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Ellis In Wonderland DVD Review

Official Review

April 2nd, 2005 3:08pm
Rating:
Reviewed by David Acer
While it’s true that Australia’s Tim Ellis and Sue-Anne Webster are fellow residents of our “global village,” it is also true that they are relatively unknown in the western world, largely because they live and work three trillion miles away.

However, as a Canadian, I am no stranger to obscurity (which my agent assures me is not the same as anonimity), so I made a point not to judge Tim and Sue-Anne while I popped this DVD into my player, and thankfully so. Ellis in Wonderland is overflowing with rock-solid, practical magic, of the kind that only results from real-world performers setting their creative sights on designing tricks they will actually use.

There are a dozen or so routines on here, some platform, some walkaround, including “Ultimate Razor Blades,” a clever, safe method for the razor-blades-from-mouth with a funny gag at the end that could be incorporated into any version of the effect; “7 Keys to Paradise,” a non-sucker (and ultimately more satisfying) approach to “7 Keys to Baldpate” in which 7 different keys are handed out for a small chest that contains something special, whereupon fate intervenes and ensures that the one person who has any claim to the item in the chest is in fact the one who chooses the key that will open it; “Jazz Cards,” a card revelation that will likely fool you the first time you see it (Vernon’s “The Trick That Cannot Be Explained,” from More Inner Secrets of Card Magic, should have been cited as precedent - in fact you may want to refer to Revelations, Volumes 7 & 8, which are both on one DVD, for more angles on this type of trick); “Cellular Thinking,” a fun routine with your cellular (a.k.a. mobile) phone that has a variety of applications; “Cash To Credit Card,” a visual change that would be particularly effective for TV work; and “Bill To Anything,” a burnt bill routine that both borrows from and builds on Terry Seabrooke’s seminal approach to the plot.

The DVD itself is extremely well produced, and includes performances before many different types of audiences (a rarity on lecture DVDs). In addition, the material is framed by introductions and interstitials in which Sue-Anne plays Alice in Wonderland (although frankly, given the title of the DVD, I think Tim should have played this part). Admittedly, this kind of theatrical “hamming” is not everyone’s cup of tea (at one point my girlfriend walked in and, upon seeing “Alice” sitting next to a giant mushroom, she just shook her head and said, “They must be smoking some pretty good stuff...”), but it is indicative of Tim and Sue-Anne’s commitment to making unique and original DVDs, a trend I would like to see more of in magic.

All in all, this DVD is chock full of usable magic, and well worth your attention, particularly if you’re looking to add some audience-tested routines to your repertoire.

David Acer

Available at your favorite Murphy’s Magic dealer

Product info for Ellis In Wonderland DVD

Author: Ellis & Webster
Average Rating:  (1)
Retail Price: $34.95
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Manufacturer's Description:

Tim and Sue-Anne have adapted one of there incredible lectures into 3 hours of wonder on this incredible DVD. Ellis & Webster have been known to bring there audiences to multiple ovations. There magic and presentation techniques are world renowned.

Featuring:

  • Razorblade Eating
  • Cash to Credit Card
  • Credit Card Fax
  • Deckstress
  • Name Deckstress
  • Deathslates
  • Bill to Anything
  • Jazz Cards
  • Candle Tips
  • Thumbtip tips
  • Cellular Thinking
  • Seven Keys to Paradise
  • Shakespearean patter for the 3 Card Monte
  • The full rules and games of MagicSports
  • Essays on Strolling Magic and Floorshows
  • Three comedy pieces to amuse 'Magicians Only'


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