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Nik Taylor is Subject Area Leader in Drama, Theatre and Performance at the University of Huddersfield where he researches and lectures on Performance Magic and Creative Technical Theatre. He is co-editor of The Journal of Performance Magic.
He has worked as a performer, writer and director; working on a number of projects in the UK, Germany and France, including Discurs’96 & The Festival of Contemporary European Plays. He has designed for Performance City, FestCEP & Sapajou, produced a low budget feature, and performed as a dancing penguin.
As a Research Magician, he is coordinator of the Magic Research Group and is currently undertaking a research on Performing Real Magic(K): The Conjurer and Audience in Bizarre Magic. As a performer, Nik specialises in Bizarre Magic, Sideshow, Séance and Divination. Nik co-curates Mr Punch's Cabinet of Curiosities a dark museum of weird and haunted artefacts. He recently advised on the Thackray Medical Museum’s The Magic of Medicine exhibition and Proper Job Theatre’s Nosferatu and performed in Hester Reeve’s YMEDACA at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park.
He is a member of the International Brotherhood of Magicians and The British Society of Mystery Entertainers.
Research and Scholarship
Performance Magic, (particularly ‘Bizarre Magick’)
Nik’s key research interest is performance magic; from the big box illusionist to the close-up prestidigitator. His main focus is the dramaturgy of Bizarre Magic and Paranormal Entertainment. A majority of this work is practice-based, both through performing as a Mystery Entertainer and through teaching-based research with small groups of students. His most recent work examines narratives of performance magic and their relationship with the dramatic structure of legend texts.
Multimedia, performance interaction and immersion.
Nik is also interested in the use of multimedia within performance. His experiments in this area have involved digital scenography and projection mapping. Nik is keen to integrate Performance Magic research into this area, and has created a number of immersive/interactive experiences that use magic to create a visceral experience for the audience.
Publications and Other Research Outputs
Taylor, N (2016) ‘Strange Ceremonies: Creating Imaginative Spaces in Bizarre Magick’ The Luminary (7), pp. 54-63. ISSN 2056-9238
Taylor, N. and Nolan, S. (2015) ‘Letter from the editors’ Journal of performance magic , 3 (1), pp. 1-2. ISSN 2051-6037
Taylor, N. and Nolan, S. (2015) ‘Call for Papers’ Journal of performance magic , 3 (1), p. 57. ISSN 2051-6037
Taylor, N (2015) ‘Impersonating Spirits: The Paranormal Entertainer and the Dramaturgy of the Gothic Séance.’. In: New Directions in 21st-Century Gothic: The Gothic Compass. : Routledge. pp. 163-174. ISBN 1138810614
Taylor, N (2015) ‘The Fairy Goblet of Eden Hall to Hunting Mammoths in the Rain - experiencing the paraxial through performance magic and mystery entertainment.’. In: Tales Beyond Borders, 24-25 April 2015, The University of Leeds
Taylor, N. and Nolan, S. (2015) ‘Performing Fabulous Monsters: Re-inventing the Gothic Personae in Bizarre Magic’. In: Monstrous media/spectral subjects: Imaging Gothic from the nineteenth century to the present.. : Manchester University Press. pp. 128-142. ISBN 978-0-7190-8977-0
Taylor, N. and Nolan, S. (2014) ‘Call for papers’ Journal of performance magic , 2 (1), p. 59. ISSN 2051-6037
Taylor, N. and Nolan, S. (2014) ‘Letter from the Editors’ Journal of performance magic , 2 (1), p. 1. ISSN 2051-6037
Taylor, N (2014) The Gift of Hermes [Performance]
Taylor, N (2014) ‘Out of Tricks’. In: The Magiculum. London, UK: EyeCorner Press. pp. 101-111. ISBN 9788792633279
Taylor, N (2013) ‘Call for Papers’ Journal of performance magic , 1 (1), p. 69. ISSN 2051-6037
Taylor, N. and Nolan, S. (2013) ‘Letter from the Editors’ Journal of performance magic , 1 (1), p. 1. ISSN 2051-6037
Taylor, N (2013) ‘The Bizarnival of the Strange’ Mystic Menagerie: The Journal of Bizarre Magic , 1 (13), pp. 10-12.
Taylor, N. and Hoedt, M. (2012) ‘Magic and the M-word’. In: Liber Mentis. London: PSYCRETS. pp. 262-276. ISBN 9781291107326
Taylor, N (2011) Host / MC [Performance]
Taylor, N (2011) ‘More Than Just Tricks’. In: Tabula Mentis, 16th April 2011, The University of Huddersfield
Taylor, N (2011) ‘Introduction’. In: Scripting & Storytelling for Paranormal Entertainers. : Aken Productions. p. ix.
Taylor, N (2011) ‘Collective Delusion and the Madness of Crowds.’. In: Occult Magic 2: Into The Darkness. : Valentine Entertainments. pp. 43-47.
Taylor, N (2010) How Psychic are you? [Performance]
Taylor, N (2010) ‘Throw Six to Start’ Mystic Menagerie: The Journal of Bizarre Magic (3).
Taylor, N. and Nolan, S. (2009) ‘Performing Fabulous Monsters: Re-inventing the Gothic Personae in Bizarre Magic’. In: The Ninth Biannual Conference of the International Gothic Association, 21-24 July 2009, Lancaster University
Taylor, N (2009) A Performance of Bizarre Magick [Performance]
Taylor, N (2009) Many Magics [Performance]
Taylor, N (2007) England's Home of Mystery [Performance]
Research Degree Supervision
Nik is happy to supervise/co-supervise research students (MA by Research, MPhil, PhD) in areas related to his teaching and research specialisms. Nik is particularly interested in Performance Magic in the 20th/21th Century, theatre illusion and sideshow, and the relationship of the actor within a multimedia performance space. He would welcome enquires within the following broad subject areas.
- Performance Magic
- Technical theatre
- Multimedia in performance