My name is Dave Brown and I was a performing magician for nearly 30 years until I fell off a stage while performing in Germany. The damage done to my spine was the last in a long line of accidents sustained "in the line of duty". If I was going to do a gag it was not going to be half hearted - I did not want to cheat my audience.

I was never a great fan of show-business and consequently spent my performing career on the fringe. To be fair, there is nothing wrong with the idea of show-business transporting an audience to a much happier place - it just wasn't real enough for me. I was looking for something seated in reality and I found it on the street.

I became a street performer in Covent Garden at a time when we were harassed by the police and council officials.

My best friends are all from the Covent Garden period, a group of us formed a company called the Magnificent Seven and we performed, mostly, improvised comedy every Monday evening in a small theatre in Chelsea. This was a fantastic time and we developed a cult following (the only cult following me at present is the Moonies - an old joke but I still like it).

My act was largely experimental but was honed on the cobbles of Covent Garden then I took to performing in Comedy Clubs (it was called Alternative Theatre/Comedy in those days) and the University Circuit here in the UK at a time when there was a backlash against magicians who were seen as sexist and just irritating. I did very well on the University Circuit because my act was so original and eventually from being one of a few acts on the bill I became a top act with my own supporting acts. Then I became bored - the laughs could be relied on and the applause was right on cue - it wasn't a challenge any more.

I decided to leave the country and that's when I came to understand what a challenge really consists of.

Read about some of my travels in the Travel Stories section of this website.

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