Illusionist Keith Barry gave his audience more of a fright than they bargained for during his ‘8 Deadly Sins’ show at Dublin’s Olympia Theatre last weekend, when he blacked out during an escape stunt.
The Waterford-born performer, renowned for his daring exploits and eagerness to push the boundaries saw his daring backfire on him when he became unable to breath when his face was bound with cling film.
Barry had successfully performed the stunt on numerous occasions since the show opened last month, each time freeing his body from a chair it was strapped to in time to rip off the cling film.
On this occasion he had been wrapped by two volunteers randomly picked from the audience who, it would appear, had bound him tighter than usual.
The award-winning magician fainted for several seconds and, when he came to, broke off a chair leg to free himself and unpeel the clingfilm.
He later handed over €500 to the volunteers, as the rules state he must pay the sum if he doesn’t escape in less time than it took to tie him up.
Speaking afterwards, he admitted he’d failed in his routine.
“At the end of the show, I do a big escape,” he said. “There’s 100 feet of rope and another smaller piece of rope, which is about four feet long. So with the smaller piece of rope I get volunteers to bind my hands together first.
“With the 100ft of rope, I get two people from the audience to tie me whatever way they want. This comes under the sin of ‘greed’, because I tell them if I can’t get out in less time than it takes for them to tie me up, I pay them €250 each.
“So they get really greedy and they tend to give me rope burns and tie me up really tight. If that’s not enough, I get my head tied up in cling film.”
Said Keith: “I have trained my lung capacity to be larger than normal to be able to do this. If you wrap your head in clingfilm even once you can’t breathe. I get them to wrap it three times round my face, then we’re into it.
“But I blacked out on stage trying to get out. One of the volunteers tied me in such a way that I couldn’t. Nobody came on to help me because Id told the lads not to come on unless I’m passed out for about 10 to 15 seconds.”