Houdini’s Grand Magical Revue 102 Years Ago


Houdini premiered his “Grand Magical Revue” in British cities through the spring of 1914.  It probably played a dozen times.  Above is an ad from the Library of Congress for a performance that was presented 102 years ago, today at the Palace Theatre, Hull.

Below are brief descriptions for each effect:

  1. The Crystal Casket – Houdini opened the show by picking a number of coins; he seemed to toss them toward the box that was suspended by two ribbons over the stage.
  2. Good-Bye Winter – Houdini’s title for Morritt’s disappearance of a person atop a stack of tables.
  3. Money for Nothing – Houdini’s version of the classic coin-catching routine, where he would produce five hundred gold sovereigns from a cloth bag, .
  4. The Arrival of Summer – Morritt’s production of a lady from a pyramid-shaped box.
  5. Calico Conjuring –  Houdini cut and burned and then magically restored a long strip of cloth.
  6. Metamorphosis -Houdini closed the show with his popular trunk illusion



  • Hiding The Elephant by Jim Steinmeyer
  • Houdini!!! The Career of Ehrich Weiss by Kenneth Silverman
  • The Illustrated Houdini Research Diary Part 4: 1911 to 1915 by Frank Koval

2 thoughts on “Houdini’s Grand Magical Revue 102 Years Ago

  1. It sank faster than the Nina, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria. I equate this to a rock star who releases a record of Tin Pan alley tunes and wondering why it didn’t sell.

    Didn’t HH later destroy some of this equipment? According to him, he didn’t give it a second thought.

    • According to Jim Steinmeyer in Hiding the Elephant: Houdini’s “almost original” “Magical Revue” comprised mostly of Morrit, Robert-Houdin, and deKolta inventions, was, as Will Goldston recalled, an “utter and complete failure.” Houdini packed up the effects and shipped them back to America. “If the English want escapes, they can have them,” Houdini harrumphed to Goldston, “but I am determined to give a good magical show before I die.”

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