The Magic of Edgar Wilson Benyon
Featured in this week’s History of Magic is Edgar Wilson Benyon. New Zealand, being such a small country with a population of sheep and possums that far outnumbered the inhabitants, was where Benyon was born in 1901. He became known as the Great Benyon, the finest magical performer the country ever produced. Benyon was a man of many talents, beginning as a juggler, fire eater, and ventriloquist and was to add the further talents of mimicry, balancing, paper tearing, magic, mind reading and illusion and was mostly self-taught. From simple magic tricks, he became an extremely versatile and very skilled performer who worked at an incredibly fast pace. His act became known as the “The Same Man Different Clothes Act” because of the number of quick change costumes and clothes in his show. He saw adversity as a challenge that he seemed to always overcome.