Barry and Stuart
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Barry Jones and Stuart MacLeod are a two-man magic act from Scotland, who perform as "Barry and Stuart" or "The 2magicians". They are known for their dark and gory performing style, and for taking as inspiration the accounts of Biblical miracles to form the basis for some of their illusions.
Jones and MacLeod are both previous winners of Scotland's “Young Magician of the Year” competition. Jones was born on 16 April 1982 in Aberdeen and grew up in Portlethen, Scotland. MacLeod was born on 4 July 1980 in Aberdeen and grew up in Peterhead, Scotland. MacLeod attended Peterhead Academy before studying philosophy and psychology at Aberdeen University, while Jones grew up in Old Portlethen, before moving to London to study multimedia computing.
They met in Aberdeen in 1994 and started making videos of themselves performing magic. This is where their style of acting out scenes in character while performing illusions developed. The filmed results of these magic sketches eventually reached a television production company and led to the making of their first TV series “Magick.” The show was nominated as Best Comedy Series at the international television awards in Montreux in 2004.
In 2005 Jones and MacLeod hosted the Channel 4 studio magic show Dirty Tricks and presented the clips show When Magic Tricks Go Wrong. Most controversially they put together a TV special entitled The Magic of Jesus, in which they drew inspiration for their illusions from the accounts of Jesus’ miracles found in the New Testament.
In 2006 Jones and MacLeod put together a second special called Tricks from the Bible, in which they took inspiration from the stories of the miracles of Moses among other Old Testament events and performed illusions based on these accounts. They currently live in London where they perform live together in comedy clubs.
In 2009, Jones and MacLeod were awarded the 'Best Comedy Illusionist' Award at the World Magic Awards
Jones and MacLeod's first television series Magick debuted on 5 October 2003 and was described as "comedy magic featuring surreal characters in bizarre and uncomfortable situations." It began airing in Australia on SBS on 1 February 2007 as Sick Tricks, and is aired in America as Crack Magic. The series had a dark comedy that would mix with the magic on the show.
This series featured reverse film magic, where the magic was performed backwards and the film later reversed to reveal the backmasking.
In one of a series of ‘crimes’ caught on CCTV, footage captures two men being caught en flagrante in a public toilet by a police officer. To get out of trouble, one of the men hides the other behind his coat and makes him disappear. In another incident, a man breaks into a car by sticking his hand through a glass window without breaking it.
Secret filming in a supermarket captures MacLeod and Jones magically sabotaging the products by putting dead insects into sealed bottles of mineral water and penetrating razor blades through the foil lids of ready-meals.
Dirty Tricks was a six-part series hosted by Jones and MacLeod. It was described as “magic meets Natural Born Killers.” The show also had regular spots from Pete Firman, Ali Cook and Jonathan’s Escapes as well as guest appearances from international variety acts and celebrities. These acts included Penn & Teller and Kevin James.
At the end of every show, the presenters "killed" the radio and TV presenter Neil Fox in a horrific and painful manner. These included him being cremated, stabbed and crushed.
The Magic of Jesus
This one hour special aired over the Christmas holiday period in December 2005. In this show Jones and MacLeod drew inspiration from the accounts of Jesus' miracles in the New Testament to present illusions which included apparently walking on the surface of water in a glass tank, turning water into wine, causing a blind person to temporarily 'see', appearing to raise a deceased person, causing a virgin to apparently become 'pregnant' and feeding 5000 people.
Tricks from the Bible
Following on from “The Magic of Jesus” this one hour special aired in June 2006. The duo drew inspiration from the miracle accounts in the Old Testament. Jones and MacLeod performed illusions such as turning staffs into snakes in Egypt, exactly where it was said to be performed in the Old Testament, casting some of the plagues of Egypt on two fans in an enclosed part of a restaurant, a transformation into a pillar of salt, exorcism of a demon, robbing a man of his strength as Samson had, apparently raising someone from the dead and pulling a coin from the mouth of a fish, performed on a boat in the Red Sea.
The Magicians is a BBC primetime show, that aired its first series during January 2011. It featured Barry and Stuart alongside fellow magicians Luis de Matos and Chris Korn. The show returned for its second series on 7 January 2012, featuring two new magicians alongside Barry and Stuart; American and world champion Jason Latimer and English magician Pete Firman.
- Official website
- Channel4's Magick Website
- The Guardian – Dirty Tricks Review
- The Sun Online - Fury at C4 Jesus show