Revision as of 10:36, 9 December 2009
Félicien Trewey (May 23, 1848 - December 2, 1920) was born Félicien-Francois Trewey in France. At the age of fifteen Trewey ran away from home to become a magician and tight rope walker. Trewey popularised the art of Shadowgraphy and Chapeaugraphy. During his career as a magician and vaudville performer, Trewey performed all over Europe and London.
In 1871, Trewey saw Fusier give a chapeaugraphy performance, and by 1875 he was performing thirty-two to thirty-five differently shaped hats. His act was called "Twenty-Five Heads Under One Hat. Trewey would pantomime different faces of the various characters beneath the hats he created. His performances were so successful in France, Britain, America and Europe that Chapaugraphy became known by the name of Treweyism.
Trewey was a friend of the Lumières and had appeared in several of their early films, including Assiettes tournantes (Spinning Plates); Chapeaux a transformation (Hat Transformation Tricks) (1895); and Partie d'écarté (A Game of Cards). On February 20, 1896, after the building of a one thousand seat theater in England, Trewey bought the Lumiere brothers to this stage for the first presentation of Cinematograph before a paying audience.
In 1889, he joined Alexander Herrmann in New York performing his Shadowgraphy act.
Trewey became one of the most popular entertainers in Paris during the latter half of the nineteenth century.
In Mahatma magazine (Oct. 1895) his skills as a magician was noted as:
- "In legerdemain he is equally fine, his dexterity in throwing cards being extraordinary; for he is able to project these little pieces of glazed cardboard from the stage of the Alhambra (the largest hall in Europe) to the furthest part of the top gallery. He also possesses great skill in the uncommon art of writing backwards any words selected by the audience and is a lightning sketch artist of ability".
- "The Art of Shadowgraphy - How it is done" (16 page booklet) (1893)
- Trewey by Henry Ridgely Evans, Mahatma Vol 6, No. 8 (February 1903)