Magician, illusionist, escapologist and more – Andrew Van Buren grew up touring the world with his parents’ illusion show, appearing in theatre, cabaret, on film sets, studios and in circus. His first time on stage was actually at six weeks old – in the Great Room Grosvenor House, London. This allowed Andrew to serve a childhood apprenticeship within the entertainment industry before branching out into performing his own act at a very young age.
After working with his parents in amazing shows, summer seasons and tours, Andrew took the step to launch his own career, worked his way up with his own circus skills act, gaining his own experience and always retaining a love of showbusiness history, whilst constantly looking towards the future.
Continuing the creativity of his family Andrew has over the years developed new shows, effects and uniquely combined his family skills of magic and illusions with his own new “circus skills” of trick cycling, juggling and escapology. Andrew also regularly appears on television, notably as a ‘Gameshow expert’ performing his famous plate spinning routines – with real plates!
Andrew is a Gold Star Member of The Inner ‘Magic Circle’, also ‘Association of Independent Showmen’ and 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, also when working with larger companies of ‘assistants’ Allyson is the show’s head girl and magic “box jumper”. Allyson is a 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.
Hundreds of repeated television appearances, often as the game show plate spinner, include 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, Cilla Black’s Moment of Truth (twice), Noel Edmonds Telly Years, Extreme Cake Makers plus many more, including films, music videos and adverts to name just a few.
As well as keeping busy performing Andrew has advised on several shows, productions and tours, including Royal Shakespeare Company production of Julius Caesar, Houdini the Play theatre tour, numerous productions of Barnum the Musical, The Rocky Horror Show and the New Vic Theatre’s Astley’s Astounding Adventures.
Andrew has also originated, created and is involved in several varied external projects. The recent largest impacting, that he is director of, is 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