By Chris Brown on December 7, 2017.
Time is literally of the essence for Ted Outerbridge.
The Canadian illusionist has been performing professionally for 35 years and has been hailed as the most successful professional magician in Canada.
He and his partner on and off stage, Marion, will perform Clockwork Mysteries show at the Esplanade on Friday at 8 p.m. The performance will take place in 2017 but will harken back through the years — a lot of years.
“The time machine is about everyone’s desire to travel back in time and change to past. Mariondoesn’t just get into a box and vanish, she’s travelling back in time,” Outerbridge said. “I wish I could travel back and change my hairstyle from high school. We all have that desire so we recognize that and celebrate it.”
Among the time periods visited in Clockwork Mysteries are the 1960s, the 1600s and 1918 to celebrate one of the most famous illusions of all time — sawing a woman in half.
“We re-enact that illusion with participation from the audience,” Outerbridge said. “We have someone holding Marion’s head and someone holding her legs while we divide her into two pieces. Usually the participants are more amazed than the audience, because they’re literally hands on during that illusion.”
In the 1960s segment Outerbridge is a game show host who gives an audience member a chance to win a fabulous prize. The segment set in the 1600s involves a piece of string that Outerbridge breaks into little bits and then makes whole again. He said it’s one of his favourite parts of the show. There’s also the re-enactment of a “bizarre” medieval ritual, and an illusion involving an audience member’s smelly running shoe.
For the Outerbridges, the ideas for their illusions come from many places.
“Marion and I, when we’re driving across the country we brainstorm. Sometimes ideas come from a piece of music sometimes they come from a trick we want to perform and sometimes it’s just a story we want to tell,” Outerbridge explained last week. “But the magic we perform has meaning for us. They’re not just stock tricks that come out of a magic store. Everything is special for us.”
Outerbridge said the show is suitable and enjoyable for all ages.
Tickets, $35 plus service charge and GST, are available at http://www.tixx.ca, by calling 403-502-8777 or in person at the Esplanade box office or the Medicine Hat Mall customer service desk.