The Feature :Backstage: Paul Kieve

Feature from Official London Theatre, July 2011 as Ghost The Musical was about to open in London at the Piccadilly Theatre. The full article is here.

After being asked to create magic effects for a 1991 production of The Invisible Man at Theatre Royal Stratford East, magician Paul Kieve found himself in a theatrical niche which blossomed into a career. Not only has he worked on big budget productions including The Lord Of The Rings, The Witches Of Eastwick, Theatre Of Blood and current touring show Batman Live, he also has the honour of being the person to have taught Harry Potter magic. (more…)


My Favourite Londoner: David Devant

Article written by Paul Kieve for Time Out magazine, October 2007.

David DevantAs a designer of stage magical effects there is something constantly inspiring about the great magicians who appeared during the heyday of variety, treading the boards in places like The Hackney Empire, just down the road from where I live. The inventiveness and creativity of these past masters never ceases to amaze me, and the magician I most wished I’d seen performing is David Devant. (more…)


Alive At Both Ends: sawing a woman in half

This article on the origins of the “sawing a woman in half” illusion was written by Paul Kieve for Cabinet Arts magazine.

Francis White, sawing a woman in half

Francis White, sawing a woman in half

Known for his mischievous sense of humor, Francis White was president of The Magic Circle in London from 1958 until his death 31 years later. Magicians historically possess an eager eye for publicity, but what drove an otherwise dignified man to balance his daughter on what at first appears to be an ironing board and hover a tree saw over her belly on her wedding day is anyone’s guess. Perhaps The Magic Circle had a particularly convincing press officer at the time or, more likely, White and his daughter together imagined (correctly) that it was a unique opportunity to capture this comical, unlikely image.

If White had attempted to complete the act in such a way, it would most certainly have been “for the last time” (as the press caption notes) because he appears to be attempting the act without any kind of special apparatus. (more…)

Legend of Earthsea: online wizardry course

Legend of EarthseaThis article – essentially a history of magic – was created by Paul Kieve as an “online wizardry course” for the Sci Fi Channel in the USA. The idea was that pupils could take an online course in magic, instructed via web seminars by Paul, and finally complete a wizardry exam. Paul devised and wrote the course based on themes from Ursula K Le Guin’s fantasy adventure “Earthsea” books. The site was created to promote the Sci Fi channel’s mini series “Legend of Earthsea”. (more…)