One of Blackpool’s longest serving illusionists has died on holiday in Thailand, the Foreign Office has confirmed. Richard De Vere, 46, who was master of illusion in Blackpool Pleasure Beach’s Mystique show for 13 years, died while holidaying in Thailand on Monday, March 10th, 2014 at Chonburi Hospital. The deceased was ill in the hospital for 10 days and suffered a massive heart attack. Sadly missed for one of England’s most popular illusionist, magician and showman.
Richard De Vere’s funeral took place at 1:00 p.m., Monday, March 17th, 2014 at Wat Chaimongkol, South Pattaya. Richard De Vere’s body was arranged for a Thai cremation by two of his close friends on behalf of Richard’s family who are residents of Pattaya, Ray Cornell and Darrell Bevers, owners of the Venue Resident. Many close friends, local expatriates and colleagues who knew De Vere personally turned up to pay their last respects, including his 24 year partner, Marc Lawlor. The ashes of the body will soon be scattered and his bones will be collected and returned to his home country.
Richard De Vere 18 June 1967 – 10 March 2014
The loss of Richard De Vere stunned many regions of England, especially Blackpool and Liverpool. Many sympathies were sent through Facebook messages, twitter and other social sites for the people who couldn’t attend the funeral. There will be a memorial held in England in the near future.
De Vere was from Bolton, the grandson of Arthur Holt, the Liberal Member of Parliament for Bolton West and President of the Liberal Party. De Vere was a master illusionist, magician and showman. He took up magic when at school in Bolton. He told the Blackpool Gazette in 2006: “With a lot of practice it became a skill – making it interesting enough for people to want to watch was as much the skill as performing the trick or illusion.” His show business mentor, the late comedian Bernie Winters, bequeathed to him his trusty St Bernard, Schnorbitz
Richard, whose Mystique show ran for many years at the Pleasure Beach, had been due to begin a new engagement this year at Viva showbar. Richard, whose art lay in that of magic and illusion, and which spanned a record-breaking run of 21 consecutive seasons in Blackpool with his own show, “Mystique” was the consummate performer.
Richard De Vere played his first panto villain in Liverpool at the Empire in 1989 with American television star Mr T. Richard was a veteran pantomime villain who made several appearances at Liverpool’s Royal Court theatre, along with his trusty St Bernard Schnorbitz. Not long after various successions, the master illusionist took the center stage headliner for much of the proceedings and featured many illusions and tricks. Various glamorous attendants popped in and out of claustrophobic boxes, bewildering the audience. He then starred in his own show, “Beyond Belief” which became popular in England from 2008 to 2013 at the tourist attraction’s Horseshoe Bar.