Christopher Howell stands in a derelict church at a table in candlelight

Last month saw the debut of my latest show: Séance: Conversations in the Dark. It was a big departure from any thing I’ve done before and proved to be a wild ride from start to finish. Before you read this, you might want to watch my séance show trailer video (bottom of the page). I did a few interviews with London theatre websites but I thought you might like this one instead. It was with one of the biggest ‘horror news’ websites knocking around in cyberspace. HorrO: We’re sitting down with London magician Christopher Howell who just finished a series of séance themed shows in London. How did they go? Christopher: The run was an exciting start for the life[…]

Three images from magician themed films

The writer Sonny Arifien asked me to contribute to his blog Privilege of Legends. It explores the art of cinema and film as an art form. His latest post ‘Sleight of Hand: The Magic of Deception’ looks at how cinema grew out of the world of magic. It explores some ways how cinema has kept engaging in the subject of magicians in film ever since. Here’s my chat with Sonny… ON WHY MAGIC ENDURES THROUGH THE AGES Sonny: Why do you think magic continues to capture our hearts and imaginations? Christopher: I think magic answers to basic desires in the human condition. Imagine how it would be for example to change something in the world with a click of your[…]

Magician Christopher Howell at the Wintergarten entrance

I’ve never actually made a bucket list but one thing that would be on it if I had one would have been to perform at The Wintergarten Varieté in Berlin.  And it kept coming up: people all the time telling me after they’ve seen my Norvil & Josephine, act “Oh the Germans would devour this act!”  I could only hope someday they would. Famous are the rumours of how ravenous the Germans are for cabaret and variety: a fantasy world full of extravagant characters, impossible spectacles and tantalising stories that live on long after the curtain has dropped. Then it happened.  One dark October night last year while Norvil was meditating in his aviator armchair with a whisky tumbler poised in one hand and a billiard[…]

Norvil at The Magic Castle

In a neighbourhood where the main export is its colourful characters, it fits that my character Norvil hit Hollywood for a week to share his whimsical magic act at the world famous Magic Castle. For those not in the know, The Magic Castle is a legendary magic hotspot and members-only night club at the foot of the Hollywood hills. Every week of the year a new gaggle of magicians (someone please tell me in the comments below what’s the collective noun for magicians) descends on the place to perform in the Magic Castle’s assortment of quirky bars, lounges and theatres all dedicated to live magic performance.  In fact, in the theatre right next to mine in the Castle, my friend Romany was performing[…]

‘Norvil saunters through a member’s club as he leaves a trail of magic in his wake.’ It’s the brief for the most recent advert I worked on, this time consulting on the commercial and performing as my Norvil character for Hackett London menswear. Magic is making waves in advertising.  Numerous brands the last few years have incorporated magic in their advertising campaigns to make an impact.  Last year I performed in a film for Canali Menswear but this year with Hackett we went in an entirely different direction. The Hackett creative team have released diverse short films and campaigns recently with sporting and artistic personalities including Royal Ballet dancer Eric Underwood, skydiving cocktail makers, and the actor Toby Stephens.  For their most recent project they moved in a magical direction[…]

It’s the small things that leave the biggest impression. My mentor, Eugene Burger’s passing prompted an inspired outpouring of tributes from magicians around the world. They were eager to say what a profound impact he made on them. It’s no surprise. He was an unusual gentleman who did things like ask a spectator if he could put a hat on their head before doing so and give a volunteer a tissue after leaving ashes on their palm. In his magic and in life, Eugene understood the value of small things. Just having started working as a magician full-time a decade ago, I was knocked over when I discovered Eugene’s audio book Growing in the Art of Magic. Most magic literature[…]

“If you build it, they will come” was the mantra that Desireé and I were chanting to ourselves throughout the backbreaking eight full days we spent constructing our latest marvel. And now we have it: our very own magic street theatre tent! It’s a portable home for our beloved double-act of magic, acrobatics and singing: Norvil & Josephine. The show’s been touring for over ten years.  So far though we’ve always played our comedy magic act in theatres and indoor venues. Putting together a routine for the magic street theatre, we had to hone a repertoire that’s happy with breezes (or gales) and the ever-so-occasional ‘misty’ summer days in Britain. In the days we were building our sideshow theatre tent, I read somewhere[…]

Magic has been especially popular on television the past few years and this month one of my acts shared some of the television magic fun with Ant & Dec on ITV.  In one of the most-watched shows on British television, Britain’s Got Talent, magicians have gotten into the finals the past few years (and last year, one won). Building on that, the eleventh season of the show has rolled around this year (that’s a feat of magic in itself!) and in March the Britain’s Got Talent production team invited my act ‘Norvil & Josephine’ to perform in the latest BGT commercial to advertise the new season. Norvil & Josephine are hard to miss but without even knowing you may have seen them already[…]

If you’ve seen a big Broadway or West End show recently with magic in it, it’s quite likely that magic consultant Paul Kieve was the man casting spells behind the scenes. Here’s the second part of my fascinating interview with Paul. We sat down in his kitchen last year and he let the stories roll… Christopher: It’s always struck me that lots of magic in fact isn’t very magical. You get to work on shows with narratives and help weave the story with the magic. I think there’s the potential for lots more magic when you skilfully blend it with a story. Paul: There’s a lot of blag in the magic world – I mean people shouting off about their achievements[…]

It’s not every day that you get asked to appear in a film where you’ll cut yourself in half.  So I was thrilled to be invited by the Italian luxury menswear brand Canali 1934 to consult on and perform in their 2016 holiday short film where I would end up doing exactly that. It’s been a trend with luxury brands to produce high-end cinematic ‘featurettes’ lately.  This is the latest one by Canali at the bottom of this post. The production team decided to make a short film about their beautiful products. The premise was to be that a magician called The Incredible Mr. C, (who I played) would conjure up elegant Canali gifts as part of his magical repertoire.[…]