Magic and illusion has been featured in many theatre productions over the decades and is having a revival certainly here in the UK.
One particular type of production that is utilising magic a lot is what we Brits know as Panto or Pantomime. Every Christmas season from the end of November until the New Year theatres up and down the country present this old age tradition with productions such as Aladdin, Cinderella, Snow White and so on.
Because the stories are very magical in themselves, Panto really lends itself to magic and illusion and provides the ‘real’ magic that sometimes is missing.
Its not only Panto that features magic and illusion but major west end and broadway shows.
In recent years productions such as Ghost and Matilda have featured illusion heavily and Princess Cruises have recently produced an entire show based around magic with Stephan Schwartz entitled Magic A Do.
As I write this, I am currently discussing a production with Disney who want to feature illusion considerably within one of their shows…how exciting.
Are you looking for a magic consultant or illusion consultant? Visit my consultancy page or drop me a line to discuss your project.
The production was pretty straight forward and was very much about the music, which one would expect from such an artiste.
It occurred to me though while watching him that there was no additional production in terms of ‘something else’ in addition to the music.
Rod simply walked out on stage at the start of his first set, which I felt could have been so much of a ‘moment’ had the producers been a bit clever with this.
A magical entrance would have heightened the whole atmosphere and audience reactions ten fold had Rod suddenly appeared from nowhere. Don’t get me wrong the audience went thrilled to see him; however it could have been heightened!
Many great artistes utilise grand illusion within their concerts very well which adds another dimension to the production in addition to ‘wow’ moments.
Some of the biggest names in music have been very clever with this concept, artistes such as Michael Jackson, Madonna, Justin Timberlake, Usher and such.
In addition to their grand entrances, many utilise illusions throughout the show. MJ was renowned for this, he would do many illusions and one that sticks in my mind is being locked inside an upright steel coffin with a set of huge spikes ready to impale him inside. Once the spikes had been pushed through, the sides would open to show that he had vanished. He would then immediately re-appear on a crane for the start of Beat It……The crowd went nuts!
I’ve been fortunate to have consulted on many live productions and it’s always great to be given the opportunity to get creative and come up with unique ways of incorporating illusions into live shows.
Check out my consultancy page if this is something you are looking to do.