Magician, illusionist, escapologist, showman and more. Andrew Van Buren grew up touring the world with his parents’ illusion show. Appearing in theatre, cabaret, on film sets, television studios, fairs and circus. His first time on stage was actually at six weeks old – in the Great Room Grosvenor House, Park Lane, London. This all allowed Andrew to serve a childhood apprenticeship, gaining invaluable experience within the entertainment industry. All before branching out into performing his own act at a very young age.
Working in amazing shows with his parents, who were not only magician illusionists but also creators, inventors and builders of new illusions too. Andrew experienced life not just on stage but also behind the scenes in summer seasons, on film sets, and touring around the world. He gained performance and practical experience whilst watching from the ‘wings’ and learning from the celebrities, stars and other amazing speciality acts of the time.
Andrew then at a young age took the step to launch his own career. He worked his way up developing his circus skills act as an alternative to the family trade of magician and illusionist. Gaining his own experience and always retaining a love of showbusiness history, whilst constantly looking towards the future. Once established in his own right Andrew then took over performing the family magic and illusions, taking on the role of magician and illusionist but with the addition of quality specialty act style circus skills. When these skills were combined it created something totally new, the illusion show with a twist of Variety and Circus.
Continuing the creativity of his family Andrew has over the years developed new shows, effects and always uniquely combined and utilising his family skills of magic and illusions with his own “circus skills” of trick cycling, juggling and escapology. Andrew now regularly appears on television, notably as a ‘Gameshow expert’ performing his famous plate spinning routines – with real plates! This has allowed Andrew to establish himself as a provider of unique entertainment that appeals to all ages.
Andrew is a Gold Star Member of The Inner ‘Magic Circle’. A member of ‘Association of Independent Showmen’. Equity. Also the charity organisation ‘The Grand Order of Water Rats’. As well as part of the European Parliaments Judging Committee for the Big Top Label Award system.
Andrew tours the world with his partner Allyson Ford Van Buren who is a performer in her own right. Allyson is not only a trained dancer, choreographer and make-up artist. When working with larger companies of ‘assistants’ Allyson is the show’s head girl and magic “box jumper”. Sometimes revolving the role as magician. Allyson is a proud member of the Charity Organisation ‘The Grand Order of Lady Ratlings’, also Equity.
Often performing with a diverse range of names. From contemporary performers including Harry Hill, Peter Kay, Paul O Grady, Johnny Vegas, Sherrie Hewson, Sue Perkins, Mel Giedroyc, Lorraine Kelly and Richard Osman. To touring with variety veterans Danny La Rue, John Inman, Cannon & Ball, Hinge & Bracket, Little & Large, Ken Dodd and many more. Also regularly appearing on stage in special Celebrity shows with the cast of award winning television ‘Soap’ Coronation Street.
Hundreds of repeated television appearances, often as the game show plate spinner. Including Stephen Mulhern’s Get Your Act Together with Sherrie Hewson, Blue Peter (three times), Ant & Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway, The Generation Game (three times), Judge Jules Spin Cities (all episodes), The Slammer (Series 1 to 3 opening sequence), Cilla Black’s Moment of Truth (twice), Noel Edmonds Telly Years, Extreme Cake Makers plus many more. Als0 films, music videos and adverts to name just a few.
As well as keeping busy performing Andrew has advised on several television and theatre shows, productions and tours. These include Royal Shakespeare Company production of Julius Caesar. Numerous productions of Barnum the Musical and The Rocky Horror Show. Houdini the Play theatre tour with BAFTA award winning actor, producer, writer, director Stuart Brennan and ‘Harry Potter’ actress Evanna Lynch (Luna Lovegood). Also New Vic Theatre’s hugely popular Astley’s Astounding Adventures.
Andrew has also originated, created and is involved in several varied external projects. The recent largest impacting, he is director of the Philip Astley Project. Celebrating the historic and cultural legacy of Philip Astley – the military hero who created the circus. This project resulted in collaborations with the V&A Museum, plus universities and scholars around the world, creating exhibitions, talks, symposiums, shows, films, plays, plus a number of public art installations.
During 2018 Andrew along with HSH Prince Albert and Princess Stephanie of Monaco unveiled a monument in Monte Carlo to the Original Ringmaster Philip Astley.
For more details about Andrew’s parents Fred Van Buren and Greta and life growing up in showbusiness, look at the fascinating Family History Page