The Magic Mush Room at Electric Picnic
"Situated in a mystery location... magic fans can play games of ‘Fool the Magician’ where they can look forward to getting up close and personal with Shane as they try to fool him as well as guessing how certain tricks are done."
The Magic Mush Room is the brainchild of Shane Gillen and inventor John Belling. The Mush Room was an immersive space located in a hidden location at Electric Picnic in 2015, making this the first exclusively magic tent at the annual festival. Inside, people could witness close-up magic, as well as see the skills of a master pickpocket, and even get a chance to learn some illusions of their own.
"Lapse is one of the most interactive shows I've ever been to. My mind was officially warped by the end of this tense, unexpected and original show.”
Shane’s most ambitious project to date… Lapse took 6 months to write. The incredibly intricate show saw Shane affirm the place of mentalism in contemporary theatre. The script focused around memory, how our memories work and whether or not they are reliable at all. With a back story about Shane’s grandfather Roddy and some endearing anecdotes about Shane’s childhood, Lapse was a one-man play within which the cog could only turn through the use of mentalism and intricate effects with the audience. Gillen’s Lapse was realised by Sugarglass Theatre Production Company and ran to huge national critical acclaim in July 2014. The show was written and created by Shane Gillen and John Belling.
"We watch as he begins telling audience members to merely think of memories in their lives, he starts picking up that one man had been in some sort of car accident when he was a child. Gillen then goes on to describe the types of vehicles involved…”
Inspired by a bar Shane discovered in New York called PDT (‘Please Don’t Tell’), Shane wanted to explore the idea of having a secret magic show. The venue for this show was never ever announced and in order to go to Thelema, fans had to purchase tickets first. Once tickets were purchased, they received the location of the little-known theatre in Dublin’s city centre. The show focused on a much more serious side to Shane’s mentalism, with Shane promising to correctly answer any audience member’s question, from what their bank pin was to what childhood memory they were thinking about in that moment. The monthly show proved a huge success.
The Teller’s Loft
Wanting to recreate the intimacies and success of Through the Cellar Door, Shane brought The Teller’s Loft to his hometown of Sligo. This time, the show took place in a library above a small coffee house in Sligo. The show was two hours of close-up intimate magic with Shane opting again for a whimsical nod to the early 1900s parlour magic. During the show, an audience member was asked to select any book from the library and go to any page in the book and think of a word from that page. They were then instructed to rip the page out from the book and flush the page down the toilet. Shane then revealed the word they were merely thinking of, before the audience member opened the book again to find that the page had returned back into the book. The show was written and produced by Shane Gillen and John Belling.
Through the Cellar Door
Magic is best enjoyed at its most intimate, and this is what this show achieved. Through the Cellar Door ran in a basement under a well-known pub in Dublin’s city centre. The show was a nod to old vaudeville magic shows that took place in the dark underground parlours of London. The show has a whimsical feel to it as Shane meandered his way through old some old style magic tricks with a captivated audience.
Late Night Magic
"Needless to say, the inaugural Late Night Magic went down a treat. Between the intensity of silent performer Joe Daly and the intricacies of host Shane Gillen's set, this was a perfectly balanced variety evening.”
Late Night Magic was a concept developed by Shane and Production Manager John Belling – the idea was to integrate a ‘night out’ feel to a formal ‘magic show’. The idea was inspired by the underground magic circuits of Victorian London as well as the ongoing ‘Late Night Magic‘ series at London’s Jermyn Theatre, along with New York’s famous ‘Monday Night Magic’ at Times Square. The evening saw guests treated to a champagne reception and intimate close-up performances by a number of magicians, as well 4 to 5 main stage performances in the auditorium. Late Night Magic debut night was nominated for ‘Best Launch Night’ at the Event Industry Awards 2012, up against the likes of Emirates, Microsoft, BMW and Smithwicks. The event ran monthly.
Mind Heist - The Magic of Mesmerism
"this was the part of the show that made the hairs raise on the back of your neck…”
Mind Heist was a much darker show, where Gillen now explored how easily we can be influenced while under hypnotic trance. The show centred around the discoveries of a man named Franz Mesmer, who many have described as the father of hypnotism. Interested in investigating the human condition when we are scared or perceive fear, in ‘Mind Heist’ Shane wanted to nod to the seances of the early 1900s, with a ghostly figure even appearing on stage in front of the audience. In some performances of the show, some members of the audience even had to leave the theatre. Peculiarly, Shane cites that as a highlight.
The Arrow of Time - An Evening of Mind Magic
“When Shane Gillen went to the Hawk’s Well Theatre in Sligo to perform, fans were treated to a tantalising slice of real magic” - Hot Press
The Arrow of Time was Shane’s first departure from close-up performances to the stage. Keen to bring his style of mentalism to the many, Shane enjoyed sold out shows to packed audiences in theatres in Sligo and Dublin. The Arrow of Time explored notions of influence and suggestion, with a clever mix of personal stories from Shane’s life. Some highlights from the show included a lady’s engagement ring ending up inside an unopened Kinder Egg, as well as a person’s randomly thought of number being printed on the receipt of a pizza that they were told to order to the theatre. The Arrow of Time ran for 39 performances.
ALL SHOWS WRITTEN AND PRODUCED BY SHANE GILLEN AND JOHN BELLING