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Title: Box of tricks : a critical analysis of twenty-first century televised performance magic
Author: Turner, Elizabeth Clair
ISNI:       0000 0004 7961 1655
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2018
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This thesis critically analyses twenty-first century televised performance magic, asking what aspects of its theatrical past practitioners have retained, and how they have used televisual elements in their work. It contributes to the field of theatre and performance by attending to the multiplicity of media within this underexplored genre of performance, analysing case study episodes starring magicians who have found success in Britain, namely David Blaine, Dynamo (Steven Frayne), and Derren Brown. This thesis builds on the work of scholars within theatre and performance and a range of cognate disciplines who have demonstrated the significance of technologically mediated elements in performance magic. It ultimately argues televised magic has generated its own discourses of reality and fiction, as remediated texts that are ambiguous about their fictional and real elements, and that further entwine notions of enchantment within everyday life. Blaine's 'street magic' shows and endurance stunts attempt to establish the reality of their spectacle, addressing both on-screen spectators and a community of viewers who are separated from the effects temporally and spatially, while remaining attached to notions of 'live' performance. The series Magician Impossible, starring Dynamo and influenced by Blaine's work, draws on discourses of reality and fiction from a variety of popular media genres to test the boundaries between these two categories. Brown's work more consciously refers to historical traditions of performance magic, producing hybrid texts that establish links to the past within the mediatized context of the present. The case studies considered in this thesis possess the potential for a range of engagements that include both belief and scepticism, adapting performance magic to astonish audiences in the twenty-first century.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Arts and Humanities Research Council ; University of Warwick
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: GV Recreation Leisure ; PN1993 Motion Pictures