The extremely successful show The Illusionists has toured around the world with 3 shows (The Illusionists, The Illusionists 2.0 and The Illusionists 1903) and has become one of the most successful magic shows of all time and the best-selling magic show in Broadway history. With shows running on London’s West End, the Sydney Opera house and Broadway, The Illusionists demands cutting edge effects and high quality craftsmanship. Illusion Projects Inc. continues to work with producer Simon Painter and magic consultants Mark Kalin, Kevin James and Don Wayne to design and build many of the illusions in the show. Illusion Projects also supplied The Illusionists with props and served as a consultant for filming of their TV specials in the UK and US. Illusion Projects’ work has been seen in all three shows including: Kevin James trademark Cutting illusion; the 1903 Double Sawing and Kalin and Jinger’s Fire Spiker.
Art director Jack Hart designed Kevin James’ Cutting in Half illusion in an industrial steampunk style. The tables were fabricated in aluminum with custom machined wheels and lamp arm fixtures. The large lamp featured battery powered LED’s to keep the unit easily mobile. An antique chainsaw was sourced; dismantled and a custom machined chain bar created. The chainsaw engine was replaced with a battery-powered electric motor while also reducing the prop weight for the performer.
Kalin and Jinger’s iconic Fire Spiker illusion had been a feature for these performers for more than 20 years. Illusion Projects was selected to design and construct a new updated prop for The Illusionists tour. The new art direction by Jack Hart included a round box with the fire spikes beginning as a candelabra on the end of the table. Illusion Projects designed a unique candelabra prop in which the top section could detach then join back onto the candelabra base at a 90-degree angle to create the spike unit. A precision linear bearing system guides the spikes accurately through the box. For the front door of the round box, Illusion Projects created a gear and iris system that can be opened and closed by the performers to show inside the box, and then iris closed to lock just the performers hand in place for the illusion. The prop was fabricated in aluminum then powder coated and scenic painted for a distress steampunk look. The iris featured custom machined gears and iris leaves with decorative filigree inlays.