‘All Done by Kindness’, David Devant Poster

18 January 2022

This poster was produced during the First World War – notice the injured soldier sitting in the audience – when David Devant (1868-1941) was touring the country. This was towards the end of his career, when he was the best-known magician in the country. The poster was ahead of its time in depicting the reaction of the audience, rather than the conventional display of a large image of the magician. This would be reprised many years later with the television street magic of David Blaine and Dynamo, where the camera concentrates as much on the audience’s reactions to the tricks as it does on the performer. Devant’s performing style is summed up in his catchphrase “All done by kindness”: which today informs the values of our charity The Magic Circle Foundation.

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