JASPER MASKELYNE (1939)

London Coliseum, London

A new twist to the ‘Human Pincushion' opened the act. Instead of walking-sticks we had heavy metal bars, brightly plated, to be pushed through the lady assistant in the approved manner. Every bar proved solid to the satisfaction of the audience.

A very smart trunk transposition followed. Lady assistant in the trunk, a stand erected on top to be surmounted by the illusionist, who momentarily conceals himself with a white sheet. The sheet falls, the lady is before us. The box is opened and behold the magician.

Next, the ‘Chair of Death’. The lady bound at the wrists and with metal cap adjusted. The door is closed and flash! Disappearance of the long suffering assistant.

Razor blades were now demolished in the approved style, indeed much better than the usual style. Every blade seemed to cut strips of paper with ease, because as our friend Jasper, assured us, the blades aforesaid were ‘nicer when fresh.’ First class presentation won the ovation of the act. One delightful touch of humour concerned a search for the necessary reel of cotton. And such a reel — it would supply a housewife for the term of her natural life.

The act closed with a version of the disappearing lady after levitation and the tossing of the flimsy white covering into the air. This was conducted on the usual ‘Asrah’ procedure, but a curious effect was noticeable in connection with the performer and the cave wherein the illusion was performed. By a trick of the lighting it seemed that the magician terminated at his waistline for nothing was visible below this. It might serve as an idea for a new illusion. All the lady disappears and part of the wizard during his wizardry. A crisp bright show, yet entirely free from slap-dash. In brief, well up to the standard of the famous Maskelyne tradition.


Source: The Magic Wand, Vol. 28, No. 182, George Johnson June-September 1939.