The appropriately titled Woody Allen short film ‘Oedipus Wrecks’ was one of three short films, the other two being Martin Scorsese’s ‘Life Lessons’ and Francis Ford and Sofia Coppola’s ‘Life Without Zoe’, that comprised the very entertaining anthology ‘New York Stories’, three films that celebrate life in the Big Apple.

There’s a very  funny, memorable scene in ‘Oedipus Wrecks’. A magician is on stage and Woody Allen’s mother has been put in a large box. The magician has a large saw in his hand and is about to start sawing his way into the box. The camera shifts to Woody Allen’s face. Allen has this bizarre, deranged, maniacal smile on his face. It’s like all his Hanukkah’s (it’s like Christmas for Jewish people) are coming at once. Finally his mother will be out of his life…

Well, tomorrow is the 100th anniversary of the most famous of magic tricks, as Maxwell Smart would say, the old sawing in half trick, the illusion first performed by PJ Selbit.

To mark the occasion London’s The Magic Circle is streaming a special show looking back at the history of the illusion and talking to some of the industry’s biggest names.

Michael J Fitch, 42, from Marks Tey, will be presenting the show.

Michael has been helping the Magic Circle produce content for its Facebook page during the pandemic. He said: “Even 100 years later it is still one of the first things people think of with magicians.

“It is one of the magic things which has stuck with everybody.”

There will be interviews with Debbie McGee, a saw in half illusion from Sooty and a trip to Las Vegas to see David Copperfield.

The show will be streamed on the Magic Circle Unlooked Facebook page from 6pm London time on Sunday (January 17).


Featured image: Michael Fitz is sawed in half by presenter Alison Hammond








part of the 1989 anthology  ‘New York Stories’ which com