‘Draíocht’ airs nationwide on October 11th, 2016.
Recently, an exhilarating new TV series took the Irish airwaves by storm, starring Rua. This ground breaking series blends the amazement of close-up magic filmed on the streets of Dublin with the psychological intricacies of large-scale Mentalism routines, and the excitement of Death Defying Escapology Challenges that would make even Houdini himself wet the bed! The series re-airs once again on October 11th, 2016 – so keep your eyes peeled for this incredible new 10 part series, and watch closely!
Produced by Midas Productions (www.midasproductions.ie) for TG4, Draíocht is the first series of its nature to be broadcast entirely through the Irish language, and the latest Magic series on national television since Keith Barry’s ‘Close Encounters with Keith Barry’ in 2004 (also Produced by Midas Productions). The series runs for 10 half-hour episodes each week, as well as repeats during the week and wis be suitable for any and all family audiences who might be looking for a thrill!
If you’d like to see some more clips of Rua performing live on TV, you can you do by clicking on any of the videos below:
You can also view a teaser trailer for the Draíocht series by watching the video below:
Until then, here are a few quick answers to questions you may have. In Rua’s own words!
Magic is one of the oldest forms of entertainment and can be traced back as far as the days of witchcraft and wizardry. Over time, it has evolved into an incredibly popular and sophisticated form of entertainment that has transcended the restrictions of the stage and moved into the world of broadcast television with the help of people like David Copperfield, Tommy Cooper and David Blaine. In 1997, David Blaine changed the way Magic is viewed on television through his ground breaking special ‘David Blaine: Street Magic‘, on ABC. By taking the camera’s focus off the Magician and onto the incredulous reactions of his spectators, we all began to feel the exact same sense of astonishment that they did! And by creating this connection between audiences at home with the people on the streets of NYC, Blaine revolutionized TV magic, and pioneered a brand new style of performance, which we now know as ‘Street Magic’. Since then, magic and Mind Reading has always been a success on television, be it through David Blaine, Derren Brown, Keith Barry or Dynamo!
In Draíocht, we feature our own interpretation of Street Magic, and you’ll witness the real-time reactions to my effects, whether it’s for a crowd at the bottom of Grafton Street in Dublin, or a family at the top of Shop Street in Galway! Magic is an incredibly unique performance art that gives me the ability to stop you on the street and show you something unbelievable, whether you’re on your lunch break, on your way home from school or just out shopping, magic can stop you in your tracks and bring a smile to everybody’s face!
Throughout my career there has always been one figure looming in the background and silently daring me to step out of my comfort zone. That figure is Ehrich Weiss, aka. Harry Houdini – the world’s first escapologist. In the late 1800′s Houdini brought amazement and excitement to a depression-ridden America through his illusions and massive public demonstrations of escapology. He existed as a gigantic metaphor for over-coming tough times and escaping difficult situations when there was no plausible way out. He became America’s first superhero!
I’ve devoted my entire magic life to studying the history, techniques and writings of Harry Houdini, in the hopes that one day I might have the opportunity to step into his shoes and if possible, push the envelope in terms of what an ordinary human being is capable of doing. Because of the huge amount of training required and the risks a performer must take, there aren’t many Professional Escapologists working in the world today, which gave me another desire to present this unique art form to an Irish audience. As a result of this series, I have officially become the world’s youngest TV Escapologist! The most fascinating thing about escapology is that it always confronts the common fears of the general public, such as a fear of heights, a fear of drowning or being buried alive, a fear of being burnt to death or even a claustrophobic fear of being trapped in a dark room where the walls are closing in on you.
By confronting some common fears I hope to inspire the public through my performances, in some small way, to over-come their own restrictions and face their fears. After all, a life lived in fear is a life half lived.
Simple really, I’ve been speaking Irish since I was five years old – I went to Scoil Lorcáin in Monkstown and Coláiste Eoin in Stillorgan – both are Irish-Speaking schools. I love the national language and I’m incredibly eager to share it with the world. Embarking on such a massive series was an incredible opportunity to develop my Irish speaking abilities and meet some really cool like-minded people along the way. Every day we spent filming on the streets we were overwhelmed by people of all ages who were beyond eager to take part in the show and to use their cúpla focal (‘few words’ in Irish) where they could!
Magic can be both visual and cerebral, which makes it incredibly accessible to people of all ages and nationalities! It’s for this reason that I’m confident that everybody from Grannies and Grandads, husband and wives, brothers and sisters or boyfriends and girlfriends will enjoy watching Draíocht, whether they speak Irish or not! It’s certainly been an incredible opportunity and experience for me, and I really hope it inspires a few more performance artists to follow suit and introduce the Irish language into their own work.