Russ Stevens


 

Russ Stevens' career started in 1977 when at the age of sixteen, he won the coveted Magic Circle Young Magician of the Year Competition. Later that year he starred in their annual show in London's West-End, and was an immediate hit turning professional at the beginning of 1978.

The years that followed saw a succession of appearances on prime-time television shows including a Paul Daniels Summer Special, The Magic Circle Show, The Good Old Days (for which Russ has the distinction of being the youngest magician to ever appear in the programs twenty-five year history), Blue Peter, Starburst, Illusions and Blackpool Bonanza. Also notable during this time was his appearance on the Snowy White pop video Bird of Paradise which reached number six in the UK pop charts.

Live work included regular six-month Summer seasons in Blackpool, and cabaret in Belgium, Germany and London's West End. Russ started to introduce illusions into his work leading up to 1988 when he was asked to star as the headliner in a new illusion show, provisionally titled "The 10 to 10 Magic Show." His first major input was to change the name to "Mystique" which was originally planned to run for just a single six-month season. Russ was given creative control over all of the illusion sequences, which were highly original in both format and presentational style. The first run was such a hit that he was immediately signed for another two years.

In 1991 new illusions were introduced into the show that have since become Russ Stevens trademarks "Living Shadows" "Escape from Reality" "Bye, Bye Life" and an incredible illusion in which the entire cast of ten dancers and singers were vanished on a surrounded dance floor! During the remainder of the year Russ took his own show "The Theatre of Illusion" to the Middle-East for a highly successful season, complete with his own company of dancers and crew, plus ten tons of equipment and lighting. The following year it was re-booked and Russ took out an even larger production.

1992 saw Russ return to Mystique for his fifth season, cruising in the Caribbean, and an increasing number of corporate bookings. 1993 began with Russ signing a contract to present a brand new illusion each week on the acclaimed BBC TV series "Tricks and Tracks." A sixth year of Mystique began.

1994 was an important year for Russ with corporate engagements in both the UK and Europe, as well as a seventh year in Mystique. During the middle of this season he announced that this was to be his final year, as he had plans to create his own show complete with a company of dancers, state-of-the-art lighting and several brand new illusions. At the end of the year Russ's dream was realized when "The Russ Stevens Theatre of Illusion" opened for a Christmas season at The Royal College of Music in Manchester. This proved so successful that he immediately embarked upon a UK tour.

The tour began at the start of 1995 and visited major theatres around the UK, and was both a financial and critical success. That summer saw him back in Blackpool at The Grand Theatre, with UK television star Joe Pasquale.

 

In 1996 Russ took his complete show to Germany performing in some of the country's finest variety theatres. On his return Russ realized one of his major ambitions and presented his own show in its own theatre (which had been completely remade to accommodate the show). The season ran for three months and was a critical success, with rave reviews. Some new illusions were developed during this season, including "The Girl That melts into a mirror" and "Sliced Appearance."

In 1997 Russ was invited to take his complete show to Germany for a six-month engagement at Holiday Park near Frankfurt. The remainder of the year was spent in Germany, performing in Variety theatres.

1998 saw Russ return with a completely new show again at Holiday Park, which was extended by a further two months due to public demand, being seen by over 300,000 people during its six-month run. The remainder of that year saw Russ perform for various blue-chip companies throughout the UK, with shows in London's West End at The Savoy, The Dorchester, The Hilton and Claridges.

1999 took Russ back into Europe for a six month tour taking in Italy, Greece, Turkey and Germany. The year ended when Russ was asked to close the show at Ron & Martin MacMillan's International Day of Magic in London's West End.

The new millennium started with an appearance on the Channel 5 show "The Big Stage," followed by corporate engagements, and an offer to take his show onto the brand new super-liner, "The Aurora" for P & O, and a performance at The London Palladium in a Charity Gala show with Englebert Humperdink.

Top Trick?
"Copperfield's 'Death saw,' because it has a plot, great music and is a fantastic illusion."

Top Book?
"Our Magic" by Maskelyne and Devant. Because it's not just about the 'tricks.'"

Top Magician?
"David Copperfield. Seems to understand the performance of illusions better than anyone."

Top Magic Quote?
"Anything that Spyros says on UKmagic!"

Top Magic Moment?
"Seeing Johnny Hart on 'The Good Old Days' Queens Silver Jubilee television special."

www.russstevens.co.uk

 

MagicWeek 2001

 

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