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Archive for the ‘Stalin’ Category

In the latest of an occasional series of interviews, Graham Bandage talks to Declan Blunt, one of only two socialist magicians.

Graham Bandage: Declan Blunt, you’re one of only two socialist magicians, aren’t you?

Declan Blunt: That’s right, it’s a small niche, but there’s room for the other chap. That’s what socialism’s about, sharing. And magic, of course.

GB: What makes a socialist take up magic?

DB: Well, of course, there’s a long tradition of magic on the left. Marx himself came up with the three-ring trick as an allegory for the separation of legislature, executive and judiciary, then Lenin himself came up with the three-ring trick as an allegory of legislature, executive and judiciary, and Stalin used to cut men in half.

GB: That’s amazing. How did he do that?

DB: Oh, he had a massive saw. I mean, he didn’t put them back together, but it was probably a relief after the gulags. That’s the thing with Stalin – a showman. He used to wear a fez when he did his tricks. That’s where Tommy Cooper got the idea.

GB: Can you take us through your act? I mean, I’m really interested to find out how a socialist magician differs from, say, a conservative magician like Paul Daniels.

DB: Well, for a start, there’s no oppression in my act. I don’t use a magic wand for starters as it’s a phallic symbol and the colour is unnecessarily divisive.

GB: Well call me Thick Jack Clot if you like, but how can you do magic without a wand?

DB: You do know it’s not real don’t you.

GB: Er, yes.

DB: I don’t use animals, so, for example, I would never pull a rabbit out of a hat.

GB: You shouldn’t even put one IN a hat in the first place. That’s just cruel.

DB: Yes, anyway, I don’t put women in boxes and stick swords in them.

GB: Well, yeah. I mean, that’s dangerous. Clearly.

DB: Right, so I don’t do anything that’s oppressive…

GB: You could have a tiny little hat and put it on the rabbit. That’d be OK, but it wouldn’t be much of a trick.

DB: … and I don’t do anything that glorifies capitalism.

GB: So what tricks do you do, then?

DB: Well, I only really have the one. It’s mostly polemic.

GB: One? It’d better be stonking.

DB: Oh, it is. I get an expensive watch from somebody in the audience and wrap it in a handkerchief. Then I smash it with a hammer.

GB: Yeah?

DB: Yeah, and then I take all the pieces and hand one each to every member of the audience. Makes ’em think.

GB: Declan Blunt, thank you.

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