No longer updated!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

The Escape from Sing Sing

For the illusion you have two cages, each 7 feet high and 4 feet wide and 4 feet deep. Each cage rests on 4 legs which elevate them eight inches above the stage floor. The sides and the door have dark red curtains and the back has a curtain of the same color as the stage is draped with; usually a dark gray to represent a cell.

The sides, front and back of the cages also have wooden rods running up and down. These are blackened so as to look like iron, they are about half an inch thick and are set in the framework of the cage about 4 inches apart. Three or four of these rods are loose at the back and can be moved so the prisoner can come through.

Each cage has a small shelf at the back for the assistant to stand on. To work this illusion you require two men dressed alike as prisoners and one dressed as a policeman or guard.

When the stage curtains go up the cages are standing well back on the stage. Cage number 1 has all curtains up and the performer walks behind this when entertaining. Number 2 has back curtain down and as it is of the same color as the stage background, the audience do not see it nor the guard who stands on the shelf behind it.

Now prisoner number I rattles chains in the wings and comes running on stage. Performer stops him at point of revolver and puts him in cage number 2, and closes the door and pulls down the curtains. Soon a voice is heard calling, "let me out," performer opens the door the prisoner has gone and there stands the guard.

At this moment the prisoner comes running in through audience to stage. Performer and guard seize him and put him in cage number 1, and close doors and draw blinds of both cages. Fire pistol. Open cage door and blinds of both cages and behold the prisoner is seen in cage number 2.

You see that when performer puts prisoner in cage number 2, he removes the back bars, lets down the curtain and changes place with the policeman, who raises curtain, puts back bars and then calls to be let out. The other prisoner then rushes in through the audience. Now when they put him in cage number 1, he gets behind the curtain and the prisoner in cage number 2 comes into cage and leaves the back curtain up.

No comments: