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David Pibworth | The Blog


Revisiting Tommy Cooper

Plus a new easy trick ...



Occasionally - in magic - you come across an idea that is really good. I spend enough time developing magic tricks to know more or less what a 'seller' is and as I said last week, the simpler the better on the whole ...

Tommy Cooper was a master magician and comedian.

Tommy Cooper was a master magician and comedian.

copyright: bbc

My company is one of the few in the UK that keep in stock the equipment Tommy Cooper used, such as the Multiplying Bottles and the Educated Duck.

While people enjoy seeing the tricks done, they are not the highest sellers, and there is an expectation that the tricks by Cooper will be performed in the same way as Cooper did, and that's tricky.

The gags themselves are easy to perform, but you do have to put your own take on it. Also you can't put these ones in your pocket. Being able to carry a trick around with you is always a huge selling point. I used to do the bottle one a few years back and did a demo video as below:

The reason I did it like that is that was what sold it, and I still keep that link to my website (and if I ever perform it, it's still in that style). Funnily enough, I bought 3 x Cooper Bottle tricks and 3 x Educated Ducks last Friday in an imported order and put them on eBay with all the other stuff and 2 of the bottle gags and one of the ducks sold over the weekend. So I guess it's a supply and demand thing.

"Plus the fact that I do price everything sensibly as I like to turn over my stock."

What I've finally done is to perfect a way to change 4 silks into 1. Now I'm not claiming I came up with the original idea, that would be silly. Very few people come up with new ideas. It's like jokes; you merely get something you like and adapt it. Many of the gags I've adapted come from India originally and this one did, many years ago. So here it is:

It's easy, and you can carry it around and it's now part of my Mad Magic Workshop, which you can come over to Olney for, or I bring the workshop to you. Just take a look at for details.

I'm buzzing around in February doing workshops mainly in the Midlands, but also in Exeter for the Pauline Quirke Academy who love the fact that I'm the only outside tutor to turn up and cut my arm off and set things on fire.

"Children like that kind of thing, and let's be honest, so do the adults."

If you happen to be at the Pancake Race in Olney today (Tuesday 9th Feb) then I shall be one of the MC's on the Market Place. I'm the one with the hat on, making things disappear.

Go on, check out my workshops, you'll love 'em.

Until next time ...


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More about David Pibworth ...

David is the owner of David Pibworth Productions (DPP) which provide corporate entertainment and also actors for corporate training and development.

Having worked in the Light Entertainment field for many years and produced shows for Al Murray & Joe Pasquale amongst others, David is in a position to advise on well-known comedy and musical acts. DPP also represent Ray Galton and Alan Simpson's scripts which include Hancock's Half Hour and Steptoe and Son.

He is the director of MK Theatre of Comedy who are very well known locally for their stage adaptations of classic comedy scripts such as Fawlty Towers, The Vicar of Dibley, Allo Allo and many others.

He is a long-standing member of Equity and the Directors Guild of Great Britain and has acted in, and directed, many productions over the years, mainly in Light Entertainment, but with occasional forays into Shakespeare etc. Every Christmas he is contracted as an Ugly Sister in Cinderella, currently with 'That's Entertainment' who also use him as a director.

He teaches eccentric magic for The Pauline Quirke Academy and MKTOC also run a youth drama school in Olney from the DPP offices.

David maintains his busy lifestyle is a surefire way to avoid being on any committees. He is married to Julie, and they have one daughter, Esther and live in Clifton Reynes, surrounded by dogs, cats and horses. They live so close to the church that David has instructed his daughter - when he dies and not before - to fire him over the wall from a circus cannon.

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