DOCUMENTARY OF "FIND THE LADY".
FAUST'S Documentary of "FIND THE LADY".
FAUST THE MAGICIAN has produced this documentary of Amac's "FIND THE LADY", performed in succession by AMAC, THE GREAT LYLE, and FAUST from all the material he has collected over the years. It was invented and performed by "AMAC" (William MacFarlane), a Birmingham man, around 1920, who featured it in his magic act. Amac's act was seen in London by an American booker, who was very impressed by "Find the Lady". He told Amac to forget about the rest of his magic act and feature just this one illusion.....a complete act on its own, and the best illusion ever he had seen. He invited Amac to America and arranged for Amac to audition "Find the Lady" for the booking agents of the principal theatre circuits. It was an outstanding success. With his wife "La Velma" as the "Elusive Lady", Amac then headlined with this one illusion in the U.S.A for many years.
On his return to the U.K., Amac sold the original equipment and performing rights to The Great Lyle in 1941 for Lyle's "Cavalcade of Mystery" Show at the Aldwych Theatre in London. Amac also became Lyle's stage manager and toured with the show for a number of years. Lyle performed "Find the Lady" in all his shows on tour in the U.K. and around the world, and in his later "Mystery Box Revue". Lyle died in 1955. In 1960, Lucille Lyle sold Amac's original equipment for "Find the Lady" with sole performing rights to Granville Taylor.
Amac in the U.S.A.
"Amac", with his wife "La Velma", featured "Find the Lady" in his magic act at all the Number One theatres in the U.K., until he was seen in London by an American booker. The booker was very impressed with "Find the Lady", and he engaged Amac to audition just "Find the Lady" for agents in the USA to see just this one illusion. It was an immediate success, and as a result Amac was booked as a headline attraction at all the theatres in the USA for many years, with a full date book.
FAUST meets "AMAC".
FAUST was playing The Barn Restaurant in Solihull, near Birmingham, week commencing August 16th. 1960, having just bought Amac's "Find the Lady" from Lucille Lyle. By this time Amac had left the Lyle Show and was self-employed making and selling small pocket tricks that he had invented, including his "Educated Pencil", one of the most baffling pocket tricks ever invented, which can be closely inspected by spectators without them discovering the secret.
Faust obtained Amac's telephone number and arranged to meet him on the Saturday morning at the Kardomah Coffee House in Birmingham's city centre. Faust walked in at the appointed time, and a gentleman got up from a group of people at a corner table and came over to him. "Hello" he said, "I'm Amac." A long conversation followed. When Faust mentioned that he had just bought "Find the Lady", Amac remarked "Oh! I wondered what had happened to it!".
When Amac returned to the U.K., The Great Lyle was about to stage his "Cavalcade of Mystery" Show at the Aldwych Theatre in London for a season before going on tour with the show. Lyle bought Amac's original equipment, and also booked Amac as his stage manager. This was a wise move by Lyle, because he could rely on Amac to rig-up "Find the Lady", and to teach Lucille Lyle how to perform the illusion. Amac stayed with Lyle for year after year, with an increase in salary at intervals. Amac was a strict disciplinarian, and he made sure that the secrets of the workings of this illusion were closely guarded. Lyle had a notice posted on the inside of the stage door: "No Artistes or Strangers are allowed on stage during the Setting or Running of the Lyle Show. By Order. The Great Lyle." Even Lyle's own staff who were not involved in the presentation of "Find the Lady" were not allowed.
FAUST and "Find the Lady",
Granville Taylor worked for The Great Lyle in 1953 as a stage assistant. He was priviliged to witness the full presentation of "Find the Lady" twice nightly every week from backstage, as he operated one of the two spotlights up-stage, one either side, which were switched on for the vanish of the "Queen of Hearts", to show her in silhouette holding up a red sheet in front of herself.
However, it was not until he bought Amac's original equipment from Lucille Lyle in 1960, that he discovered all the secrets and everything that was involved in the rigging up and presentation.
Lucille Lyle presented Granville with a letter "To whom it may concern" to confirm that he was now the sole owner of Amac's original equipment, with sole performing rights throughout the world for "Find the Lady".
A review of Faust's act at the Collegiate Theatre in London for The Magic Circle's Annual Christmas Show, l969/70.
"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. The Daily Telegraph. December 30th. 1969.
A review of Faust's "Find the Lady" act at the Palace Pier Theatre in Brighton. (Summer Season l966). "Faust's act is brilliantly mystifying". Kollie Knox. Evening Argus. July 21st. 1966.
Granville Taylor (FAUST THE MAGICIAN) presented "Find the Lady" at several theatres in the U.K., at The Magic Circle annual Festival of Magic at the Collegiate Theatre in London, and for a Summer Season at the Palace Pier Theatre in Brighton.
Faust also presented "Find the Lady" at the Kokusai Theater in Tokyo in 1975, with his principal girl, Angie, as "The Queen of Hearts". With only three nights to rehearse this illusion, the "explanation" had to be omitted, so Faust decided not to have this illusion filmed at this magnificent venue.
Faust had to wait another 35 years before he got the opportunity to have it filmed, when a London film production company hired Faust's local Pendle Hippodrome Theatre in Colne in Lancashire for the week of April 11th to 15th in 2011, where they filmed the illusion on the 15th April. Here it was also filmed on the 15th by the theatre's own cameraman, John Morgan, who gave Faust a DVD copy of his filming of "Find the Lady" shortly afterwards.