The Last Act of Harry Houdini
Sunday 13 October 2019
Off-West End - Shows
Barry Killerby brings his acclaimed one man show, The Last Act of Harry Houdini, to London's Cockpit Theatre from 29 October to 2 November.
Image courtesy The Company O Theatre
Harry Houdini (1874 to 1926) was a Hungarian-born American stunt performer and illusionist whose fame is particularly associated with his sensational escape acts, such as the Milk Can Escape and the Chinese Water Torture Cell.
Houdini died on October 31 1926 of peritonitis brought on by a ruptured appendix.
His death occurred 10 days after a visit to his dressing room by two men, one of whom struck the entertainer repeatedly in the abdomen (you can read more about Houdini's career and death here).
In The Last Act of Harry Houdini, written and performed by Barry Killerby and due at the Cockpit Theatre from 29 October to 2 November, the master magician and escapaologist is forced to confront his obsessions with asylums and dance halls, movies and seances until finally revealing confidential show business secrets and the real motivation behind his death defying career.
About the writer/ performer
Barry Killerby's career includes widespread work in regional and commercial theatre, then for 12 years with BBC TV in a wide variety of BAFTA-award winning Light Entertainment programmes such as Noel's House Party, Live & Kicking, even The Generation Game and many more.
He wrote The Last Act of Harry Houdini in commemoration of his father, and this play represents his return to the stage after sharing this long journey with his family.
On October 21st, 1926, two strangers visited Houdini in his theatre dressing room.
Ten days later, he was dead.
Harry Houdini was a poor Hungarian Jewish immigrant who rose through the Vaudeville theatre circuit to become the greatest showman of the early twentieth century.
If he was a pioneer of magic and illusion onstage, off stage he was a force of nature: an aviator in the first days of flight; a movie idol at the birth of cinema and the scourge of the new Church of Spiritualism.
It was his extraordinary private life that sealed his fate.
In this highly acclaimed production, the Master Magician is forced to confront his obsessions with asylums and dance halls, movies and seances until finally revealing confidential show business secrets and the real motivation behind his death defying career.
Somewhere, in this last act, is the answer to what killed the greatest escapologist of all time.
Author: Barry Killerby
Director: Ishwar Maharaj
Production: The Company O Theatre
From: Tuesday 29 October 2019
Closed: Saturday 2 November 2019
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