The Fan Carpet’s Raj Virdi shares his Magical DAVENPORTS Experience for the DVD + Blu-ray release of Now You See Me 2
Magic like our society evolves with time, but at it's heart and core it still exists to entertain, amaze us and much like movies, it offers us a chance to escape from reality into a world of wonder and amazement.
Whether it is David Copperfield, David Blaine or Dynamo challenging our reality through magic or Hollywood combining magic with some of their movie magic the fascination with magic continues to grow.
In 2013, Hollywood successfully combined film magic and 'real magic' to give us the successful and entertaining film Now You See Me, with it's star cast each of whom played one of four very different magicians collectively known as 'The Four Horsemen'. As a professional magician and a member of The Magic Circle it was clear that the characters created in the film very well reflected aspects of famous and some not so famous magicians in the magic community that a lot of magicians could identify with. Audiences familiar with magic and magicians were treated to the unification of magic and film in a contemporary setting.
The success of the first movie saw a welcome return for our characters 'The Four Horsemen' in the sequel Now You See Me 2 to the cinema this year with the addition of several new characters. The magical adventure continues this November with the release on DVD and Blu-ray of Now You See Me 2. To mark the this occasion what better than to visit the the world's oldest continuously owned magic shop Davenports Magic in London to experience some hands-on real magic. Davenports is the world's oldest family run magic business. Founded in 1898 by Lewis Davenport at his home on Ryles Road, Plaistow, London, UK In 1903 a shop on Mile End Road was opened in 1908 and the business was inherited by his son George in 1926. Now run by his granddaughter Betty (who took over in 1961), and her son Bill. The shop moved to its current location in The Strand in 1984.
Long before Harry Potter's journey from platform 9 3/4 in Kings Cross, Davenports Magic has had it's premises tucked away in a quiet corner of Charing Cross Station's underground arcade, a stairway leads the way from The Strand.
Supplying, teaching and hosting the magicians club, The London Society Of Magicians, Davenports Magic magic has made a massive contribution to the world of magic, amateur, professional and sometimes even the famous, but shhh, that's a secret!
Stepping into Davenports Magic feels magical itself, you feel like you've entered a shop from a bygone era in a hidden corner of Charing Cross Underground Station. You almost feel like there should be a secret knock to enter or a requirement of a password.
We're greeted by delighted Bill Davenport (proprietor) and the charming Daniel Young who would be teaching us magic this day. Daniel shares his thoughts on magic, the psychology, performance, personality, entertainment and then proceeds to teach myself and the group the classic sponge ball trick followed by some card magic tricks.
In my capacity as a professional magician the techniques Daniel shared and taught us come as second nature to me. However it is was interesting watching what I would take as granted as a magician being learned by other
members of the group under Daniel's careful and patient tutoring. The time flew by with the group having fun learning magic and acquiring some new skills.
The second part of our day continued with Bill Davenport sharing with us a brief history of Davenports Magic and explaining the origins of Davenports Magic with his great grandfather Lewis Davenport a music hall performer, with a magic act. The Davenport's business was started by the 16 year old Lewis Davenport from his home 1898, then soon after the first shop opened and over the years the shop has moved to various central London location, including opposite the British Museum until it's current location. He explained it's quite a talking point when you socially have to explain you own a magic shop. He explained that even in this day of the internet presence of magic there's nothing to beat the help and personal input you can get by speaking to someone in a magic shop and having them help you in tailoring the magic for your personal needs.
Bill mentioned how magic had changed over the years from being performed primarily on stage to now more close-up and parlour style for intimate small gatherings. Also that wether it be successful magicians, magic programs or the medium of film although it may not have an immediate impact on daily business in the long run it's beneficial because it highlights the magic art form.
Finally Bill shared with us that his favourite piece of magic is the classic cups and .balls trick and it would be great if in the next hundred years that Davenports Magic still have a magic shop and continue to sell to, teach and inspire future generations of magicians. He finishes will a great piece of advice your personality will make your magic.
Written by: Raj Virdi
(MMC) Member Of The Magic Circle
NOW YOU SEE ME 2 HITS DVD AND BLU-RAY ON NOVEMBER 7
About Now You See Me 2
THE FOUR HORSEMEN [Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, Dave Franco, Lizzy Caplan] return for a second mind-bending adventure, elevating the limits of stage illusion to new heights and taking them around the globe.
One year after outwitting the FBI and winning the public’s adulation with their Robin Hood-style magic spectacles, the illusionists resurface for a comeback performance in hopes of exposing the unethical practices of a tech magnate. The man behind their vanishing act is none other than WALTER MABRY [Daniel Radcliffe], a tech prodigy who threatens the Horsemen into pulling off their most impossible heist yet.
Their only hope is to perform one last unprecedented stunt to clear their names and reveal the mastermind behind it all.