for incorporating a magic pantomime to run in the background of The Sorcerer let me know and I will PM the details. It would be absolutely silent and would focus attention on the magical skills of the Sorcerer (J.Wellington Wells) without interfering with the plot in any way. Only one person is needed to play the part. Based on their use of Fire Brigade Captain Shaw in Iolanthe, I feel that both Gilbert and Sullivan would chuckle over this adaptation to add modern day interest in the Sorcerer.
Dick Oslund
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Quote:
On May 12, 2015, james.ireland28 wrote:
I did think about el*c deck but there's no reason for the sorcerer character to have a deck of playing cards. I suppose it could work with tarot cards but it may not be worth it for such a small trick at such a distance.

Dancing cane is a great suggestion. I was thinking of having multiple cane effects which appear to use the same cane but in fact use different gimmicked canes for each effect (similar to Willy Wonka's canes in the Charlie and the Chocolate Factory musical). Hopefully there will be opportunity to change canes at convenient times. Does anyone have any other suggestions of simple effects with canes?


I did all the card flourishes WITHOUT an elec. deck, for about 60 years on stage. Sometimes, high schools would have 2,000 students in the audience.

I realize that cards, as a prop, might not fit the sorcerer character. As a D.O.P.E. (Deceptive Order of Prestidigitorial Entertainers) I learned how to make a "solar powered" elec. deck, for use as a clown gag, or when working al fresco.
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