Magician, illusionist and escapologist High Jinx embarks upon 11th consecutive Blackpool season at Tower

A magician, illusionist and escapologist renowned for his fun family shows is just starting his 11th consecutive season in Blackpool.

Thursday, 4th August 2022, 3:45 pm

Michael Jordan works under the stage name High Jinx and is starring at Blackpool Tower.

The 31-year-old, who was brought up in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, has been on TV several times and even taught legendary American magicians Penn and Teller how to spin plates.

Michael, a natural born entertainer, is also a circus skills expert and his show features a seven-strong cast, including wife Tamsyn. The couple live in Taunton, Somerset, with their two children, four-year-old Kiana and six-year-old Logan.

Magician Michael Jordan from High Jinx in action at Blackpool Tower

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    Michael said: “We’ve a couple of new illusions this year that will have people on the edge of their seats. At one stage expect to see me dangling high above the stage in a box.”

    Thrill-seekers will also see him plunge swords into a glass cage while Tamsyn is in there in a death-defying illusion called Excalibur.

    Michael added: “What’s really great after the pandemic is that we can get some audience participation going again and it’s wonderful to encourage people up on stage to help me with some of the tricks and illusions.”

    Magician Michael Jordan from High Jinx with wife Tamsyn at Blackpool Tower

    One of those is called Get Your Phone Back and, as you’ll see, it’s a brave person indeed who hands their mobile over to Michael.

    The 90-minute fast-paced show moves from magic to illusions to circus skills including juggling, unicycling, stilt-walking and fire-eating.

    Michael and High Jinx are well known in Europe as he has toured with the famous Le Festival International de Magie in France for several years, a travelling magic show which features Europe’s exceptional magicians with the focus on laughs and magic.

    He got his first big break when he appeared on a TV show hosted by world-famous magicians Penn and Teller. He had to do an illusion that saw him sawing a girl into five and they had to work out how it was done.

    Illusionist Michael Jordan from High Jinx performing his Excalibur illusion at Blackpool Towe

    “I don’t like to do things by halves which is why she ended up in five bits,” joked Michael. “It got me known though and gave me the break I needed to really get started with my career.”

    Later on when Penn and Teller wanted to add plate-spinning to their repertoire they asked Michael to teach them so he filmed special video tutorials for the duo.

    A short time after the Penn and Teller TV appearance Michael received two offers at the same time in 2012 … doing magic on a Disney cruise or a summer season at Blackpool’s Pleasure Beach.

    He chose Blackpool and the venue was the landmark Horseshoe Bar at the front of the Pleasure Beach where Michael had seen the famous Mystique magic show when he was a child.

    Illusionist Michael Jordan from High Jinx

    He said: “To go back there to do my own show was something I just couldn’t turn down. The Mystique show meant the Horseshoe Bar had become an iconic venue in magic circles.”

    Michael did three summer seasons there and then switched to the Viva cabaret venue next to Blackpool Tower where he did a further six summers.

    In 2020 Merlin Entertainments which operates the entertainment at Blackpool Tower asked him to stage his show in the tower itself alongside Blackpool Tower Circus for the days and evenings when the world-famous circus wasn’t performing. He’s doing the same this year.

    Tamsyn first started to work with Michael in 2011 and they married in 2014.

    Tamsyn, 34, said: “I’ve always had an interest in illusion and magic – I was one of those children who always asked for a magic set at Christmas - so was absolutely thrilled when I got the job.”

    Since then she’s been floated in thin air, cut up more times than she cares to remember and had swords thrust through her while cooped up in a glass cabinet.

    “It’s taken me into another world which I didn’t know existed,” she said. “It’s a hidden world of thousands of people worldwide who are so incredibly skilled at magic and illusions.”

    Michael now has a busy schedule of bookings this year including several Haven holiday parks and food festivals across Yorkshire.

    TV shows and dramas often contact High Jinx (https://www.highjinx.co.uk/) to loan equipment or to get Michael to do a stunt. He’s juggled knives dressed as a clown in comedy drama Shameless, unicycled down a path on Emmerdale and breathed out fire on Hollyoaks.

    Britain’s Got Talent hired a couple of his routines to help a contestant on the show and Michael has also helped out Strictly Come Dancing with illusion props for spectacular dance routines.

    High Jinx will be at Blackpool Tower, operated by Merlin Entertainments, for matinees starting at 2.30pm on July 22 and 29; August 5, 12, 19 and 26; September 2 and October 21. All these dates are Fridays.

    He’ll also be doing an evening show starting at 7pm on Bank Holiday Monday, August 29.

    LITERARY FESTIVAL

    A new northern literary festival will be hosted at Blackpool Winter Gardens with authors including War Horse writer Sir Michael Morpurgo OBE.

    The Word Fest. event will also feature Sunday Times Bestseller Milly Johnson, Devil Dogs writer Saul David and the late Barbara Windsor’s husband Scott Mitchell, plus more to be announced.

    It will take place at the Winter Gardens on October 7-8.

    Sir Michael Morpurgo OBE, storyteller and writer of more than 150 books will read an abridged version of his classic War Horse, the best-selling novel that tells the story of the first world war from the perspective of Joey a young farm horse.