IF YOU’RE around Darren Langford then you’d better watch out – ghosts might appear, heads may roll and demons could come out of nowhere.
The 25-year-old is making a name for himself in the theatre world with his magical illusions and is in demand for his often gruesome tricks.
The young magician, of The Orchard, Denmead, baffled audiences of the play Darker Shores at London’s Hampstead Theatre by making books fly off tables, candles blow out on their own accord, and a spirit appear out of a bed which suddenly overflows with water.
And while working on Doctor Faustus at Manchester’s Royal Exchange he created realistically gory scenes including a doctor’s head being cut off and a replacement one growing out of his body and a devil appearing out of a roast pig.
Darren, who works under the stage name Darren Lang, said: ‘I love watching the audience and seeing their reaction and enthusiasm when one of my illusions works well. It makes me feel proud, but at the same time I feel relieved that it has actually worked.’
Darren has been practising magic since the age of eight, and at 12 he was taken under the wing of local magician Ken Best, from Fareham.
Aged 14, he had joined the Portsmouth and District Magic Circle and by 16 he was performing magic at children’s parties and functions.
One of his first gigs was for the daughter of former Pompey goalkeeper Shaka Hislop.
‘Looking back on it now, it was probably one of the worst performances I have ever done,’ he said.
‘I am a massive Pompey fan and had a season ticket at the time, and I was totally star-struck to see half the team and all their children looking at me and watching 16-year-old me do magic for them.
‘But I just loved performing magic – I never dreamed I could make a career out of it.’
Darren is currently working on two mysterious projects for future productions.
But in true Magic Circle style he has been sworn to secrecy until nearer the time of release.