SORCAR: THE MASTER MAGICIAN
By Krishan H. Gandhi, Journalist, Nairobi, Africa. Reprinted from The East African Illustrated Weekly, Picha, Nairobi, Kenya State, Africa, March 1, 1959.
A magician of international fame, P.C. Sorcar, has arrived in this country. He opened his East African
tour in Nairobi last week at the Liberty Cinema in the presence of a capacity crowd. He had arrived in Nairobi earlier, accompanied by his troupe of 15 assistants and about 10 tons of equipment, direct from Tehran.
Sorcar is an expert in his art and is considered to be the greatest magician in the world. He proved this during his shows here.
The highlights of the gala performance in Nairobi was the sawing of a woman in half. This he did in a very realistic manner by a power-driven circular saw. The woman was at first hypnotised and then placed on an open table on the stage and then cutting half through her stomach, to the amazement of all present. It was not just the cutting of the woman in half, the woman was actually lifted from the table and shown to the public in two halves! To the relief of the audience, the woman who was sawn in half, later appeared on the stage-hale and hearty. It is said that during the performance of this item in Singapore at least 30 people fainted. To perform this very same trick, Sorcar and his entire party was air-lifted from Calcutta to New York to appear on the Coast to Coast colour television network of American National Broadcasting Corporation. For this act, Sorcar was paid a sum of 15,000 U.S. dollars.
Another item which created a sensation was when Sorcar cut off a piece of tongue of one of his assistants, who, he said, "talked too much". Before he did this, he invited all the doctors and press reporters present, to the stage to enable them to have a closeup view of this act. Sorcar explained that he was able to do this extraordinary operation by sending back all the blood in the tongue to the heart. A pin was pricked in the tongue to confirm this and when no blood was left in the tongue, a piece was cut off and was inspected by those present on the stage. This piece was later on joined to the tongue. The doctors and reporters confirmed that the tongue was genuine and not that of an animal or an artificial one made of rubber or sponge.
He performed many other equally good and interesting items. One, which brought the house down, was when he asked several members of the public to write on a blackboard any figure or sentence in any language of the world. No sooner had those concerned written whatever they wished than Sorcar immediately read back the figures and sentences or copied the drawings on the same board- all this when completely blind-folded with a dark thick handkerchief tied on his eyes which had also been plastered with wet flour dough. Other items included a number of card of tricks and several items in which he vanished his assistants as well as several birds from the stage. In one scene he produced four alive ducks from an empty trough by firing a shot in the air with a gun. During the last item of the show, while performing on the stage, he disappears from the stage and reappears in the auditorium of the theatre while the onlookers are all wonder struck to see him appear in the auditorium from nowhere.
Sorcar's own orchestra provided excellent Indian background music during the performance. The stage was very nicely decorated and the background curtains were really very attractive and provided good settings for each individual item. At the end of the programme, Sorcar praised the beauty that is Nairobi. He said that he was greatly impressed by the hospitality of its people and commended on the number of cars that were to be seen in the City.
Sorcar, who is 46, was born in India in a family of magicians. He has travelled around the world though this is his first trip to Africa. We are indeed fortunate to have amongst us a really great and world-renowned artist in the name of Sorcar.