The stupendously spiffing Morgan and West will be taking to the Core stage on Friday 30th August at 2pm for a "jaw dropping, heart stopping, brain busting, opinion adjusting, death defying, mind frying, spirit lifting, paradigm shifting, outlook changing, furniture rearranging magic extravaganza!" as they present a fantastic magic act that is perfect for kids and grown-up kids alike.
Now with an introduction that good, I could not wait to interview them! As a fan of magic myself, I recognised the dynamic duo from ITV's The Next Greatest Magician and Penn and Teller's Fool Us, and was very impressed by their tricks. I had a quick catchup with Rhys Morgan earlier this week, and cannot wait to meet him and Rob West in person for a new edition of Spotlight On ... before their performance here at the Core.
How long have the two of you been friends / How long have you been doing the act?
We met way back in the distant past of 2006. We were both cast in a production of Terry Pratchett's Wyrd Sisters at university and quickly realised in rehearsals that we had a very similar sense of humour. From this a lifelong (up to this point, anyway) friendship was born. Morgan & West came into being, officially, in 2009 although we had been potching with magic and indeed a double act since the middle of 2008.
How did you get involved in magic? How did you go about learning your first tricks?
It was a different route for each of us. I (Rhys) was rather obsessed by Derren Brown and adored his book 'Tricks of the Mind', whereas Rob was a keen juggler and liked learning card flourishes, fancy shuffles and the such. We found out that we were both dabbling in magic and spurred each other on in friendly competition.
What do you do if a trick goes wrong on stage?
Drop everything and run away. Actually no, not that at all. You just have to carry on as if nothing happened - the audience don't know what the outcome of a piece of magic is supposed to be so very occasionally you just have a trick that is, well, bad. That's it really...
When people come up to you and say that they know how you’ve done a trick, how often are they right? (Obviously, this happened on Penn and Teller: Fool Us, and they got it wrong!)
We take a leaf out of the book of David Berglas - the greatest magician of the 60s and 70s on television. If someone gives us a method we tend to respond with (much like Berglas did) 'You know what, that's not how it's done but that is much better than how we do it. Maybe we'll do it that way next time.' We're keen that people should realise that there is so much more to magic than knowing how one or two routines in a whole show are done.
Magic seems to be quite a popular art at the minute, with magicians regularly appearing on shows like Britian’s Got Talent. How best would you advise somebody who is keen on learning tricks?
Watch loads of magic and work out what you dislike, and then try to do stuff that is totally different to, and indeed better than that. It's how we still do things today.
What is your favourite thing about taking your show on tour?
How I love long days, late nights, little sleep, and service station food. It's the joy of the audiences I hate. No, wait. That's the wrong way around. Strike that. Reverse it. There you go.
Well, they certainly live up to their name of being all round spiffing chaps! I think it's going to be a fantastic show, and it's suitable for ages 5 to 105, so your whole family can buy a ticket and come along!
If you want to see their appearance on Penn & Teller, it's available on YouTube here
Likewise, if you wish to see their Next Greatest Magician performance, it's available here