The “greatest magic show there’s ever been” is coming to Blackpool.
That’s according to one of the stars of The Illusionists, mentalist Phillip Escoffey – and no, he hasn’t used mind games to influence that intro.
The facts of The Illusionists tour speak for themselves, it’s just completed a sell-out season at Sydney Opera House and played to tens of thousands of people in Mexico City.
Now it’s set to open its UK tour, on September 27, in Blackpool.
“It’s pretty exciting [to be coming to Blackpool],” said Phillip.
“It’s got a lot of history. It’s like a spiritual home of magic, you’ve got the biggest magic convention in the world there.
“I think that was why the tour decided to come to the resort.”
The Illusionists are a collection of seven of the world’s best magicians, who perform outrageous illusions, including the Escapologist’s life-threatening escape.
Phillip is joined by Dan Sperry, The Anti Conjurer, Jinger Leigh, The Enchantress, Andrew Basso, The Escapologist, Mark Kalin, The Gentlemen, Kevin James, The Inventor and Jeff Hobson, The Trickster.
Taking influence from the showmanship of magic’s greatest, including Harry Houdini, the performers pair this with a new and updated contemporary aesthetic, plus 20 assistants, to present their impressive repertoires.
“Our job is to make other people forget about their job for a couple of hours,” he explains.
They’re hoping Blackpool gives them a lively and hungry audience next month.
“The second you see out on stage if you get a sense the audience are with you you’re much more open,” said Phillip.
“If the good people of Blackpool come up for it it’s a great show.
“Until I was a performer I didn’t realise how important you are as an audience.”
Phillip, 42, had a ‘proper job’ in marketing until the mid 90s but had always loved magic.
“Like any other little boy I got a box of tricks age six.
“There are two types of magician - those who hid behind the tricks and then there’s the gobby show offs who love the attention.”
Phillip is, he confesses, the latter.
So with the support of a friend he ditched the day job and started his act in October 99 and hasn’t looked back.
“I don’t claim to be psychic, what’s interesting to me is how you process it.
“In the show I do recreations of some experiments they were carrying out in 1950s America when they really did think [psychics] were real.
“I get people up from the audience. I put a large sum of money on the line and if I don’t do what I claim I can do someone goes home a lot richer.”
The Illusionists plays at the Opera House, Blackpool, on Friday, September 27 at 8pm.
To book tickets: 0844 856 1111