Published: December 24, 2010
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Meet SBF Members Richard & Hayley Jane, an illusionist and a former dancer, now partners, both on stage and in life.
Richard won The Magic Circle’s prestigious Young Magician Of The Year earning him immediate entry to the club. A year later he won The International Brotherhood Of Magicians Silver Shield and then went on to win The British Magical Championships - becoming the first magician ever to win all three national awards.
Hayley Jane started her showbiz career as a dancer. That took her to The Royal Academy, The Barbican Theatre and at The Royal Festival Hall, all in London. TV, fashion shows and pantomimes followed before she began a life at sea, where she met Richard.
Read their interview and find out about the Magic World of Illusionism.
Richard & Hayley Jane Griffin

Thursford Christmas Spectacular
Hayley Jane & Richard
  • How old were you when you started dancing and what inspired you to take it up?
    Quote ...It is great that my dancing knowledge comes into play as well as Richard's magic. I guess we are a good team!...
    Hayley Jane Griffin
    Hayley Jane Griffin I was 3 years old when my Mum took me to my first ballet class, basically I wanted the pink ballet outfit!

  • How did you become involved in the illusion act?
    Hayley Jane Griffin After training 3 years at Laine Theater Arts, I graduated and got my first job on a cruise ship. I completed my first 6-month contract and they asked me to go onto another ship for another 6 months. When I was there I met Richard, who was doing his own magic show. Soon after we decided to expand the show with illusions. We rehearsed for 1 month, then went on our first ship together. We have now been performing our illusion show for 11 years and are married!

  • How did you first become interested in magic and how did you break into the business?
    Richard Griffin When I was 11 I went on holiday with my family to France and there was a magician there who showed me some tricks. I was hooked immediately and when I got home I went to the local library and read up on magic. Soon after I joined some magic clubs and practiced hard. I then went on to kids shows and entered magic competitions, which I won. This lead to getting an agent and I have now been performing on cruise ships for 12 years. Thursford Christmas Spectacular
Richard in dove act

  • You are now performing in the Thursford Christmas Spectacular. Please tell us about your experience in it?
    Richard Griffin It is simply the best Christmas show in the country, where 130,000 people see it every year. The cast are so talented and it really feels like a family atmosphere backstage. We have cast events also like bowling, karaoke and even a cabaret night!

  • Hayley Jane Do you have to adapt your magic depending on the audience or venue?
    Richard Griffin All the time! All stages are different and with magic you have to be aware of your audience and what they can see. This stage at Thursford is 110 ft wide, but the choreographers make sure that the whole stage is used.

  • What is your favorite magic/illusion you perform and why?
    Richard Griffin I have worked with doves at the start of my career and won every major magic competition with them, so I am very fond of that act. As we have been working on cruise ships for 12 years we cannot take the doves, so it has been very nice in the Thursford show to be able to produce a dove once more!
    London, Hamleys Toy Shop
Richard after a private magic show for Michael Jackson during his Dangerous Tour
  • What has been the highest/most memorable moment in your career?
    Richard Griffin It has to be performing a private magic show for Michael Jackson in 1991 during his Dangerous tour at Hamleys toy shop in London. I showed him my dove act and now have a signed picture with him that I will treasure.

    Hayley Jane Griffin For me it has to be performing for Prince William at this year's Thursford Christmas show, it was a great honor.

  • Where do you get your inspiration for tricks and illusions?
    Hayley Jane in the split illusion Richard Griffin We both like to update our show and change it as often as we can to keep us on our toes! We normally talk all year about ideas and it is a matter of finding time in between shows to rehearse. We then spend time choosing music and costumes to complement the illusion.

    Hayley Jane Griffin It is great that my dancing knowledge comes into play as well as Richard's magic. I guess we are a good team!

    Quote ...It is simply the best Christmas show in the country...
    Richard Griffin
  • What is your most difficult trick?
    Richard Griffin Card manipulations are very hard and take a lot of practice and patience. A move can take years to get right.

    Hayley Jane Griffin I would have to say the quick change act that I am doing in the Thursford Christmas show. It is very technical and has taken 2 years to get it up to speed.

  • Your technical knowledge has been used on "Mr Bean", "The Paul Daniels Magic Show", "The Brian Conley Show" and for The Royal Shakespeare Company. Please tell us more.
    Richard Griffin Richard Griffin Sometimes TV shows need a magic advisor especially when handling doves. They would contact me and I taught Rowan Atkinson and Paul Daniels how to produce a dove.

  • Do magicians ever trade secrets?
    Richard Griffin Yes, at magic conventions and whenever you buy and sell new ideas.

  • What are your plans for the future?
    Richard Griffin We are booked to cruise again just after this show finishes on Jan 8th for 3 months in Tahiti. We cruise 10 months out of the year and have an agent that keeps us really busy. We really hope to return back to the Thursford Christmas show next year, because it has been so much fun to be a part of.

  • What advice would you have to give to aspiring magicians?
    Richard Griffin Practice hard and try to be original.

  • What do you think of ShowBiz Friends?
    Richard Griffin It's a great site for just us in the business!

    Thank you Richard & Hayley Jane for this great interview!