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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Grand illusion » » Asrah illusion as performed by Servais Le Roy (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

David Todd
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Here's another wonderful recreation of the original presentation of one of my favorite illusions, "Asrah" by Servais Le Roy .

This was done for the British television show "Illusions" . The magician is Adam Wide, portraying Servais Le Roy. They used Servais Le Roy's original props from the Davenport Collection for this recreation.

Note that there is a wonderful detail in this presentation that I don't believe I've ever seen used in a modern presentation of Asrah: the magician hypnotizes the woman with a crystal ball, but notice how he continues to use the pretense of putting her into a hypnotic trance with the crystal ball and continues to make mesmerizing gestures towards her , even as the assistants bring on the cloth to cover her ... they pause with the cloth partially raised in front of her as the magician makes his final hypnotic gestures towards the woman, then they cover her completely as he hands off the crystal ball to one of the other assistants (see 2:00 - 2:10) . This staging solves one of the weaknesses in most presentations of Asrah ,where it seems there is usually a very long , awkward pause as the assistants raise the cloth in front of the woman on the couch ... then they hold in that position for 8 - 10 seconds (or even longer in some cases ! Bleh ...) before they finish covering her with the cloth. In the meantime the magician is usually just standing there looking on , doing nothing ... the awkward pause before they finish covering her with the cloth is solved in Servais Le Roy's original presentation as seen in this video. There's a motivation for the assistants to pause briefly with the cloth raised in front of her , as if the magician is in the process of putting the finishing touches on his hypnotism of the woman , so he signals to them to pause as he finishes. The flow of the movements is natural.

I also quite like the use of the chairs for the woman to lie down on , rather than the couch or table that is used in most modern presentations of Asrah.

David Todd
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There are a few more episodes of "Illusions" posted here:

One of the illusions recreated on the show is somewhat related to "Asrah" : Buatier de Kolta's famous "Vanishing Lady" (which , sadly, is titled "the Dekolta Chair" by the person who uploaded the video ... c'mon ... please ... It's not supposed to be about the chair! It's the vanishing lady illusion. Don't shine a spotlight on something that is intended to go unnoticed.)

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Except he didn't perform it as Bautier DeKolta did. That is, it's not an accurate re-creation.
It's all in the reflexes.
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The original advertising for Le Roy’s -Rostrum- was more imaginative than realistic. But, it does illustrate what happened in the minds of the audience!

My all time favorite piece of stage magic since childhood! A rare Magical treat!
Important Magic History come to life. I am particularly touched by the lovely period chairs used.

Click here to view attached image.
gregg webb
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A great illusion. I remember seeing a very well done version in the 60's at the White Owl Cigar pavillion of the World's Fair. The lighting and everything else was perfect so it looked real. They used the bench kind of thing. I'm not sure how they can do it with the chairs. GW
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