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Magicians showcase their time travelling tricks at Romford theatre

PUBLISHED: 15:00 16 January 2019 | UPDATED: 15:04 16 January 2019

Rhys Morgan and Robert West star as two time travelling magicians in their special show comiong to Brookside Theatre in Romford. Photo: Steve Ullathorne

Rhys Morgan and Robert West star as two time travelling magicians in their special show comiong to Brookside Theatre in Romford. Photo: Steve Ullathorne

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Magicians have travelled through time from the nineteenth century to bring their tricks to a Romford stage.

Rhys Morgan and Robert West share a love of deception and sleight of hand magic tricks. Photo: Steve UllathorneRhys Morgan and Robert West share a love of deception and sleight of hand magic tricks. Photo: Steve Ullathorne

Rhys Morgan and Robert West are returning to Brookside theatre with their spectacular conjuring show, Morgan and West: Time Travelling Magicians.

“There’s a lot of misdirection, a lot of people coming up on stage for us to do magic tricks with them,” said Rhys.

“It’s very silly, as we don’t take ourselves too seriously. There’s no sense in trying to pretend that magic is real. It’s all done with a big sense of fun.

“We want people to really enjoy themselves, especially the people that come up on stage.”

The temporal tricksters burst into the 21st century with a show full of baffling magic, unparalleled precognitive powers and the genuine ability to travel through time.

Rhys told the Recorder: “Our characters are Victorian time travellers with excellent waistcoats.

Rhys Morgan and Robert West star as two time travelling magicians in their special show comiong to Brookside Theatre in Romford. Photo: Steve UllathorneRhys Morgan and Robert West star as two time travelling magicians in their special show comiong to Brookside Theatre in Romford. Photo: Steve Ullathorne

“There’s some mind reading and some more traditional tropes, for example I’m being sawn in half.”

Speaking about the pair’s choice for a Victorian theme, Rhys added: “We wanted to look different, to sound different and to be able to dress up a bit.

“We came up with the show around the time the film The Prestige came out.”

The Prestige, set in the nineteenth century, is a film about two rival stage magicians who become obsessed with creating the best stage illusion.

Starring Hugh Jackman and Christian Bale, the film is adapted from Christopher Priest’s 1995 novel of the same name.

“We met Christopher Priest about a year and a half ago at a dinner,” said Rhys.

Rhys Morgan and Robert West star as two time travelling magicians in their special show comiong to Brookside Theatre in Romford. Photo: Steve UllathorneRhys Morgan and Robert West star as two time travelling magicians in their special show comiong to Brookside Theatre in Romford. Photo: Steve Ullathorne

“He really likes magic and he really enjoyed the fact that he was at a dinner with two magicians.”

Morgan and Rhys met at Oxford University while they were both studying science degrees.

“We both came from an [amateur dramatics] background as we met while doing student theatre at university,” said the magician.

“People are hardwired to pay attention to the person who is talking. We do a trick where we make the audience aware of the fact that we’ll be tricking them by focusing their attention on one of us who is talking. Nevertheless it still fools people.

“With a close-up situation [on stage] you’ve got to think very carefully about the audience, whereas on television you have more got more tools at your disposal.

“However, you do still have to make sure people at home are still presented with a truthful narrative.”

Rhys Morgan and Robert West star as two time travelling magicians in their special show comiong to Brookside Theatre in Romford. Photo: Steve UllathorneRhys Morgan and Robert West star as two time travelling magicians in their special show comiong to Brookside Theatre in Romford. Photo: Steve Ullathorne

Rhys was keen not to give too many of their tricks away ahead of their performance, however he said their final trick is one of his favourites to perform.

He said: “At the end of the show I try to make West a gift of a clown’s nose but he doesn’t want it.

“And then a trick ensues which ends the show in a very big and messy way.

“Magic is like telling a joke, it hinges on the punchline. A good trick like a good joke has to make sense too.

“Things do go wrong all the time. We have the slight advantage with magic that if a joke falls flat it can sometimes be at least a bit funny, whereas magic is binary. If the trick falls through then it just doesn’t work.”

The duo are inspired not only by other magicians but by writers and comedians including Terry Pratchett, Eddy Izzard and the television series, The Simpsons.

Rhys’ advice to budding magicians is to, “try and create a situation that looks impossible.

“Magic is more than the tricks. It’s about the show and the story behind the tricks.

“I’d say watch a lot of Youtube videos, talk to lots of magicians and just get out there and have fun with it.

Morgan and West: Time Travelling Magicians plays at Brookside Theatre on Friday, March 1 at 8pm.

For tickets call 01708 755775 or email info@brooksidetheatre.com.

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