Friday Interview: The Socialist Magician

One from my old Graham Bandage blog…

In the latest of an occasional series of interviews, Graham Bandage talks to Declan Blunt, one of only two socialist magicians.

Graham Bandage: Declan Blunt, you’re one of only two socialist magicians, aren’t you?

Declan Blunt: That’s right, it’s a small niche, but there’s room for the other chap. That’s what socialism’s about, sharing. And magic, of course.

GB: What makes a socialist take up magic?

DB: Well, of course, there’s a long tradition of magic on the left. Marx himself came up with the three-ring trick as an allegory for the separation of legislature, executive and judiciary, then Lenin himself came up with the three-ring trick as an allegory of legislature, executive and judiciary, and Stalin used to cut men in half.


GB: That’s amazing. How did he do that?

DB: Oh, he had a massive saw. I mean, he didn’t put them back together, but it was probably a relief after the gulags. That’s the thing with Stalin – a showman. He used to wear a fez when he did his tricks. That’s where Tommy Cooper got the idea.

GB: Can you take us through your act? I mean, I’m really interested to find out how a socialist magician differs from, say, a conservative magician like Paul Daniels.

DB: Well, for a start, there’s no oppression in my act. I don’t use a magic wand for starters as it’s a phallic symbol and the colour is unnecessarily divisive.

GB: Well call me Thick Jack Clot if you like, but how can you do magic without a wand?

DB: You do know it’s not real don’t you.

GB: Er, yes.

DB: I don’t use animals, so, for example, I would never pull a rabbit out of a hat.

GB: You shouldn’t even put one IN a hat in the first place. That’s just cruel.

DB: Yes, anyway, I don’t put women in boxes and stick swords in them.

GB: Well, yeah. I mean, that’s dangerous. Clearly.

DB: Right, so I don’t do anything that’s oppressive…

GB: You could have a tiny little hat and put it on the rabbit. That’d be OK, but it wouldn’t be much of a trick.

DB: … and I don’t do anything that glorifies capitalism.

GB: So what tricks do you do, then?

DB: Well, I only really have the one. It’s mostly polemic.

GB: One? It’d better be stonking.

DB: Oh, it is. I get an expensive watch from somebody in the audience and wrap it in a handkerchief. Then I smash it with a hammer.

GB: Yeah?

DB: Yeah, and then I take all the pieces and hand one each to every member of the audience. Makes ’em think.

GB: Declan Blunt, thank you.