Stage and screen

Magic seems to be something just perfect for television, but, of course, magic on stage has been around for a very long time.

Las Vegas seems to be the place to go. There are so many magic shows, including Penn & Teller, David Copperfield, Criss Angel, Piff the Magic Dragon…

In the UK, Derren Brown does shows, more mental trickery than illusions, and sometimes there are shows with a number of younger, up-and-coming stars doing essentialy old fashioned variety.

The Mischief Comedy Group, those jolly folk behind The Play That Goes Wrong, did a Magic Goes Wrong show recently with the help of Penn & Teller, mostly Penn, or so it seemed. When this closed, some of the cast maintained their part of the act for a time.

Of course, on tv, classic magicians like David Nixon and Paul Daniels had long running shows, Penn & Teller have Fool Us, the talent shows often have magicians on doing stuff. So there’s plenty of it about.

The classical view of the magician is someone in a dinner suit with a top hat, someone with some style or class.

They are making this appear or disappear: rabbits, birds, cards, snooker balls, candles whatever. The suit is an especially good place to hide things.

Nowadays, the style has changed. Penn & Teller do appear in suits, but more casual. The trend is for more pop, disco style outfits.

When Robert Harben did the Zig-Zag Woman, he was dressed in a dinner suit.

The Paul Daniels Magic Show ran on UK tv for a long time, something like 15 years, but was cancelled for something more modern. Current magicians seem to be more into dancing, especially disco, as a prelude to a trick:

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