Published On: Sun, Jun 5th, 2016

Ever wondered how David Copperfield does his famous ‘vanishing crowd’ trick? English chef who claims he was left brain-damaged in an illusion that went wrong reveals magician’s secret techniques

David Copperfield - WIKIPEDIA


The secrets of world famous illusionist David Copperfield’s show have been exposed in a long-running legal battle.

The Mail on Sunday reports how English chef Gavin Cox have flown to Las Vegas with his wife to celebrate his birthday which ended with permanent brian damage.

In November 2013, Cox was called on stage by Copperfield at the MGM Hotel and Casino to take part in an illusion that went wrong – a disappearing audience illusion. Cox, 55,  fall backstage mid-way through the trick.

Copperfield’s lawyers denied Mr Cox’s allegations and say the illusion has been safely performed for 15 years involving 100, 000 participants

Court documents in the three-year legal battle show in details how the famous ‘vanishing crowd’ trick works:

  • David Copperfield throws 13 inflatable balls into the audience. Those who caught them were invited to the stage.
  •  The 13 participants are suspended in a cage and given torches to shine back at the audience.
  •  They were seated in a suspended cage and given torches to hold. Cox recalled: ‘A curtain comes down over the box and torch light shines out to give the impression we are still in there.’
  • The volunteers are then taken through a secret passage and outside the theatre, with Copperfield lifting the cover to reveal they are gone.
  • They then ‘reappear’ at the back of the stage still holding the torches they were given by Copperfield – to the surprise of the audience.

“It was like a fire alarm went off, ” he told The Mail on Sunday. “They were saying ‘Hurry! Run, run run’.

“It was total pandemonium. You don’t know where you are going. It’s dark. There are hands pushing you on your back.

“As I went around a corner, my feet slipped from underneath me and I hit the ground.”


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