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A Disappearing Act from Single Shoe Productions set to conjure up magic allegory about death and grief for Eden Court audience in Inverness

By Kyle Walker

CONJURING up a compelling theatre production can be a tricky prospect – but the creators behind A Disappearing Act feel that they’ve pulled off a neat trick.

The show, from Single Shoe Productions, comes to Eden Court next Tuesday and Wednesday, after a previous Scottish tour last autumn that saw it visiting Lyth Arts Centre.

And the show blends theatre elements together with a lot of audience interaction and magic trickery to weave its story about death and grieving.

“The idea came from this idea of death,” A Disappearing Act co-creator and co-star Filipa Tomas said. “As a company we quite like to ask questions somehow that surround the theme of death. Our first show Crazy Glue was a wordless play, a nontic play about a grieving couple that had lost a child.

“With this one we wanted to carry on talking about death, because we’re obsessed with it! So we thought that death is like this disappearing act, that nobody knows how it happens.

“One moment we’re here, one moment we just disappear. Why? How does that happen? So we thought, well, if we’re going to investigate mortality, why not use magic?”

Filipa plays the assistant to a magician whose father – the famous magician Philip Winterbottom – has died, leaving instructions for his memorial and final act.

It gave Filipa and Single Shoe co-conspirator Bradley Wayne Smith a chance to learn something new – neither had performed magic before.

“It’s this idea – it’s the ultimate suspension of disbelief,” Filipa explained. “It’s the ultimate thing that theatre does and magic contributes to that – you know it’s not real, but if just for a moment you just suspend your disbelief, it’s going to be a brilliant experience.

“Because it’s unexpected and...it’s magic! It’s magic! I mean, we all know that there are ways in which magic is done, and there are tricks and there are illusions and there are some things that are actually quite choreographed, but at the end of the day it doesn’t matter because when it happens it’s just...thrilling, you know?”

But learning a new artform takes a lot of practice – with a lot of chances for catastrophe. “It’s like playing an instrument, magic – it’s really tricky because as soon as you make a little mistake it’s so obvious, so it has to be very well delivered.

“And sometimes it goes wrong, obviously! You have to work with that and it’s amazing, it’s those moments where you think ‘Oh god, this is terrible – but no one actually noticed, so that’s okay!’”

A Disappearing Act comes to Eden Court next Tuesday and Wednesday. Both performances start at 7.30pm and tickets cost £15 (£11 concession). For more info go to www.singleshoeproductions.com

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