Friday 23 February 2018

Barry blacks out as rope stunt goes horribly wrong

Keith Barry
Illusionist Keith Barry
Keith with the two volunteers who tied him up during the show at Dublin's Olympia Theatre when his escape routine backfired

Kevin Keane

ILLUSIONIST Keith Barry lost consciousness when a stunt before hundreds of fans went horribly wrong.

An audience at Dublin's Olympia Theatre looked on as Barry found himself unable to breathe, tied to a chair and with no control over his hands or legs.

He admitted last night that he may have pushed things too far.

"I wouldn't say it was a near-death experience, but it certainly wasn't a good experience."

In the dangerous escape trick, which comes at the climax of his show 'Eight Deadly Sins', the Waterford-born entertainer offers €500 to two members of his audience if they can successfully tie him to a chair.

"Basically I find the two strongest guys in the audience and give them 100ft of rope. Then I tell them to tie me any way they want to a chair, pretty much with no rules, and then they wrap my head in cling film so I can't breathe at all. The idea then is that I have to get out in less time than it took them to tie me up."

But things began to go wrong last weekend when the cling film was wrapped around Barry's face too many times.

"They tied me up so tight, that I couldn't get out so I blacked out, probably for about five seconds."

Despite losing control over his arms and legs Barry explained that he knew his only chance of recovering was to remain calm.

"If fear overcomes you then you're not going to get out."

Eventually Barry recovered sufficiently to free his arms and rip the cling film from his mouth and nose.

Once free, Barry handed over the €500 reward to the two audience members as promised.

"I failed. People ask if there's a trick to this. There's no trick to this. It took me about a full minute over the time allotted so I had to pay them off on the spot, 250 quid each."

Happily, the 34-year-old only has to perform the trick two more times at his final shows at the Olympia this Friday and Saturday.

Irish Independent

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