Philip M. Bond is DOCTOR BONDINI, magician and illusionist.
Philip has developed a relaxed individual style much loved by children and adults. His main inspiration is the glamour and mystery of the great age of Victorian and Edwardian magicians. Coupling these traditional values with modern techniques and materials, Philip devises and builds his own illusions and produces his own shows for the delight of theatre audiences, as well as for numerous private and commercial clients. His shows often include song, dance and other specialities. One of his greatest delights is working with doves, which he also breeds, and his unique dove act is widely acclaimed. He is also known for his spectacular fire and water effects. Philip has been a member of the prestigious Magic Circle for over 30 years.
Philip’s shows The Fabulous Magic of Doctor Bondini, That Old Black Magic and Bondini have toured many times in the UK and have also travelled twice to the Irish Republic as well as to Oman and Finland. He has provided magic and illusion for numerous ballets, operas, musicals and plays as well as television and film productions. He spent four Christmas seasons in Lapland on the Search for Santa tours where he performed his stage show and close-up magic in the resort hotel as well as creating some major outdoor illusions, including The Flying Reindeer, the Vanishing Santa and the Miniature Elves’ Workshop. Philip has also performed close-up magic onboard aircraft, as well as cabaret and children’s magic onboard ship. He enjoys performing close-up magic for private and corporate events.
In 2004 Philip commissioned writer and director Tim Heath to work with him on a new interpretation of the classic tale of Merlin and King Arthur. The result was Merlin’s Secret, which toured with great success to numerous venues in the 2005/2006 season. Supported by a cast of actors and dancers Doctor Bondini assumed the role of Merlin and devised and presented numerous new illusions to complement the story. The show was well received and is expected to tour again in the future.
2011 saw a collaboration with dance artist Paula Templeman to devise an experimental piece, Delusions of Time, which explored the boundary between dance and illusion and included some new illusions specially produced for the project.
More recently Philip has joined forces with JezO, one of his children and a very busy comedy magician, host and children’s entertainer. Their shows WOW! This Show Is Magic and Magic! The Tour have visited theatres in the UK and they are looking forward to a ‘post lockdown’ tour of their new show Magic and Mayhem! Their collaboration and contrasting styles have been very successful, leading among other things to invitations to appear on Britain’s Got Talent and Tu Si Que Vales (Italy).
Philip is proud to head a family dynasty of entertainers, and to own one of the few remaining full-scale illusion shows in the UK today. He is above all a showman, believing passionately in the concept of good traditional family entertainment. His other work includes private and corporate entertainment as well as the design and production of props and effects for stage shows, film and television.
The Magic Flute (Opera East) – Magic Advisor & Illusion Builder; Big Top Circus (Harlow Ballet) – Ringmaster & Magic Advisor; The Pied Piper (Horsham Arts Centre) – Magic Advisor; Greek Fire (Transatlantic Films/Channel Four) – Art Director/Special Effects Designer; Alice in Wonderland (Harlow Ballet) – Mad Hatter and Magic Advisor; Hansel & Gretel (Opera East) – Magician; National Opera Studio – Magic Effects; The Sorcerer (Community Production) – Magician and Magic Advisor; Barnum (Cambridge Arts Theatre) – Magic and Special Effects; Cinderella (Pavilion Theatre, Bournemouth) – Magic Advisor; CBeebies Circus (BBC) – Guest Magician; The Nutcracker (Harlow Ballet) – Magic Advisor; Swan Lake (Harlow Ballet) - Magic Advisor; Hansel and Gretel (Royal Academy of Music) - Magic Advisor;
Other recent commissions include effects for Life in Progress (Sadler’s Wells); The Play That Goes Wrong (London and tour, USA, Russia and Australia); Peter Pan Goes Wrong (London and tour); I Believe in Unicorns (Vaudeville Theatre and tour); Beauty and the Beast (Worcester Live);
Septimus Bean, The Flying Machine, Jemima Puddle-Duck (Unicorn Theatre); Jack and the Beanstalk, Snow White, Beauty and the Beast, Peter Pan, Aladdin (Harlow Playhouse); Not Going Out (Avalon for BBC); 8 out of 10 Cats Does Countdown (Zeppotron); House on Cold Hill (touring); The Wolf of Wall Street (Hartshorn-Hook Enterprises); Don't Unleash the Beast (CPL Productions for CITV); BBC Philharmonic with Mr Tumble (BBC Philharmonic).
"One would not expect to find the illusions, pace and the ‘gasp factor’ of a Las Vegas style magic show in a sleepy corner of Cambridgeshire, but Wow! This Show is Magic gave the audience just that…With a father and son working together it could have ended up as an edition of The Generation Game, but actually it was a triumph from two unique performers and was really The Best of Magic."