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Nick Mohammed, The Pleasance, Soho Theatre and United Agents are delighted to announce the digital release of Mr. Swallow: Houdini – freeing from the shackles of 2017 the Mr. Swallow-anointed, first-ever entirely true auto-biopic of legendary magician Harry Houdini. Mr. Swallow: Houdini will premiere on Soho Theatre On Demand via a live screening at 7pm on Wednesday 29th April and will be available to stream until 20th May, for a minimum donation of £4.
Forget William Kalush and Larry Sloman’s painstakingly researched 608-page book The Secret Life of Houdini (IT. IS. BOR-ING!). Mr. Swallow: Houdini is the world’s first celebration of the man who brought magic and escapology to the mainstream, conjured to your screens via Soho Theatre On Demand having taken audiences by storm when it premiered at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2016.
In these worrying times of global pandemics and lockdowns, who better to lift your spirits than the eccentric tour de force that is Mr. Swallow, a man willing to pay the ultimate homage to Houdini himself by recreating the master’s legendary underwater escape (and you thought your lockdown was bad??) Mr. Swallow is once again joined by his trusty assistants Mr. Goldsworth (David Elms) and Jonathan (Kieran Hodgson) as he charts his own imitable interpretation of Houdini’s life, fusing daredevil magic (his words), hilarious comedy (also his words) and a series of musical numbers that are, frankly, to die for (…yep).
Mr. Swallow said: “After a lot of back and forth with the powers that be on how I might be able to contribute to the pandemic, I figured, ‘what better way to relax than to watch me try and escape from a locked tank of water… all from the comfort and safety of your own home’.”
All proceeds raised via the Soho Theatre On Demand release will go to charity, with 70% going to NHS Charities Together to support frontline workers leading the response to the Covid-19 emergency, with the remaining 30% put into a trust for comics most affected by the pandemic and the resulting financial instability.
Mr. Swallow is the comedic creation of established actor, comedian and writer Nick Mohammed. He created, wrote, executive produced and co-starred, alongside David Schwimmer, in Sky One’s hit show Intelligence. A second series of the show has already been commissioned.
Nick’s recent acting credits include a regular role in Apple TV+’s upcoming series Ted Lasso opposite Jason Sudeikis, Joe Cornish’s The Kid Who Would Be King, Ridley Scott’s The Martian, box office smash Bridget Jones’s Baby, and The Ab Fab Movie. He voiced Piglet in Disney’s live action feature Christopher Robin and has also featured in a host of TV comedies including Sally4ever, Camping, Uncle, Stath Lets Flats and Life’s Too Short. Nick also co-wrote and co-starred in the pilot, Morning Has Broken, with Julia Davis.
Nick has received critical acclaim for his live character comedy work and has transferred this success to the small screen. He has appeared in character as Mr. Swallow on Channel 4’s Harry Hill’s Clubnite and several times on Channel 4’s Cats Does Countdown, with clips of the performances quickly going viral – viewing figures for the clip of Mr. Swallow’s Jurassic Park rendition stand at 8.7 million on Facebook whilst the clip of him memorising cards has been viewed 7.9 million times. He is an Associate of the Inner Magic Circle and author of The Young Magicians series of children’s books published by Penguin Random House.
Three-time Edinburgh Comedy Award nominee Kieran (who plays Jonathan in Mr. Swallow: Houdini) is an acclaimed actor, writer and comedian who has been nominated for The Times Breakthrough Award and a South Bank Sky Arts Award. The Channel 4 special he wrote and starred in, How Europe Stole My Mum, aired in late 2019 to widespread acclaim, with The Guardian awarding it five stars and describing it as ‘nothing short of a Brexit miracle’.
Kieran recently filmed The Irregulars for Netflix as well as indie feature, All My Friends Hate Me, whilst he plays Dr Moorhouse in Alibi’s Victorian crime drama Miss Scarlet & The Duke. Other recent film and television roles include BAFTA-nominated Pls Like, Two Doors Down, a regular role in two series of BBC3’s hit Famalam, Netflix’s Lovesick, Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa, and the role of Malcolm McLaren in Sky Arts’ Urban Myths: The Sex Pistols vs Bill Grundy.
David Elms (who plays Mr. Goldsworth in Mr. Swallow: Houdini) is an actor, improviser, and writer. He was the winner of the Musical Comedy Awards in 2014, and his first short film SWAG won ‘Best Foreign Short’ at The LA Indie Film Festival in 2015. His latest short Regular, which he wrote, directed, and scored, aired as part of Channel 4’s Random Acts in 2017. He has written and performed three solo shows – Nurture Boy (2014), Mister Boy (2015) and Goody Boy (2016) – and had key roles in cult hits Mr Swallow – The Musical, Adam Riches is Coach Coach, Mr Swallow – Houdini, and Ricky Whittington and His Cat. His debut play Siren appeared at the Edinburgh Fringe and London’s Vault Festival to critical acclaim. He played series regular Clive in both series of the semi-improvised sitcom Borderline on Netflix and Channel 5.
Mr. Swallow: Houdini will premiere on Soho Theatre On Demand at 7pm on Wednesday 29th April and will then be available to stream until 20th May
PRAISE FOR MR. SWALLOW: HOUDINI
✭✭✭✭✭THE GUARDIAN “One of the most incontrovertibly hilarious hours in town”
✭✭✭✭✭ THE STAGE “A spellbinding feat of comic perfection”
✭✭✭✭✭ EVENING STANDARD “Split-your-sides hilarious… Breathtaking”
✭✭✭✭✭ METRO “Monstrously funny”
✭✭✭✭ THE TELEGRAPH “Will leave you grinning foolishly from ear to ear”
✭✭✭✭ THE SUNDAY TIMES “A spectacular show… How can Mohammed possibly top this?”
✭✭✭✭ THE SCOTSMAN “Expertly executed… There isn’t anything that the irrepressible Swallow can’t accomplish”
About Soho Theatre On Demand:
Soho Theatre is a registered charity and social enterprise – London’s most vibrant producer of new theatre, comedy and cabaret. Ordinarily it plays to live audiences of 250,000 audiences a year in its Dean Street venue, at the Edinburgh Fringe and beyond. Whilst its doors are closed, its priorities are to safeguard Soho Theatre’s future, do its best to look after its staff team and wider network of artists and practitioners, and where it can contribute to the wider community response.
This spring sees the relaunch of Soho Theatre On Demand, Soho Theatre’s digital service delivered by Easel TV (whose other clients include Curzon Home Cinema), broadening the range of work available so that its audiences can continue to see great theatre, comedy and cabaret, and provide a platform for independent artists, theatre companies and practitioners.
About The Pleasance:
As a registered charity in Scotland, England and Wales, the Pleasance Theatre Trust aims to create a compelling platform to discover, nurture and support fresh artistic talent from across the globe. As a not for profit organisation, all proceeds from the Festival and our London base are invested back into the development of new people and new ideas. The Pleasance Theatre Trust receives no regular funding, therefore we rely almost entirely on the income from our artistic programme.
The Pleasance Theatre Islington has been one of the most exciting Fringe theatres in London since it opened its doors in 1995, providing a launch pad for some of the most memorable productions and renowned practitioners over the past two decades, staying true to the Trust’s mission of providing a platform for the talent of the future. This year-round programme compliments our world-renowned operations in Edinburgh.
Since opening in Edinburgh in 1985, the Pleasance has become renowned for delivering an inspiring programme year on year that uniquely embodies the spirit of the Festival Fringe.
For further information please contact:
Charlotte Prentice: firstname.lastname@example.org
Will Wood: email@example.com