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Stephen the Magician

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Stephen the Magician

A young magician impresses his sister by making a dog appear from under a bucket, and by demonstrating the magic of film itself.

Home movie 1962 3 mins

From the collection of:

Logo for Yorkshire Film Archive

Overview

A playful film by Eric Bolderson of Castleford of his son Stephen performing magic tricks for his sister Janet. Although only an amateur, and with the limited equipment to be had in 1962, Eric here demonstrates his exceptional filmmaking skills and inventiveness as he uses several trick photographic techniques, including Stephen having a pillow fight with himself.

Eric Bolderson ran a bookies in Castleford, following in his father’s footsteps, and was well known locally, especially for his sense of humour. This shows in many of the films he made in the 1950s and ‘60s, which he would show in a makeshift cinema in his small attic, raising money for charity. The post-war period in Britain was a period when amateur magicians, and children’s magic box sets, were much more in vogue than they are today. This film may well have been inspired by the comedy genius of Tommy Cooper, who toured extensively during this time, and had been on television many times. That other television magician, David Nixon, also had his first programme, Comedy Bandbox, first broadcast in 1962.