On This Day: David Blaine, Trickless Magician

Ten thousand spectators gathered by the side of the Thames on 19th October, 2003 to watch street magician/illusionist David Blaine come back down to Earth, having spent 44 days suspended in a perspex box in a stunt called ‘Above The Below’.

It was an accomplishment almost sabotaged by the British tabloid media and general public, who had heckled him, tried to dismantle his crane, and even flown up a hamburger on a drone to taunt him.

In this episode, Arion, Rebecca and Olly ask why Londoners were so hostile to this performance art unfolding in their midsts; explain what Dizzee Rascal had to do with it all; and reveal exactly how Blaine did a wee, whilst suspended in mid-air…

Further Reading:

• ‘Above the Below’ - David Blaine’s Official Website: https://davidblaine.com/above-the-below/

• ‘Remembering David Blaine's 44 days in a glass box, which frustrated the British public like no other act of performance art’ (The Independent, 2018): https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/art/features/david-blaine-london-glass-box-stunt-reaction-starvation-above-below-a8523606.html

• ‘David Blaine - Above the Below’ (Harmony Korine, 2003): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ki5fRls2uv4

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The Retrospectors are Olly Mann, Rebecca Messina & Arion McNicoll, with Matt Hill.

Theme Music: Pass The Peas. Announcer: Bob Ravelli. Graphic Design: Terry Saunders. Edit Producer: Emma Corsham.

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