The following email was sent to me recently by renowned magician Erix Lawson. It’s a fascinating read that gives us an insight into a famed Doug illusion that took on another life of its own, long after he retired.
I have always been a huge fan of Doug and the way he thought about magic. Being a professional performer, I tried to revive some of his work. In 1996, together with Willie Kennedy, a great illusion builder and former stage assistant of Doug, and Jim Steinmeyer, I was able to bring back on a live stage the illusion he invented called “Mousetrap”.
Doug fixed three conditions for me to be able to do the illusion:
1) It had to have a totally different look and style
2) It had to have one element from the original (we opted for the fire bucket)
3) He had to receive a picture of the first performance.
No others conditions were requested. No performing rights! That was Doug Henning. Needless to say we followed the instructions, and the new “Mousetrap” was called “Toytrap”. It had a circus-carnival style.The “Mousetrap” dressed as “Toytrap” was back on a live stage again for the first time in Lubeck, Germany at the Hansa Park Theater on April 24 1997.
I had never met Doug in person as life decided differently. I was busy in that theater in Germany for seven months where I performed “Toytrap” 350 times. Then the day after I ended that contract, my father died and I decided to stay in Italy with my mom and sister for the remaining two months of the year. In April, 1998 I was booked in Seoul, South Korea for ten months, where a Japanese producer saw my show and wanted it in Fukuoka for another five months. Then two months in Finland and four in Singapore followed. It was there when I heard the sad news of his passing. The “Mousetrap” was helping my success around the world and at the same time, by keeping me so busy, it was cancelling every chance for me to meet with Doug.
I forgot to say that in 1996 I moved to Canada. That was another step to express my respect for my hero and get a bit closer to his way.
Special thanks to Erix Logan at: www.erixlogan.com