This display, performed at the International Magic Awards in 1986, involves the couple essentially seeming to swap places with each other, while one is locked inside a chest. The speed at which this trick is executed is what makes it appear completely impossible! How did he get out from the box so quickly, while it was locked?! And how did she get into the box AND inside the bag, all in under a minute?!
The Magic Revealed
The secret here is a hidden hole and impeccable timing. There is a hole concealed at the back of the chest, which the audience and camera can’t see. If you take the time to notice, once Jonathon is inside the box, Charlotte takes an awfully long time dramatically sealing and locking box, giving her partner ample time to get out of the bag (through a hidden zip in the bag, of course), and out of the hole in the back of the box. The same goes for when Jonathon is unlocking the box. A lot of theatrics and melodramatic movements are made whilst unlocking the box to allow Charlotte time to get into the box as well as changing outfits! Basically the whole illusion comes down to incredibly quick and in-sync timing from the duo, and a little bit of trick-equipment.
The Pendragons were Jonathon and Charlotte Pendragon, a husband and wife illusions double act. They had been performing as an act since they met at University. With both of them having very athletic backgrounds, with gymnastics, dance and martial arts experience, the grace of carrying out famous illusions such as levitation and, as seen here, the metamorphosis came almost as a second nature to them. The pair were able to stun spectators with their abilities which launched their career in the industry into a very successful one.