The magic and the escape…

Everyone knows the name Harry Houdini, it is synonomous with escape, magic, illusion. But when you begin to research his life a curious thing happens, all the certainties you thought you knew about him are proved to be myths, folklore, the more you look for the man the more he eludes you, disappears with masterful sleight of hand. The real story is far more mysterious, incredible and maddeningly difficult to piece together. Harry Houdini truly was an enigma in his own time and his life (and his death) have gone on to pave the way for every magician since.

Escapologist, Magician, Secret agent, Lover, Husband, Devoted son, Enemy of the establishment, Harry Houdini was all and none of these things. His life remains a mystery, and his greatest trick remains his ability to escape interpretation, until now….

Using Proteus’ distinctive style of fusing physical performance, circus, magic escapology and music, Harry Houdini will be resurrected to tell his remarkable story of a truly self-made man and the myths that have made him a legend.

His is a story of immigration, coming from Eastern Europe to the promise of America; he was the first real superstar – the first man whose name truly was known across the planet and he brought entertainment to the masses of all classes in times of global recession. Houdini’s ability to escape from any prison, any restraint, was a potent dream for people living through such difficult times.

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Harry Houdini’s life was incredible, and in the short 52 years he walked the earth he lived enough for several lifetimes. There are many conspiracy theories surrounding his life, and in particular his death, and we have made a few leaps of logic in order to tell our version of his story, but Houdini himself always said “ When the legend is greater than the truth, print the legend”.

Lee Garrett spent six months working on the techniques needed for the show, studying magic and escape. His commitment and talent has made the creation of this show an absolute joy. The magic of this show was bought to you by Roy Davenport, design by Sam Pine and directed by Mary Swan.

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