Four talented magicians come to the Wycombe Swan

Bucks Free Press: Ali Cook Ali Cook

FOUR magicians will be bringing their own unique sets to the Wycombe Swan this month, including Ali Cook, who has also starred on the big screen.

Champions of Magic is a night of trickery including card manipulation, death defying stunts and spectacular illusions.

Joining Ali on stage will be Pete Firman, Fay Presto and Edward Hilsum- all four have 20 minute slots each.

Ali said: "We are all doing very different types and styles of magic. It is almost like a comedy club set up but for magicians instead.

"Just how popular magic is in Britain at the moment there hasn't been a date we haven't sold."

Ali is a Silver Star associate member of the Inner Magic Circle and received nightly standing ovations for his show Principals and Deceptions.

His irreverent style and acclaimed sleight-of-hand have made him one of the pioneers of the alternative magic scene.

So how does he approach putting together a magic show? "It is a bit like writing stand up. You will get a crazy idea. Out of ten of those one of them is a good one.

"We have to perform it quite a bit. Sometimes it is all about the performance."

And he said there is just something which captures people's imaginations with a trick that takes just one minute.

But what he most enjoys doing is taking an old story and recreating it into an updated trick.

Ali said: "I think it is one of those things you need a lot of control. You have got to be able to talk like a stand up.

"You need to know a lot about the props and stage manage people."

But he doesn't just do magic. Last summer Ali starred in Universal’s hit film Get Lucky, where he played the main supporting role of Kirby alongside Olivier award winner Luke Treadaway, James Cosmo and Emily Atack.

And this year will see the release of two more feature films featuring Ali - Epic - directed by Ben Hopkins, where he plays the supporting role of Daniel alongside Matthew Macfayden.

The second Universal Pictures release is The Anomaly, directed and produced by Bafta award winner Noel Clarke. Ali plays the supporting role of Agent Travis- a secret service agent protecting the world from mass destruction, alongside Ian Somerhalder, veteran actor Brian Cox, US actress Alexis Knapp and Australian actor Luke Hemsworth.

Ali has also recently written a comedy film with writer and sharp one-liner comedian Gary Delaney. The film, Cassandra at the Wedding, will star Emily Browning and is produced by Sam Taylor, Stephen Daldry and Mike Downey for F&ME Productions.

He has also written and starred in TV series including Monkey Magic, Psychic Secrets Revealed with Derren Brown and the darkly twisted Jerry@Trick sketch show with Jerry Sadowitz. He was also the star of Channel 4’s critically acclaimed late night show, Dirty Tricks.

He has just started filming a main supporting role as the investigating officer in crime thriller, Peterman for Talent TV, alongside Alison Steadman and Phil Davis.

But for now he is taking his magic around the UK.

He said: "There is something nice about touring. They are good fun. You turn up in some town- people are going to see something they genuinely want to see."

Champions of Magic is at the Wycombe Swan on April 17 at 7.30pm. Tickets are £18, under 16s £15, with a £1.50 booking fee. Call 01494 512000 or go to www.wycombeswan.co.uk.

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