Ian Saville

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Ian Saville
Saville and his ventriloquist dummy of Bertolt Brecht
Born (1953-04-30) 30 April 1953 (age 65)
Alma materUniversity of Exeter
City, University of London
OccupationMagician, ventriloquist, comedian
Years active1979–present
EmployerMiddlesex University
Political partyLabour

Ian Saville (born 30 April 1953) is an English magician whose act incorporates ventriloquism and comedy. His performance is distinctive primarily for the fact that it is geared towards a comic form of socialist propaganda. He says of his act, "whereas David Copperfield is content with little tricks like making the Statue of Liberty disappear, I aim at the much more ambitious goal of making International Capitalism and exploitation disappear" although he has not yet succeeded.[1]

Life and career[edit]

Saville was born in the East End of London, England to Jewish[1] parents. He began conjuring at the age of 11. He reached the semi-finals of the Butlins national talent contest. Becoming interested in theatre, he studied Drama at the University of Exeter. He toured with the political theatre group Broadside, as well as working in community theatre.

In 1979, he started developing his "socialist magic" act.[1] He cites Bertolt Brecht as a major influence, and one of his shows features a ventriloquists' dummy of Brecht. He has collaborated with left-wing folk singer Leon Rosselson in two shows.

Two of his standard "tricks" are "The Class Struggle Rope Trick" and "The vanish of the military-industrial complex".[1]

In 1990, he received a PhD from City University, London for his thesis on political theatre in Britain in the 1920s and 1930s. He currently teaches part-time on theatre courses at Middlesex University.[1]

In August 2013, he visited the Edinburgh Festival Fringe with a free show about money - the Free Money Magic Show.


Saville's Edinburgh show in 2016 was Revolution in the Magic Square, an allegory on the rise of Jeremy Corbyn.

Saville is a Labour Party member of the Brent Central Constituency Labour Party[2] and a member of the Jewish Voice for Labour committee.[3] In April 2016, he was one of 82 Jewish members and supporters of the Labour Party and of Jeremy Corbyn's leadership who wrote an open letter to The Guardian stating that they "do not accept that antisemitism is 'rife' in the Labour party" and that "these accusations are part of a wider campaign against the Labour leadership, and they have been timed particularly to do damage to the Labour party and its prospects in elections in the coming week."[4]

In September 2016, he performed at the Keep Corbyn rally in Brighton in support of Jeremy Corbyn's campaign in the Labour Party leadership election.[5]


  1. ^ a b c d e Ian Saville - Short Biography, Magic For Socialism, Retrieved 2007-6-18
  2. ^ "A statement from Jewish Labour members on the current attacks on Jeremy Corbyn". Jewish Voice for Labour. 26 March 2018. Retrieved 1 June 2018.
  3. ^ Saville, Ian (28 April 2018). "There are a lot of myths about Jewish Voice for Labour. Here's the truth". Labour List. Retrieved 1 June 2018.
  4. ^ "Labour, antisemitism and where Jeremy Corbyn goes from here". The Guardian. 29 April 2016. Retrieved 1 June 2018.
  5. ^ Burke, Darren (26 August 2016). "TV star comedians line up for Jeremy Corbyn rally in Doncaster". Doncaster: Doncaster Free Press. Retrieved 1 June 2018.

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