Over the last five years, Dynamo’s ascent from unknown, working-class magician, hailing from the poverty-stricken Delph Hill estate on the outskirts of Bradford, in the north of England, to multi award-winning, global superstar, has been nothing short of miraculous.
The closest thing to a real life, comic book super-hero, Dynamo has walked (on water) across the river Thames, levitated in front of Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro and walked down the outside of the L.A Times building.
His hit TV show ‘Magician Impossible’ has enthralled over 400 million viewers across 180 territories since its inception in 2011 and won a cluster of awards, while his critically acclaimed live tour ‘Seeing is Believing’ quickly erupted from a 10 date run into a year-long behemoth, selling over 600,000 tickets and filling arenas across the UK and Australia. He’s the first magician in history to headline world famous arenas such as the O2 in London, Manchester’s MEN arena and the Rod Laver arena in Sydney.
This, coupled with numerous high profile brand deals (in recent years he’s been the face of Fiat and Pepsi, featuring on over 90m soft drink cans), a Sunday Times best selling autobiography and a plethora of merchandise products, have also made him one of the most marketable magicians in the world, recently featuring as the only non-American in Forbes magazine’s ‘Top 5 Magicians’ list… a far cry from his humble roots as the eldest son of a local Bradford hairdresser.
But it is Dynamo’s contribution to magic that is his most compelling achievement to date. A recipient of the prestigious ‘Magician of The Year’ award from the Academy of Magical Arts (often referred to as the ‘Oscars of Magic’), Dynamo has redefined the shape of modern magic for the millennial generation much like Blaine in the late 90’s and David Copperfield in the 1980s.
The autobiographical nature of Dynamo’s shows coupled with incredible close-up magic and a Banksy-esque approach to large-scale illusion (the big stunts are never pre-publicised and use well-known landmarks as their backdrop) have allowed him to connect with young people and reenergize the genre in a way not seen for a generation. With over 8 million fans across social media and over a billion online views laying testament to this impact, he has quickly secured himself as the most followed magician in the world and has shared his insights at the Cannes Lions festival, and Adweek alongside Facebook’s European VP Nicola Mendelsohn.
It is this impact that has helped Dynamo transcend the world of magic to become a bona fide cultural icon, with giants from the worlds of music, film and sport enthralled by his performances. Brad Pitt made a surprise visit to watch Dynamo’s live show with his kids as did fashion icon Kate Moss and artist Damien Hirst. Will Smith called Dynamo’s performance “Absolutely astonishing” and Cristiano Ronaldo and Jay-Z have both hired him to perform at private functions.
But despite his undeniable success and ever-expanding trophy cabinet, Dynamo remains a humble student of the magical arts, spending most of his time in isolation, honing the skills and ideas necessary to amaze and enthrall his audiences, “I honestly believe people need magic in their lives as it brings a sense of hope and wonder that is often lost in the day to day” he said in a recent interview.
And although he has now completed his 150-day international live tour and declared the final episode of Magician Impossible to be “his last”, at age 33 there are countless surprises still to come.