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Stage illusions are large-scale magic tricks. As the name implies, stage illusions are distinct from all other types of magic in that they are performed a considerable distance away from the audience, usually on a stage, in order to maintain the illusion.[1] Examples of stage illusions include sawing a woman in half and Lady-to-Tiger.

Stage illusions usually use large props and may involve the use of assistants or large animals.[2] As this form of magic performance is very common on television, members of the public will report that this is the only form of magic with which they are familiar.[citation needed] In actuality, only a small percentage of professional magicians are stage illusionists. Most choose to specialize in close-up magic and perform in more intimate settings.[citation needed] Grand illusions are usually very costly and, due to their size, are difficult to ship, which would explain the paucity of professional stage illusionists.[citation needed]



The twister is a famous stage magic trick.[3] A woman is placed in an upright cabinet, with her head and feet visible. The magician spins the head box, then opens the front. The assistant's body is now a narrow, twisted rope from which her fingers protrude. The magician closes the cabinet, rotates it in the opposite direction, and releases the assistant. The twister illusion has been around since the 1980s, first described by magician Lou Lancaster. Magician Franz Harary is credited with building the first working model.[4][5]

Famous stage illusionistsEdit

Stage illusionsEdit


  1. ^ Hopkins, Albert A. Magic: Stage Illusions, Special Effects and Trick Photography. Dover Publications. 1990.
  2. ^ Wilson, Mark. Mark Wilson's Complete Course in Magic. Running Press Kids. 2003.
  3. ^ Dawes, A. E., et al. Making Magic. London: Multimedia Books, Ltd, 1993.
  4. ^ Twister at The Illusion Repository
  5. ^ [ A magician performing The Twister