Magic Trick: Phantasma

On the stage is a platform on which stands the frame-work of a cabinet, as shown at A, Fig. 155. Resting against the wings are five screens, which serve to build up the cabinet. These are fixed in position by means of hooks at the top of four screens; the screen for the top lies flat (Fig. 155). When the performer has shown to the satisfaction of the audience that no one is concealed about the platform, the screens are brought forward and stood, leaning, against the back of the platform. From there they are lifted in place, beginning with the top, followed by the sides, the back, and the front until the cabinet is built up. The front screen is now removed, and a young girl steps out, makes her obeisance to the audience, and bows herself off the stage, leaving the onlookers to guess where she came from.

Fig. 155

Fig. 156

If we see the trick from the back of the stage, we shall find that the girl is run up through a trap from below the stage and takes a position behind the back screen before it is hung in place. Near the top of this screen is a ring to which she holds and at the bottom is a narrow ledge on which her feet rest. While there, she and the screen are lifted together and the latter is hung in place. That screen is really a door and gives access to the interior of the cabinet. The better to bring the girl in place she is pulled up from beneath the stage by a number of fine steel wires pendant from an overhead bar carried by a counterweight which is led over guide pullies to the back of the stage.

Instead of the rather flat entrance of the girl from the cabinet, as described, the illusion might be worked up to a dramatic situation by having the screens fall away from the cabinet when the performer fires a pistol.

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