The Illusionists: A Q&A with Jamie Raven & Andrew Basso

The Illusionists open at Shaftesbury Theatre on Saturday 14 November and at See Tickets we had the privilege of getting a sneak preview of the show with a short performance from Illusionists Jamie Raven (magician), Andrew Basso (escapologist) and Colin Cloud (forensic mind reading). Plus, read our exclusive interview with them below.


If you'd like to see them live on stage grab your tickets for the Illusionists here.

See Tickets' exclusive interview with Andrew Basso and Jamie Raven: 

If you could perform for anyone in the world who would it be?

Andrew:  For people in the world who are unable to see the show through lack of money, ill health or simply don't have enough time to visit the theatre.
Jamie: Anthony Hopkins, I am the biggest fan of his work especially his role playing Hannibal Lecter.

Who’s your favourite magician?

Andrew: David Copperfield, a living legend.
Jamie: I don’t have one, I love all of the guys who I am performing with in the West End, but outside of those I am especially fond of Derren Brown, Dynamo, David Copperfield and Marko Karvo.

What got you into magic and illusion? 

Andrew: My mother. When I saw her reaction to magic she witnessed, that is when my dream started.
Jamie: I remember watching it as a child and being totally mesmerised. I fell in love with this idea that nothing is impossible, and wanting to be able to pass on the feeling of disbelief that only watching magic can bring to others.

What’s the most impressive trick you’ve ever seen on stage? 

Andrew: David Copperfield making a live t-rex dinosaur appear on stage.
Jamie: Seigfried and Roy producing 2 fully grown white tigers out of thin air.

What’s the most difficult trick you’ve ever performed?

Andrew: A year ago I combined two of Houdini's most difficult and famous escapes. The upside down straitjacket and the water torture cell. Together they are the most difficult challenge, technically that I have witnessed in my career as an escapologist.
Jamie: Any of the tricks I performed on the live final of Britains Got Talent in front of 14 million people.

Tell us something people don’t know about you.

Andrew: I can't live without espresso and good Italian food.
Jamie: I ran the London Marathon 2 years ago.

Why should people see The Illusionists?

Andrew: To witness magic to a level they never witnessed. To laugh, to cry, to be a child again, to be entertained and enjoy 2 hours of fun.
Jamie: It ticks every box in terms of the different styles of magic, beautiful manipulation, grand illusion, close-up magic, mind reading, dangerous stunts,  and much more. There is something for everyone.

 Questions for Jamie Raven:

What was it like to make Simon Cowell believe that magic is real?

It was one of the proudest moments of my professional career, being able to convince somebody that was so notoriously difficult to impress is something that I’m not sure I will ever top.

How have things changed for you since being on Britain’s Got Talent?

My life has changed drastically, its amazing, people stop me walking down the street to say hello or to ask for a photo for which I am always happy to oblige. It has also opened doors that were previously closed, such as performing in the West End, and to be invited to do so as part of the most successful touring Magic show in the world is such an honour.

What’s your favourite trick?

It has to be the card trick with the Stick man. That little guy has changed my life!

Questions for Andrew Basso:

Do you ever feel that you might not be able to escape from the tank?

Every night. Some nights the feeling is worst than others. The paper clip I use to pick the cuffs and the lock sometimes is not bent properly or it breaks. Sometimes I'm not at the top of the physical energy and I need to focus more mentally to successfully achieve my escape.

You seem pretty fearless though - do you have any phobias?

Extreme height is still something I need to challenge. But I would not say it is a phobia.

We loved the tricks you performed with us in the office, do like performing those on stage as well?

What I showed you in the office - my 'close up witchcraft' my producers called it - is what I love doing the most. In my solo show I present a lot of that material on stage. I love the contact with people who can witness the magic with their own eyes and in their hands.

Grab your ticket for The Illusionists today from just £17.25

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