Interlude (magic trick)

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Interlude is a stage illusion where one person appears to pass through the torso of another (the effect is also referred to as the "A Frame"). Invented by Jim Steinmeyer with collaboration of John Gaughan and Jonathan Pendragon, and was originally staged, choreographed and performed by The Pendragons, it has since become a part of many illusionists' routines, including David Copperfield and Siegfried & Roy.

The basic effect[edit]

Interlude consists of a vertical frame, which encloses the magician up to just below his arms. Struts extend out from either side, ending in handles for the magician to grip, so that his arms are stretched out. The frame is vertically divided into two sections, a lower one reaching up to his knees, and an upper one from his thighs to his mid chest. The lower section remains open during the illusion, and the audience can see through it, between the magician's legs, and through the corresponding opening at the back. The upper section, which encloses his torso and upper legs is also open at front and back, but in the course of the illusion a screen is placed over the front opening. An assistant then steps behind the magician, and pushes through from back to front, through the screen, apparently passing completely through the magician. The prop is the original invention of illusion designer Jim Steinmeyer.

Notable variations[edit]

Siegfried & Roy's performance (which had an arachnid theme, complete with an assistant in a red catsuit with a spider's web design) followed the assistant's passage through the frame and magician by having a tiger jump from the front of the frame - apparently produced from the magician's chest.

The screen which covers the magician's torso is generally either paper, or a stretchy fabric. The former variant allows the assistant to violently punch through, or burn away the screen. There are also magicians who do it without a frame, and use specially made clothing to create the effect.