Discover the magician
behind the curtain.
Christopher Howell is an international multidisciplinary performer who specialises in magic, theatre, singing and consultancy for media, advertising and live performance. Born in the USA, Christopher is based in London but regularly works around the world in places such as Istanbul, Los Angeles and Berlin. He also speaks German, Italian and Spanish.
A member of the Magic Circle, Christopher has trained with world-renowned magicians such as Las Vegas icon Jeff McBride and the late Chicago legend Eugene Burger. He also takes inspiration from diverse theatrically-inclined magicians including Kevin James, Xavier Mortimer and Rob Zabrecki.
Christopher’s magic studies began at an early age and they continued throughout his formal education, which includes a BA in Theatre Arts at Richmond University in London and classical singing training at the prestigious Accademia Filarmonica in Bologna. He also studied Design/Studio Arts with sculptor Dr. John Dickerson and trains in physical theatre with master clown Ira Seidenstein.
Christopher has performed private bookings from a ranch in California to parlours in Mayfair; and publicly from fringe theatres like The Pentameters to celebrated venues such as London’s Hackney Empire, Berlin’s Wintergarten and Hollywood’s The Magic Castle. Other non-theatre venues include The Houses of Parliament, The Magic Circle, Eden Project, The Ritz, Claridge's, Coworth Park, The Dorchester, Sketch, The Reform Club, Le Gavroche, the ‘Gherkin’, the Shard, Tower Bridge and the London Eye.
He has worked in large part for clients in the arts (Punchdrunk Theatre, Hayward Gallery, Victoria & Albert, Saatchi & Saatchi, Tate), fashion (Cartier, Stella McCartney, Donna Karan, Luis Vuitton, Burberry) and international corporations (Goldman Sachs, Ernst & Young, Volkswagen, Mercedes Benz Club, KPMG).
Christopher has appeared in commercials for Britain’s Got Talent, Canali, and Hackett. Model and hands model work includes a commercial for Poker Stars as well as feature articles for The Gentlewoman and Cause & Effect magazines. Voice-over work includes a pilot project for the BBC and an educational series for Oxford University Press. Christopher also works as a presenter for events like the Pepe Jeans annual conference.
Collaborating with choreographer and Guinness World Record holding acrobat Desireé Kongerød, Christopher created an act that turns the cliché of the vaudeville magician and his dutiful assistant on its head. The act, Norvil & Josephine, has since toured the world with every show reaching its quick-change climax where Norvil suddenly finds himself in Josephine’s dress as the assistant gets her own back. The show can be adapted to appear in diverse performance spaces from parlours to larger venues.
Christopher’s magic experience along with his design studies together inform his input as a consultant on commercials, theatrical and other artistic projects. Past projects include leading the creative teams for commercials by luxury brands Hackett and Canali, inventing solutions and integrating magic for A Disappearing Act by Single Shoe Productions, creating a Jack the Ripper themed illusion stage act for Lyceum Media, designing the magic in an art installation video commission for artist Francesca Steele, and providing content for a magic themed concert by London Symphony Orchestra at The Barbican.
Christopher’s offerings as a public speaker include lectures on magic performance as well as talks and workshops about innovation as part of his enterprise Project Illusions. It uses magic to teach creative thinking for business training and conferences.
Magic is also used for teaching in his involvement with Breathe Arts Health Research. He is a proud supporter of their inspirational programme Breathe Magic, which teaches magic as a form of occupational therapy and confidence building to children with hemiplegia.
The Magic Castle is a legendary magic venue and private club tucked at the foot of the Hollywood hills since it was established in 1962. Every week features a new cast of magicians to fill the four theatres throughout the space. Christopher was invited to present his Norvil act in the intimate Parlour of Prestidigitation for a week of back-to-back audiences that frequented the Castle. (Photos courtesy of The Magic Castle)
Fashion designer Stella McCartney's elegant main event for a recent London Fashion Week took place at The Royal Institution in Mayfair. Christopher Howell was invited to perform close-up magic in the ‘magic parlour’ created especially for the event. He had the opportunity to entertain the star-studded guest list including Academy Award winner Colin Firth, Dame Leslie Lawson (Twiggy) and Sir Paul McCartney.
The Gentlewoman engaged Christopher’s ‘magic hands’ to appear as photographed by Jason Evans for the article ‘Just Like That’ by Charlotte Cotton. The issue's official launch event was held in Paris at the famous Shakespeare & Company with Christopher’s live close-up magic performances.
The Wintergarten is one of the most prestigious and well-known variety theatres in the world. Christopher’s Norvil & Josephine act was booked there to take part in the 9th Vaudeville Variety Revue. Joining a team of international acrobats, drag and burlesque artists, and cabaret singers, Norvil & Josephine's repertoire included their flash escape from the trunk with double costume quick-change. (Photos courtesy of Stagetime and Clive Holland)
The hit television show Britain’s Got Talent approached Christopher to play a wacky magician ‘contestant’ who levitates a lady in thin air in front of celebrity co-hosts Ant and Dec. The commercial was to advertise the 11th season of the series. Following two days of filming at the Hammersmith Apollo, the commercial ran in the UK on ITV.
Hackett hired Christopher to lead the creative team on this project to be magic consultant and performer in a commercial full of magic for their holiday promotion video. Hackett's team wanted magic performed with their new holiday products. Christopher appears as his alter ego character Norvil from his act Norvil & Josephine. The film was distributed worldwide. Read more about it on the blog.
Following a series of short films Canali had made with other artists in previous years, Canali approached Christopher to be the magical face of their brand for a promotional holiday art film. They engaged him to perform classical magic as well as interact magically with their new product range. Christopher led the project as magic consultant for the film, which was broadcast in their boutiques and online worldwide. Read more about it on the blog.
The hardcover periodical Cause and Effect commissioned Christopher to appear as his alter ego Norvil in the photographic article ‘Fabracadabra!’ It featured the photography of Alessandro Merlo with Scotty Sussman and Love Bailey, who is seen levitating in the above photo. The shoot took place at infamous The Box in Soho and involved a variety of extravagant fashion shots on the theme of magic.
Lyceum Media engaged Christopher to create a bespoke theatrical ten-minute Jack the Ripper themed illusion act for their annual launch event for the gaming industry. The project included a cinematic soundtrack, costumes and staging to tell a new interpretation of the haunting story live on stage at The Troxy for an audience of 3,000.
The London Symphony Orchestra hired Christopher to consult on ways to add magic to their Abracadabra! magical music concert as part of their family concert series. The music reviews magazine Music OMH said Christopher’s performance began the concert in “truly dramatic style” and that his paper tearing performance “had the kids goggling.” (Photos: Julie Williams-Krishnan)
Artist Francesca Steele commissioned Christopher to create the magic element for her conceptual art installation video Interstice. He explored numerous proposals with her before settling on her decision to levitate over a bed of lilies. The project was shot on location in Plymouth, UK. (Photo: Manuel Vason)
The BBC hired Christopher to appear as magician and actor for a Victorian themed project playing The Great Mysterioso for an interactive media series pilot. Shot on location in Middle Temple, he performed live magic as well as video performances and voice over to provide a character introduction.