By Andy Hirst
A Huddersfield magician, illusionist and escapologist renowned for his fun family shows is just starting his 11th consecutive season in Blackpool.
Michael Jordan works under the stage name High Jinx and is starring at Blackpool Tower. The world famous venue is operated by Merlin Entertainments who describe High Jinx as “a world class contemporary variety show.”
The 31-year-old from Scapegoat Hill in Huddersfield has been on TV several times and even taught legendary American magicians Penn and Teller how to spin plates.
Michael, a natural born entertainer, is also a circus skills expert and his show features a seven-strong cast, including wife Tamsyn.
Michael said: “We’ve a couple of new illusions this year that will have people on the edge of their seats. At one stage expect to see me dangling high above the stage in a box.”
Thrill-seekers will also see him plunge swords into a glass cage while Tamsyn is in there in a death-defying illusion called Excalibur.
Michael added: “What’s really great after the pandemic is that we can get some audience participation going again and it’s wonderful to encourage people up on stage to help me with some of the tricks and illusions.”
One of those is called Get Your Phone Back and, as you’ll see, it’s a brave person indeed who hands their mobile over to Michael.
The 90-minute fast-paced show moves from magic to illusions to circus skills including juggling, unicycling, stilt-walking and fire-eating.
Michael and High Jinx are well known in Europe as he has toured with the famous Le Festival International de Magie in France for several years, a travelling magic show which features Europe’s exceptional magicians with the focus on laughs and magic.
He got his first big break when he appeared on a TV show hosted by world-famous magicians Penn and Teller. He had to do an illusion which entailed him sawing a girl into five and they had to work out how it was done.
“I don’t like to do things by halves which is why she ended up in five bits,” joked Michael. “It got me known though and gave me the break I needed to really get started with my career.”
Later on when Penn and Teller wanted to add plate-spinning to their repertoire they asked Michael to teach them so he filmed special video tutorials for the duo.
A short time after the Penn and Teller TV appearance Michael received two offers at the same time in 2012 … doing magic on a Disney cruise or a summer season at Blackpool’s Pleasure Beach.
He chose Blackpool and the venue was the landmark Horseshoe Bar at the front of the Pleasure Beach where Michael had seen the famous Mystique magic show when he was a child.
He said: “To go back there to do my own show was something I just couldn’t turn down. The Mystique show meant the Horseshoe Bar had become an iconic venue in magic circles.”
Michael did three summer seasons there and then switched to the Viva cabaret venue next to Blackpool Tower where he did a further six summers.
In 2020 Merlin Entertainments, which operates the entertainment at Blackpool Tower, asked him to stage his show in the tower itself alongside Blackpool Tower Circus for the days and evenings when the world-famous circus wasn’t performing. He’s doing the same this year.
Michael now has a busy schedule of bookings this year including several Haven holiday parks and food festivals across Yorkshire.
TV shows and dramas often contact High Jinx (https://www.highjinx.co.uk/) to loan equipment or to get Michael to do a stunt. He’s juggled knives dressed as a clown in comedy drama Shameless, unicycled down a path on Emmerdale and breathed out fire on Hollyoaks.
Britain’s Got Talent hired a couple of his routines to help a contestant on the show and Michael has also helped out Strictly Come Dancing with illusion props for spectacular dance routines.
High Jinx will be at Blackpool Tower for matinees starting at 2.30pm on August 12, 19 and 26; September 2 and October 21. All these dates are Fridays.
He’ll also be doing an evening show starting at 7pm on Bank Holiday Monday, August 29. To book tickets click HERE.
* Written by ANDY HIRST who runs his own Yorkshire freelance journalism agency AH! PR (https://ah-pr.com/) specialising in press releases, blogging and copywriting. Copyright Andy Hirst.