Interview with magician Richard Essien, AKA Magical Bones

"My heritage is Nigerian, and my parents emigrated to the U.K. from Nigeria. They worked really hard to provide better opportunities for their kids."

Interview with magician Richard Essien, AKA Magical Bones

Could you first introduce yourself to the reader?

My name is Richard Essien also known as Magical Bones. I am a street magician from London.

How would you describe your show?

My show is a high-energy action-packed magic & illusion show, that’s been sprinkled with Hip-hop flavour- I call it Soulful Magic!

Why do you want to perform at Edinburgh Festival Fringe?

I think Fringe is one of the best Festivals in the World. It attracts so many people, I feel it’s a birthing place for fresh and new exciting talent.

What differentiates it from other festivals?

I think the history of the Fringe and the fact that it the biggest arts festival in the world is what makes it so special 

What first motivated you to enter the industry? 

It was seeing the reactions that I got when I performed for family and friends, it gave me a buzz.

Who were your inspirations?

I was inspired by all round entertainers such as the late Michael Jackson as well as other legendary magicians like Paul Daniels.

How has your background, upbringing and education had an impact on your artistic career?

My heritage is Nigerian, and my parents emigrated to the U.K. from Nigeria. They worked really hard to provide better opportunities for their kids. My father was a lecturer so he was very academic and I think the discipline that instilled in me has definitely come handy when practising my magic.

What is your earliest childhood art memory?

It was watching Michael Jackson doing the moonwalk

If you didn’t have your current job, what would you probably be doing?

I would probably be a maths teacher 

Did Covid-19 change the way you create work? Do you approach shows with a different mentality now?

During the pandemic I did a lot of Zoom shows, so the pandemic taught me how to adapt my magic show so it could still be interactive and enjoyed on a laptop screen.

Describe the last year in 5 words or less?

Panic challenging togetherness 

Do you subscribe to the idea that art should be exempt from ‘cancel culture’?

I think art is subjective and performers should be given freedom to express themselves, however, audiences should also have the right to choose whatever or whoever they want to ‘cancel.’

If you could work with anybody, from any point in history, who would you pick and why?

Michael Jackson 100% because I think he was an incredible performer and artist

What advice would you give to someone who wants to take a show up to the fringe?

Write your show, plan your month, and just do it!

When and where can people see your show?

My show is Assembly checkpoint 4.45pm

And where can people find, follow and like you online?

People can follow @magicalbones on Instagram, Twitter & Facebook


See Magical Bones: Soulful Magic at the Assembly during the Edinburgh Festival Fringe from 3-28 August. For more information and tickets visit www.edfringe.com or www.assemblyfestival.com

Header Image Credit: Provided

Author

Tom Inniss

Tom Inniss Voice Team

Tom is the Editor of Voice. He is a politics graduate and holds a masters in journalism, with particular interest in youth political engagement and technology. He is also a mentor to our Voice Contributors, and champions our festivals programme, including the reporter team at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

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