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SAWING IN HALF ILLUSION,  1976

When making furniture out of the packing crates in Soho, I made a pair of crates into a joke magician's cabinet. My girlfriend Pippa first sawed me in half at the local Fitzrovia street festival.  I had assumed everyone would see how the trick was done and laugh but I was amazed that we really managed to fool most people.

See below for technique:


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1  I get into the crate and Pippa nails down the lid.
Inside, I place a bit of formica over my middle.

 

 

 

2 Pippa saws down onto the formica. The wood in the centre has been replaced by strips of insulation board to make it easier to saw through.

 

3  Pippa pulls saw out for a moment, as if exhausted, and I arch my back.

 

 

4  Pippa slots the saw back in, this time under my body. I help to guide it out the other side.

 

5  Pippa finishes sawing - the box falls apart, and I squirt tomato ketchup everywhere.

 

 

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We did the trick quite a few times until once we had drunk too much and I didn't manage to arch my back and Pippa didn't notice. Fortunately a member of the public realised I was really panicing and managed to tell her.

 

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