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Magicana is pleased to announce our fifth year as part of the Luminato Festival with our program, Transgressive Magic.

Luminato 2014 TRANSGRESSIVE MAGIC: CARD TABLE ARTIFICE and TURN ON THE DARK! and BULLET CATCH Luminato Festival, in collaboration with Magicana, is proud to present two extraordinary magic shows; the world premiere of CARD TABLE ARTIFICE, and the Canadian premiere of BULLET CATCH.

“Working with David Ben from Magicana is a complete joy – he understands the magic of challenges, and there are no tricks about what he tries to accomplish.

That we are creating a new version of Gavin Bryar’s earlier piece A Man in a Room, Gambling is wonderful,” said Luminato Festival Artistic Director Jorn Weisbrodt.

The World Premiere of CARD TABLE ARTIFICE is 112 years in the making. A book from 1902 entitled The Expert at the Card Table has inspired generations of magicians, and unexpectedly, in 1992, a collaboration by renowned composer Gavin Bryars and Spanish poet/sculptor Juan Muñoz. Now, David Ben, master sleight-of-hand artist, brings fresh perspective to their work with CARD TABLE ARTIFICE, performed by the Art of Time Ensemble, accompanied by Bryars, with narration by R.H. Thomson and card table magic by Ben.

“[David Ben] is magic; that’s all you need to know.” The Toronto Star

Setting the stage for CARD TABLE ARTIFICE is Magic Castle Stage Magician of the Year, Rob Zabrecky with TURN ON THE DARK!, 45 minutes of comically macabre illusion.

Inspired by the case of William Henderson, who was apparently killed in front of 2,000 people while performing the exploit in 1912; Rob Drummond embodies William Wonder in BULLET CATCH and traces the life and demise of Henderson. Drummond has performed BULLET CATCH all over the world since its debut in 2012 at the Edinburgh Festival where it received the Total Theatre Award for Innovation, Experimentation and Playing with Form. This Canadian Premiere is filled with storytelling, mindreading, levitation and games of chance. Of course, this all leads to the most notorious finale in the world of magic. Having claimed the lives of many magicians, it is a feat so dangerous even Houdini refused to ever attempt the act.

“The lead up to the finale — the bullet catch — is gripping… Drummond, who is loaded with quiet Scottish charm, produces a show that is intimate, thoughtful and hypnotic. It leaves the audience awe-struck.” The Huffington Post

Whether or not artist Chris Burden was aware of this magic trick, in 1971 he performed Shoot, in which he was shot in his left arm by an assistant from a distance of about five meters with a .22 rifle. Burden’s Shoot, in turn, was replicated by artist Ryan Mitchell as part of the lead up to the last performance of his piece PARADISIACAL RITES, which is also showing at the Luminato Festival this year.

“To present Bullet Catch, the hit of the Edinburgh Festival, alongside Paradisiacal Rites by Ryan Mitchell who re-performed Chris Burden’s Shoot, actually letting a bullet pass through his right shoulder, is one of those weird constellations and dialogues that only a Festival can conjure,” said Weisbrodt.

“The shows in the Transgressive Magic program at Luminato Festival violate a law, command, or moral code.

They challenge form and function, and take the magic, the magician and the audience outside the traditionalist’s comfort zone of top hats, bunny rabbits and family-friendly fare,” said Magicana Artistic Director David Ben.

“Most of all, it makes us keenly aware of the depth and beauty of the unknown.”


Luminato Festival in collaboration with Magicana presents



Music by Gavin Bryars • Book by David Ben

Directed by David Ben

Set and Lighting Design by Glenn Davidson

Video Design by Cameron Davis

Sound Design by John Lott


Performed by Rob Zabrecky

Friday, June 13 and Saturday, June 14, 2014 @ 8PM

Jane Mallett Theatre,

St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts,

27 Front Street East

Tickets $45


Written and Performed by Rob Drummond

Saturday, June 14 @ 2pm and 8PM and Sunday, June 15 @ 2PM

Berkeley Street Theatre, Upstairs,

26 Berkeley Street

Tickets $45

Front Of The Line®:

Tuesday April 8, 2014, 12noon – Wednesday April 9, 2014, 11:59PM

American Express® cardmembers:

online at luminatofestival.com or by calling 416-368-4TIX (4849)

Luminato Festival e-Newsletter Subscribers Advance Sale:

Thursday April 10, 2014, 12noon – Friday April 11, 2014, 11:59PM

Online at luminatofestival.com or by calling 416-368-4TIX (4849)

Official Public Sale:

Saturday April 12, 2014, 12noon

Online at luminatofestival.com or by calling 416-368-4TIX (4849)

The TRANSGRESSIVE MAGIC program is supported by The Slaight Family.

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