Smoke andMirrors

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I have long since been enthralled by magicians. I watched the charming David Nixon on TV (who introduced the glove puppet Basil Brush to the unwitting world), and loved the ease of his performance. I was never keen on the over-glitzy presentation of Siegfried and Roy (their magic inseparable from a distracting camp element), or the smarm of David Blaine, as these performers tend to have too much show, with plastic assistants and unnecessary technology, detracting from the trick itself. A magician's audience know that a woman is never likely to be actually sawn in half; they like to flirt with believing but no more. ...

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