In the late 80's FAUST (Granville Taylor) had explored the possibility of getting this illusion filmed at his local theatre, the Pendle Hippodrome theatre in Colne in Lancashire, and after inspecting the stage facilities he realised that it was possible to rig it up, but as he was still touring his big illusion show he did not follow up the idea.
In 2008 Faust sold his big illusion show to a buyer in Spain, and all his collection of rare magical equipment made by the late John Martin, the World's Master Magical Mechanic, was sold to a buyer in the U.S.A. Some authentic Chinese robes and a few special costumes were bought by a number of magicians, and he was delighted when Pendle Hippodrome theatre bought all the rest of his stage costumes, his black velvet drapes, and his scenic cloths. Once again, the possibility of hiring the theatre to film Amac's masterpiece "Find the Lady" came to mind.
Fate intervened. At the funeral of Granville's brother, Kenneth Taylor, both families and friends met afterwards, and the conversation turned to "Find the Lady", rightly billed as "Positively the Most Amazing Illusion Ever Conceived". Granville owns Amac's original equipment, with sole performing rights throughout the world for this unique illusion since he bought it from Lucille Lyle in 1960. It was decided it MUST be filmed. Friends and relations set wheels turning, and Caroline Taylor, through her contacts in television, contacted a London film production company, Spicer & Moore, who agreed to film Faust & "Find the Lady" for a documentary.
Work on the documentary started in late 2010, with Faust being interviewed in his home by Spicer & Moore to produce a short "teaser" film, which was shown at a conference of documentary film makers in Harrogate. This attracted a lot of interest and sponsors and more filming followed.
The film company hired Pendle Hippodrome theatre in Colne in Lancashire from April 11th to 15th 2011. The get-in and rigging up of the illusion occupied most of the first day, and rehearsals followed with a new "Queen of Hearts" and Caroline, Granville's niece, as an assistant with the three cards. The complete "Find the Lady" act was filmed on the Friday afternoon, by Spicer & Moore, and by the theatre's own cameraman, John Morgan, with both Taylor families and a few friends in the audience for this historic occasion.
Normally this illusion takes two to three weeks to rehearse before showing it in public, so with very limited rehearsal time, and Faust being 80 years of age, it was very hard work for all concerned. The film company also interviewed two of Faust's ex-stage assistants, Roger Darrock and Stephen Howe (The Sheratons) who toured Japan with him in 1975 and 1976. They also interviewed Dr.Edwin A.Dawes, the magic historian, at his home in Anlaby near Hull.
In 2013, Granville Taylor produced a documentary of the complete history of Amac's "Find the Lady" "Find the Lady" from 1920 onwards to the present day, using publicity material from his own collection, and footage filmed by Spicer & Moore and by John Morgan. Amac headlined with this one illusion in the U.S.A. in the 1920's. Amac sold the illusion and sole performing rights to The Great Lyle in 1941, and he featured it in his "Cavalcade of Mystery" and "Mystery Box Revue" shows until his death in 1955. His widow, Lucille Lyle, sold it to Granville Taylor (FAUST) in 1960.
Photographs can be seen on the "Filming of Find the Lady" page on: http://www.faustsmagicinstore.com/ and on the "Find the Lady" page on http://www.faust.i8.com/. Also see the four paragraphs below for more information.
Review of "AMAC" with the assistance of Mddle. VELMA with his Great Three Card Trick at the Burnley Palace & Hippodrome theatre: "AMAC has the house guessing......if they live to be Methuselah's they will still be guessing." Burnley Express. 4th. January 1922.
"Amac conferred a real benefit on Magic in this country when he brought over his great illusion, "The Elusive Lady". It is so far above the things we call tricks that it cannot be classed among them. Amac is a real showman as only a real magician could. Amac alone should not receive all the praise, for his handsome and talented wife is the main feature and factor in the illusion, her beautiful costume and graceful pose on the pedestals making a charming stage picture setting off the act perfectly. See Amac and the "Elusive Lady" and you will see a real illusion." "The Sphinx" magic magazine, U.S.A. August 1927.
"The Stage newspaper recently printed a note that Granville Taylor had acquired the rights to Amac's "Find the Lady" from Lucille Lyle. It has been described as the greatest illusion of all time. It would certainly be nice to see it again." "Abracadabra" magazine. 31st. December. 1960.
"Faust's "Find the Lady" act is brilliantly mystifying." Review by Collie Knox. Brighton Evening Argus. 21st. July. 1966. (Summer season at Palace Pier theatre, Brighton).
"Faust is girl charmer at The Magic Circle. For illusion in the grand manner we have Faust, a master performer who has adopted the catch phrase of the great Dante, and like him, has a fresh approach. Popping a girl into a box and setting fire to it is one of his minor tricks. For his supremely simple "Find the Lady" illusion he hides a girl behind one of three giant playing cards and then produces her again and again behind one of the others. This is stage magic at its best." John Barber. Theatre critic. Daily Telegraph. 30th. December 1969.
"Beyond doubt, pride of place must go to Granville Taylor's presentation in last week's Magic Circle Show of that truly great illusion, Amac's "Find the Lady". His presentation had more in common with Amac's style than with Lyle's, I think. I think Lyle was a shade too "smart"; I never did like that "I've fooled you" attitude of so many magicians. Granville, or perhaps I should conform with his billing as FAUST, while enjoying the audience's bewilderment, avoided giving the impression that he was out-smarting them; it was a case, wisely, of "let's all have fun together", and that, if I remember rightly, was the way Amac presented "Find the Lady". I am quite content to believe that "Find the Lady" is sheer magic." Bayard Grimshaw. The World's Fair. 10th. January. 1970.
"A tremendous achievement and many congratulations on your performance. It was masterful and a great honour to have witnessed." Greville Worthington. 17th.April 2011. (One of the invited guests at the filming of "Find the Lady" at Pendle Hippodrome theatre.)
Rehearsing with Emily at the Pendle Hippodrome theatre in Colne, Lancashire. "The Queen of Hearts"
Photograph by the Nelson "Leader" weekly newspaper.
FAUST ON THE MOVE with "FIND THE LADY" BOXES
DVD from film of Granville Taylor, his two sons Guy and Jamie, and grandson Lewis, transporting all the six large, heavy boxes required for the rehearsals and filming of "Find the Lady" at Pendle Hippodrome theatre in Colne in Lancashire, from April 11th to l5th 2011 when the theatre was hired for this purpose by the London film production company Spicer and Moore.
DVD of FAUST's presentation of Amac's "FIND THE LADY" as filmed by John Morgan (Castle Videos) on April 15th. 2011 at Pendle Hippodrome theatre in Colne, Lancashire, using just one camera. Faust had only three days to rehearse a new "Queen of Hearts", Emily, and his niece, Caroline, who assisted with the three cards. Normally, with new assistants, this illusion takes 2-3 weeks of rehearsals before showing in public.
This DVD is for THE FAUST ARCHIVES and is not for sale.
The London Film Production Company, Spicer & Moore of London, have used some of the footage from their filming of Faust and "Find the Lady" at Pendle Hippodrome in Colne on the 15th. April 2011, for a music video by the folk group Cheek Mountain Thief.
This music video can be viewed by typing on Google: Cheek Mountain Thief - Showdown - YouTube. Then click on search. Then click on item at top of webpage showing photo of Granville Taylor. Make sure you have sound switched on! For full screen viewing click on the square at bottom right of the picture.
One reviewer, Michael George, wrote: "Great song, even better video. Faust the Magician rocks...."
GRANVILLE TAYLOR has produced a documentary of FAUST & "FIND THE LADY" including the history of this World-Famous Illusion act since it was invented and performed by "AMAC" (William MacFarlane), a Birmingham man, around 1920, who featured it in his magic act in theatres in the U.K. Amac's act was seen by an American booker, which resulted in Amac becoming a headline attraction with just this one illusion in the U.S.A. for many years. Back in the U.K., Amac sold "Find the Lady" to THE GREAT LYLE for his "Cavalcade of Mystery" Show, which opened in London in 1941, and Amac became Lyle's stage mananger. Lyle proudly presented "Find the Lady" in his big illusion show, touring the principal theatres in the U.K. and around the world, until he died in 1955. In 1960 Lucille Lyle sold the illusion to Granville Taylor, together with Amac's original equipment and with sole performing rights throughout the world. Granville Taylor, as FAUST THE MAGICIAN, performed "Find the Lady" at various theatres in the U.K., as top of the bill at The Magic Circle Festival Show in 1969 at the Collegiate theatre in London, and in a Summer Season in Brighton. On one of Faust's tours of Japan in 1975 with his own big illusion show, Faust presented "Find the Lady" at the Kokusai Theatre in Tokyo.
Granville Taylor, together with his friend John Bradbury (Digital Memories), completed the editing of this historical documentary within just three weeks, and a DVD was made for THE FAUST ARCHIVES.
Running time: Approximately 35 minutes.
This rare DVD is not for sale.
Running time of this DVD is 20 minutes. Produced by Granville Taylor.