Practical Magic Presents: The Magic of Puppets
Animating & performing magic with a puppet

Reviewed by Jack Stephens

Every once in a while a unique tutorial in book or DVD form is released to the magic fraternity. This is one such instance, with the production of the 'Magic of Puppets' from one of the UK's leading suppliers of children’s magic, Practical Magic.

For any magician looking to add a second string to their bow, this is the ideal starting point. Already many magicians perform balloon modelling, games, plate spinning and juggling to complement their magic show, so adding variety to their party package. Introducing a puppet character or two into their act would add further variety and interest to that show.

This is a two-disc DVD set, with the first disc featuring ventriloquist and puppeteer Colin Dymond performing a live show. Here you can sit back and watch a true master of his craft at work, and enjoy the antics of his wonderful array of puppet characters. Harvey, Lucy, Ben, Lolly and Sir Nigel of Trelawny (work out his nickname for yourself!) are all introduced to illustrate the joy that can be gained by adding a puppet to your show. Vent or non-vent, they are both covered. Watching this part of the set illustrates how Colin completely captures the attention of his young audience.

The second DVD introduces Jeremy le Poidevin of Practical Magic talking to Colin in the style of one of his popular Fireside Chats about the art of puppetry. Why to use a puppet, how to buy a puppet and what sort of puppet to choose are some of the topics discussed. Important handling tips are given, including how to let your puppet show emotions and how to provide sound to your performance. This is invaluable advice to anyone new to this art form and to experienced puppeteers alike.

After watching this DVD and selecting the right puppet (remember, a puppet should be treated in the same way you would treat one of your young assistants – treat it as a living being rather than a bundle of fluff) you will certainly feature a puppet in your show.

The production is first rate – crisp and clear, easy to follow and understand. This DVD is available from Practical Magic for £30.00 plus £2.75 post and packing.


© Jack Stephens, August 2011