Amethyst Lecture: Houdini and Escapology

University of Nottingham Magic Society

November 2016

Reviewed by Andy Dean

It was an amazing guest lecture, the best weíve had in a long while and one that I would truly recommend to any magic club, large or small.

A little bit of context first, I run the University of Nottinghamís Student Magic Society. A student run magic club where we aim to teach other students the basics of magic. We get a little bit of money every year to spend on books, props and guest speakers, so itís always tough for who to invite. We decided this year, after seeing them perform at Blackpool as well as our own Gala Show, that we would try and get them to come in and lecture.


I didnít know what to expect from it. My society didnít know what to expect from it. Needless to say, we were thoroughly impressed.

The lecture was split in to two main sections. The first was about Houdini and the many handcuffs he would escape from as well as how he did it. I donít know how many people are left in the country (the world even) who have both the knowledge and the equipment to explain and demonstrate the many techniques. Devoted to escapology, Danny Hunt (one half of the Amethyst team) showed us all the incredible methods behind Houdiniís acts and fascinated us with the details.

The second half of the lecture came back to the modern age, going through the different handcuffs in use today and how easy it can be (with the right knowledge and normally the right key) to break free from them. Covering shims, lock picking and more, it left us all questioning how safe we actually are!

It was amazing to have such a diverse and unique lecture at our magic club. To be able to give our members a way into escapology and the techniques of the best escapologist in the world was just amazing. Itís something we didnít think we would be able to offer, but thanks to Danny and Steph, we managed it.

Again, there are only few people around with the knowledge, equipment, experience, ability and willing to lecture about this area of magic. If you get the chance to have one guest lecture at your magic club in the next year, be sure to get Amethyst Ė you wonít regret it!

© Andy Dean, President Ė University of Nottingham Magic Society, November 2016