Enter stage, the second of three intrinsic influences in the making of Magic Show. The story of a silent screen icon is renowned in his own time as he is today. Talented in all manner of fields, a perfectionist filmmaker and legendary vessel for comedy, Sir Charlie Chaplin.
Charles Spencer Chaplin was born 16th April 1889 to Hannah Chaplin and Charles Chaplin, Sr. a pair of music hall entertainers with limited success.
Chaplin’s childhood was turbulent with poverty and hardship. Besides little to no means of an income, his mother’s mental health deteriorated, whilst his absent father’s alcoholism consumed him. The young Chaplin was sent to the workhouse by the age of seven.
It was during this time that Chaplin began to perform on stage, touring music halls with dance acts. Though dissatisfied with it, he pursued an acting career.
Aged fourteen, a theatrical agency in London’s West End gave Chaplin his first role as a newsboy in Jim, a Romance of Cockayne. The show was unsuccessful and closed after two weeks, yet Chaplin’s comic performance was highlighted and praised in many of the reviews.
Chaplin continued to act, gaining momentum and rising in fame. By 1909 he had secured starring roles in English troupes and later became a lead performer in the prestigious Karno comedy company, touring North America’s vaudeville circuit.
Six months into their second tour, the New York Motion Picture Company invited Chaplin to work in film. It was at Keystone Studios where the actor created the famous character, The Tramp, and by 1915 Chaplin’s worldwide successes cemented him as a cultural phenomenon.
With the advent of United Artists, co-founded by Chaplin in 1919, the actor gained complete control over his productions. He would write, direct, produce, edit, and even compose the music for most of his motion pictures.
The movies Chaplin made were defined by humourous slapstick in combination with heartfelt pathos for characters. Behind brilliant comedy, there was great depth layered within the narrative of his films. Inspired, we set out to achieve the same balance within our picture Magic Show.