Comedy Magic

(Continued from last month).


I hope you did use your imagination when reading last month's article which gave you the effect of the Vanishing Birdcage. If you did, then I am sure you will agree that the final situation will be very difficult to surpass for a Comedy Climax.

The mystery portion of this effect is practically non est, the bare truth being that, when the performer apparently hooks the glaringly white rope on to the birdcage, the rope passing behind him and off stage into the wings, what he really does is to hook the rope on to his trousers, ready for the assistant's part of the job.

On the agreed signal, the assistant pulls on the rope. and. due to an arrangement which will now be explained, the first part of the pull has the effect of stripping the performer's trousers off, the continuing pull taking them off stage.


First, I will explain the details of the trousers. Any theatrical costumier will make you a pair, or convert a pair you have on hand, all ready for the job, but it will be well to understand the principle, for you will have to adapt this to suit your needs.

Imagine first, your view of a newly pressed pair of pants, seen from the rear. It will be noted that the crease runs up the back of each leg, and, at the top of the legs, both creases converge to join one another right at the bottom of the back, or, just above the seat. They then continue, as one crease, right to the top of the trousers, concluding between the two rear buttons. I hope that is perfectly clear.

Now with a pair of scissors, cut right up these creases, starting at the bottom of each leg and continuing right to the top of the trousers, until the trousers are fully opened at the back. The raw edges will need to be carefully hemmed to prevent fraying, then, quite close to the hemmed edges, fairly large eyelets are fixed at intervals of about four inches. It must be so done that two eyelets are fixed at the very bottom of each trouser leg, and two at the very top of the trousers and in between, eyelets must be symmetrically arranged in pairs, one on each cut edge, just in the same way that you would fit the male and female parts of snap fasteners.

Next you will need a length of strong whipcord, a little more than twice the length of the trousers. The ends of the whipcord should be dipped in size or gum and allowed to dry, or, carefully bound and sewn. In either case the object is to prevent fraying of the cord. Fold the cord exactly in half and at the fold attach the cord to a stout ring. You should now have a ring from which hang two lengths of cord each a little longer than the trousers.

Pass the two cords through the top eyelets, first through one then the other and carry on with the two cords to the next eyelets, threading the trousers together until you arrive at the part where the creases diverge. Here the 2 cords are parted and one cord is used to thread one leg and the other cord the other leg. At the conclusion a cord will be hanging below the bottom of each trouser leg, and this should not be more than two or three inches. A trial 'thread-up' with the cord will help you determine the proper length before fixing or sewing the ends of the cords to prevent the cord fraying. If the ends are sewn, make certain that the ends are not bulbous, otherwise free withdrawal of the cord will be hampered.

The trousers may now be donned in the usual fashion and it will be readily realised that if anyone were to grasp the ring at the top of the irousers and pull the cords away, the trousers would part at the back and fall off. It will also be obvious that the white rope is attached by some means to the top of the trousers, during the 'fiddling' with the birdcage, so that the assistant may do the necessary 'damage'.

The form of attachment is simply a hook from a dog leash. The type made in the manner of the old watch chain attachment is the best. One of these, a small one, is firmly sewn to the white rope, about four feet from one end.


Enneagram Essentials

Enneagram Essentials

Tap into your inner power today. Discover The Untold Secrets Used By Experts To Tap Into The Power Of Your Inner Personality Help You Unleash Your Full Potential. Finally You Can Fully Equip Yourself With These “Must Have” Personality Finding Tools For Creating Your Ideal Lifestyle.

Get My Free Ebook

Post a comment