All is not as it seems in one of magic’s most tragic and fascinating stories. In March 1918 this extremely popular and highly paid Chinese magician was performing his popular bullet catch illusion at the Wood Green Empire in North London. As the rifles fired, Soo fell to the stage, mortally wounded and gasping in English: “Something’s wrong. Close the curtain.” The inquest into his death revealed to the public that Chung Ling Soo was in fact an American named William Robinson who had lived his professional career pretending to be Chinese. At this period anybody from the Far East was considered to be mysterious and exotic. He faked his life story, even to the extent of using a Mandarin interpreter when conducting press interviews. Cultural imitation such as this would not be acceptable today. Even so Chung Ling Soo’s magnificent posters, many of which are on display around the building, are highly prized. He is buried in East Sheen Cemetery, London.
Chung Ling Soo’s costume
Youngsters conjure up top prizes
A 13-year-old boy who lives in Spain and an 11-year-old girl from West Yorkshire were the big winners at this year’s annual Young Magicians Club Junior Day awards held...
Young Magician of the Year 2023
Having considered the five entries received for the Competition this year the Committee have decided that it is not possible to proceed to a Final. The event on April...