Magic galore – guest blog from #IrisTempest associate director for magic, Andy Room

Our associate director for magic, Andy Room, has been working away creating the tricks and effects for this summer’s opener to our season: The Tempest! Here’s his view on how the last bit of rehearsals has gone…

It’s a very exciting time for me at the moment: I’ve witnessed some prototype magical set pieces in construction (no spoilers); I’ve been spending time in rehearsals with the cast, teaching them various sleight-of-hand (and mouth!) techniques in magic workshops; and together with director Dan and choreographer Francesca, we’ve been devising and fine-tuning magical sequences within the context of the scenes.

It’s been great fun to experiment with and adapt the effects, being able to collectively find efficient and creative solutions to the demands of the scenes. It’s a real delight when a piece of movement direction, for example, has coincided with a moment of misdirection, resulting in an improved magical effect.

The cast have picked up their new skills remarkably quickly – I’m really impressed by how good they’ve become at performing these centuries-old (and notoriously tricky) techniques, which most people take months to even become competent at. With a few days to go before they get to reveal the fruits of their labours, I’m excited to see the seamless coalition of their prestidigitation with the ‘quaint devices’ being constructed; it’s going to be truly magical.

For now – it’s more rehearsals, more constructions and – no doubt – more experimentation!

If you want to come and see what they’ve been up to, be sure to grab your tickets right now. We open… tomorrow!