Magic & Illusion

“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic” – Arthur C.Clarke’s Third Law, 1973

Many shows have special props or sequences that demand the highly specialised services of an illusion designer. 
Beauty and the Beast has an enchantress who shoots a fireball, a rose that drops petals on cue, a tea trolley carrying a small boy playing ‘Chip’ who appears to have no body, and a final transformation sequence where the Beast levitates and transforms in mid-air into a Prince. 
Matilda has a blackboard where chalk writing appears magically.
The Lord of the Rings had a number of vanishes. 
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is so packed with illusions and effects, it’s incredible. 

Notable Illusions and Routines

Video

Books

2007
2006
2005
2005
2005
2005
2005
2002
1996
1923

External Links

Associations

Academy of Magical Arts Magic Castle [Hollywood, CA, USA]
British Society of Mystery Entertainers Mentalists, psychic entertainers, bizarre magicians, allied mystics [UK]
Society of American Magicians (SAM) [USA]
The Magic Circle [UK]

Illusion Designers

Jim Steinmeyer [USA]
Paul Kieve - Illusions for Theatre [UK]
Scott Penrose Magician and Illusion Consultant [UK]
The Twins FX Illusions and Animatronics [UK]
The Twins FX Special Effects Hire Large scale illusions [UK]

Makers

Artem Props, Special Effects, Illusions, Set, Practicals, Pyrotechnics [UK]
Creating the Impossible Props, Scenery & Magical Illusions [UK]
PropDog Professional Props for Magicians [UK]
ShowFX / David Mendoza Props, Staging, Effects [CA, USA]
The Magic Wand Shop Hand-made magic / fantasy-related props and costume [Sheffield, UK]

Performers

Chris Peskett Close-Up Magic [UK]
Criss Angel
David Blaine
David Copperfield
Derren Brown
Duncan William Close-up magician & mind-reader [UK]
Dynamo [UK]
Ed Sumner Close-up Magic [UK]
Harry Houdini
Jean Eugène Robert-Houdin
Kovari Magic
Lance Burton
Norvil & Josephine Christopher Howell [London, UK]
Paul Daniels
Penn & Teller
Richard Pinner [UK]
The Grey Man - Phillip Escoffey [UK]

Publications

Genii The Conjurors Magazine [USA]
Magic Magazine [USA]
Magic Week [UK]

Resources

All Magic Guide
Christopher Howell Magician Blog [London, UK]

Research

Guardian - Paul Kieve - Matilda the Musical & Hugo

Suppliers

Aaron Smith Magic Depot [USA]
Arjans Show-Biz Centre [UK]
Ellusionist Training and Supplies [USA]
International Magic [London, UK]
Practical Magic [UK]
The Magic Company [UK]