Wonder Workers And The Art Of Illusion

Wednesday 6 July 2011

Bertie Pearce


Bertie Pearce is a Member of The Inner Magic Circle with Gold Star. He is also a Professor of Punch and Judy. He inherited a fascination with conjuring from his maternal Grandfather. With a BA(Hons) in Drama from Manchester University he went on to the Ecole Internationale du Theatre Jaques Lecoq in Paris.

He has performed all over the world from The Magic Castle in Hollywood to the Kulm Hotel in St Moritz as well as on Cruise ships from the U.K. and The States. He has also toured extensively as a speaker sharing his passion for illusion, Victorian pastimes and Punch and Judy.

From the beginning of time the fascination with magic and the impossible has been widespread. Egypt was the cradle of magic. Sorcerer Priests used scientific principles to create illusions for the edification of worship and to hold power over the people. Where there was power there was magic. Then there is the age-old skill of sleight of hand, which proves that ‘the hand is quicker than the eye’. Magicians were known as ‘Jongleurs’ lest they by sentenced to death for ‘witchraft and conjuration’ under the edicts of Henry V111.

With the emergence of the Music Hall, Magic gained a new respectability and audiences flocked in their thousands to watch the extraordinary feats of The Great Illusionists. This gave birth to legendary tricks such as pulling a rabbit from a hat and sawing a lady in half. Wonder Workers and the Art of Illusion is a whistle stop tour of the history of mystery from 3000bc to the 21st century and be careful! – you might be amazed and bewitched.

“…in which  it is the very trickery that pleases me. But show me how the trick is done, and I have lost my interest therein.”
Seneca (3BC-65AD)


Suggested Reading

Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke; Bloomsbury (2005)

Carter Beats the Devil by Glen David Gold; Hodder & Stourton (2002)



The Prestige (2006)  Directed by Christopher Nolan

The Illusionist (2006) Directed by Neil Burger



Bertie Pearce