Presenting two back-to-back productions, the pairing of director-performers Simon Evans (dir. Killer Joe, Trafalgar Studios; The Best Man, Playhouse Theatre; The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui, Donmar Warehouse) and David Aula (Rain God, VAULT Festival; The Cement Garden, VAULT Festival; Personal Enemy, Theater 59E59, New York), will captivate audiences with an innovative marriage of poignant theatre and spellbinding close-up magic.
Simon’s marvellous dexterity with playing cards has won him the Close Up Magician of the Year twice and David has been able to work out and deconstruct every magic trick he’s ever seen – even though he can’t perform a single one. Now by combining Simon’s artistry and David’s empiricism, they will present two shows about what real magic is.
The Vanishing Man follows Hugo Cedar, an infamous Edwardian magician who performed the perfect trick and then was never seen or heard of again. This is so much more than a magic show; this is the story of a magic trick – the greatest one ever performed.
Straight after, having sprinted across the courtyard, David and Simon will perform The Extinction Event – an eye-opening examination of magic’s place in tomorrow’s world. The show explores what really happens when science starts thinking for itself. If science can make gods of us all, what tricks will it do? It’s not a matter of ‘if’ and ‘how’, but ‘when’ and ‘where’. The Extinction Event is part of HighTide’s inaugural Edinburgh 2018 Mentoring Scheme.
Simon and David comment, “What should I believe?’ This has become a more pressing question in the two years since we first created The Vanishing Man. Since Brexit and Trump, and the advent of fake news, the themes of obedience and compliance, have become urgent. We believe there is wonder in the world. In whatever order you catch these two shows, one will reveal a lot about the other. And, there are gags. There are always gags.
David and Simon have worked together multiple times over the past decade. Most recently they co-directed Hamlet at The Park Theatre. The Vanishing Man sold out for two weeks at Vault Festival 2016, then toured with House Theatre. They worked together on Secret Cinema’s Shawshank Redemption. David assisted Simon on Madness in Valencia at Trafalgar Studios, and Simon directed David in the lead role of Alceste in The Misanthrope at The White Bear Theatre.
The Vanishing Man is at Pleasance Courtyard (Pleasance 2) and Extinction Event is at Pleasance Courtyard (Above).