(Close Window)
Topic: Badjelly the Witch - large bag illusion
Message: Posted by: timnz (Jun 6, 2010 09:21PM)
Hi everyone

I'm Tim Bray from Auckland, New Zealand.

I am producing Badjelly the Witch by Spike Milligan as a stage show in September 2010 and there is a scene where Badjelly encourages Tim and Rose, the two children (played by adult professional actors) to get into her sack to keep warm. She then carries the sack to her castle.

Is there a simple illusion whereby the actors climb into the sack and then somehow get out to backstage or elsewhere. The audience then sees Badjelly carry what looks like two moving bodies in a sack across the stage. The sack is then deposited on the floor and then later the audience see Tim and Rose extricate themselves from the sack in the witch's absence?

Any help or advise would be gratefully received.

Thank you

Message: Posted by: jay leslie (Jun 7, 2010 03:06PM)
I see that you do school shows but not a lot of magic. What you're looking for is less of an illusion and more of - either an apparatus driven effect and/or theratical effect.

Get a few books- Dunningers Encyclopidia, Wilson Course and Tarbell 1 - 8 (if you're serious about magic) then you can easily design the effect you are seeking. The effect and props will vary depending on your stage, if any at all. You can also call on a professional magician in your area and pay them to design something.
Message: Posted by: timnz (Jun 7, 2010 09:14PM)
Hi Jay

Thanks so much for your kind reply.

This is for one of the theatre shows I produce for children, but outside of those shows I am also an actor that uses magic in a professional performing role to children.

Yes you're right it may be more of a theatrical effect - as simple as a large bag that has en escape out the back to offstage. The bag may not necessarily have to look as though it has moving bodies in it, even just a false shape inside the bag.

Yes, and in both these theatre productions and in my acting role we consult with magician Wayne Rogers over here who is brilliant. Just came across this wonderful website and thought I would see how it all works. Great, and refreshing, to see people helping each other out!

I will track down the books, which I hadn't heard of, so your help has been wonderful.

Thanks very much Jay

Message: Posted by: Spellbinder (Jun 8, 2010 02:43AM)
The movement in the empty bag can be provided by the person carrying it. The simplest way involves him secretly having a hand inside the bag through the same opening the kids used to escape.
Message: Posted by: timnz (Jun 11, 2010 11:20PM)
Yes, great idea thanks Prof Spellbinder
Message: Posted by: Spellbinder (Jun 12, 2010 12:57AM)
If you need a way for the kids who are backstage to get secretly into position in the middle of the stage for their reappearance inside the bag (without resorting to trap doors), you might consider the "Garden Gate Illusion" found in Jim Gerrish's PVC Pipe Illusions Book 1. It would probably fit right into your stage design.
Message: Posted by: timnz (Jun 13, 2010 01:22AM)
Thanks again Prof Spellbinder!

I have ordered the Garden Gate plans off his website.

Will let you know if it will work when I get look through them.

Thanks for your kind help.

If the Garden Gate works I might look at his Appearing/Vanishing Archway Illusion as that might work at another point in the play where Badjelly the witch disappears in a puff of smoke. I might order that too!