JN Maskelyne was known as the father of modern magic in the Victorian era, building his career on challenging fraudulent spiritualists and charlatans as well as creating magical illusions that amazed Victorian audiences, and still astonish people today.
A man of contradictions, the play explores his human desire to break through to those in the afterlife whilst clinging to his scientific belief that it was not possible. He also insisted that all he did onstage was clever illusion, whilst encouraging people to believe the myth about his powers being granted by a mysterious gentleman.
But why did he explore dark magic? Were his powers supernatural? And who was the mysterious gentleman in black?
He died in 1917, and will return to the stage in 2017.