Black Magic

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Black Magic

Postby Chris » 18 Nov 2017, 23:14

Nothing to do with Punch, but I still think this will be of interest to some of you. Perhaps you have heard of Black Art? It was a magical stage effect developed in Victorian times and still to be seen in Variety shows in the 1950s. It employed black velvet and lights around the proscenium known as blinders. This was before the days of UV lighting, and long before back projection and CGI. Even so it was remarkably effective and magical looking. It has also been used in puppet theatre and was detailed in one of Whanslaw's books, Specialized Puppetry probably.
Anyway if you are interested in seeing the real thing head over to BBC Iplayer where you can find an episode of a programme from the 1960s called The Good Old Days televised in the famous Leeds City Varieties Theatre, and featuring an artiste Gogia Pasha. I saw this identical act when at Bradford Alhambra as schoolboy. I still find it remarkably effective, and though knowing exactly how it is done am still in awe of the precision and skill, particularly so as I know The City Varieties Stage and how shallow it is, and how tiny the wing space.
Do take the trouble to look it up if you are at all interested.
Here's the link but which will only be relevant for the next week or so:
https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b09g38n7/the-good-old-days-02071980
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Re: Black Magic

Postby Chris Richard » 20 Nov 2017, 00:21

Those of us over on this side of the world cannot view it. We'll probably need to wait ten years until Public Television rebroadcasts it.
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Re: Black Magic

Postby Richard Coombs » 20 Nov 2017, 01:23

Thank you for flagging that up Chris, Ive just had a wonderful time skimming through all four episodes still on the iplayer from your link.

The Black Magic act was great fun , and worked well even on camera .
To the naked eye it must have been even better ...and to the Victorians quite an astonishing spectacle.

More awe inspiring for me though was Terri Rodgers and Shorty in the fourth episode .
You need to be quick to catch that though as it drops off the iplayer in six days.

I had only ever seen photos of Terri and Shorty...wow what brilliant vocals.
Never mind that you can watch close and barely see a lip move ..or that it is well timed and funny ...the thing that did it for me is it really sounds like two different people.

So thanks again for posting, and letting me see that truly polished vent act at last.

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Re: Black Magic

Postby Chris » 20 Nov 2017, 13:38

Richard - Yes there's some lovely stuff on those programmes - on the curent one there's a very funny act with an opera singer (baritone) who continues singing (quite well too) while engaging in a strenuous acrobatic act.
By the way, I saw Terri and Shorty live. Well they weren't both live but you know what I mean.

Chris - I'm sure you can see it in USA - you'll have to get a bit of help from an internet geek, or else do a Google search. I know there are commercial programs that will do it for you, and some have a 14 day free trial.
But basically the idea is that you hide the area identity of your IP address. so that Iplayer isn't aware that you are outside the UK.
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