Magic Month: Magical Bones at the Old Vic Tunnels

October 23, 2012

  ‘The hand is quicker than the eye’ as the old magician saying goes. To make it as one our close up magicians, it had better be. Magician’s have long been famed for their dexterity and quick hands, but few are recognised for the speed of their feet.   Combining the seemingly disparate disciplines of magic and dance into something that doesn’t involve codpieces and stolen babies, Richard ‘Magical Bones’ Essien  offers up an energising twist on the ‘man with a deck of cards formula’ by throwing the cards to the floor and dancing all over them.

Mr Bones earned his stripes first as a hip hop dancer, appearing with huge names like Madonna, Black Eyed Peas, Alicia Keys and plan B, he also featured prominently in Mint Royale’s video for ‘Singing in the Rain’. Richard subsequently caught the magic bug, going on to produce and star in the UK’s first hip hop illusion show “Sleight of Dance”.

We were lucky enough to catch Magical Bones’ performance as part of ‘Bedlam’ at the Old Vic Tunnels on Friday. Richard’s show flits playfully between movement and magic, opening with a display of body-popping that segue’s into a glowing ball trick in which he uses his dance to direct and misdirect the audience’s attention. A disappearing card trick is given a hip hop makeover with Richard brazenly telling his audience that he’s going to distract them with dance, which he then does, leaving the crowd puzzled not only as to how he got hold of the card from under the girls collar, but how he does that spinning thing on his hands.

The show climaxes with a unique combination of break-dancing and escapology, which at first sounds like an odd mix, but it makes more sense as Richard explains it - dance is about freedom of movement and escapology is about gaining that freedom. Richard proceeds to break-dance his way out of a straight jacket, contorting his upper body while his legs franticly wriggle to the music. He emerges from his constraints and bursts into a brief celebratory bout of head spinning before taking his bow.

It’s a brilliantly modern, urban take on the art of street magic that makes Magical Bones a kinetic alternative to magicians like Dynamo and (upcoming Sternberg Clarke showcase performer) Damien O’Brien.

For more info on booking Magical Bones for corporate events or private functions, head over to our contact page and get in touch.