A year ago, I found the classic show The Secret Cabaret had a website and finally was available on DVD. Aussie TV censorship made sure the whole thing was never seen here and my friends did not believe what I told them about it. I heard some bastard tried to close down the Secret Cabaret site and won't let one of the greatest magic artists ever show any of his own work or sell the DVD of his own magic series! When I discovered that Mr Drake had hassles regarding this site, I checked if the domain was available. It was, so I bought it and here it is so my mates finally believe me that this amazing show once happened. I am really proud to now own this site! Get the DVD it's incredible!
The 12 half-hour programs consisted of a mix of the bizarre and surreal along with traditional magic illusions, often performed with gruesome twists. Originally conceived by Simon Drake, this unique TV series featured some of the most visually stunning and shocking illusions ever to be seen in the history of television.
Simon's TV series broke new ground because it was the first to present dark entertainment, a forerunner to the offbeat TV magic of Criss Angel and David Blaine. Simon's hit TV series that has earned him an international cult following and was praised by TV critics and nominated for a Royal Television Society award, unusual for a magic production.
Many believe The Secret Cabaret was Simon's first TV work but this isn't so. At a youthful age he already had over 20 TV appearances under his belt and was very well known in the business for his full magic productions.
During the 80's - when Paul Daniels ruled British television and was immensely popular - Simon pitched his Secret Cabaret concept to two competing TV producers. His idea was to create a bold new magic TV series aimed at younger audiences who were looking for something beyond glitzy entertainment.
In 1989 Open Media Productions were commissioned to make six half-hour programs featuring dark-edged, fast-paced and challenging illusions. With the intensity of shooting many complex manipulation routines and dangerous illusions, the shows were very difficult to produce. There were stunt advisors on hand and during the series he was set on fire and actually hung by the neck, although this scene was cut and never shown on TV.
The Secret Cabaret achieved very good ratings and quickly developed cult status. At the end of his second series Simon toured to packed houses all over Europe.
The shows proved to be way ahead of their time and many prominent magicians including the vastly knowledgeable Patrick Page cite it as the best TV magic ever made.