Arthur Coghlan and Helen

About Arthur

Arthur was born in Liverpool, England and moved to Australia in 1948. He became interested in magic when he was 10 years old and, after leaving school, he became a demonstrator in a magic store.

Thirty years later, he received national and international recognition after he performed a dangerous escape from a chained and locked steel drum in Australia’s famous Sydney Harbour, during filming of an ABC documentary on his life.

Arthur received an OAM (Order of Australia Medal) in 2021 for service to the performing arts as a magician and escapologist.

Australia's Largest
Magic & Illusion Show

Arthur presented Australia’s largest magic and illusion show at The Magic Castle, on Queensland’s Gold Coast, where he performed in over 6,500 shows.

During this time, he appeared on many leading national and international shows performing world-class magic and illusions plus outstanding feats of escapology as a means of publicity.

Drum Escape Live on
The Don Lane Show

Foremost among these outstanding feats was an escape he performed live on Channel 9’s  The Don Lane Show. He became a household name in Australia in 1979 when he escaped from a locked 44-gallon drum which had been tested by university engineers who claimed that an escape from this drum was impossible.

This particular escape jammed Channel 9’s telephone switchboard with calls from astounded viewers and created so much attention that he was asked to repeat it the following week.

Unique Escapes and Special Awards

Arthur has performed many varied escapes throughout his career (see Amazing Escapes) and every escape is unique and developed solely by him. It is also interesting to note that all of Arthur’s escapes can be examined before and after each performance – no other escapologist has ever done this before!

In 1994, Arthur received a special award from the International Brotherhood of Magicians and the Queensland Society of Magicians acknowledging him as “a Pioneer of Modern Magic and the Greatest Escape Artist Australia has ever known“.

At the 2007 5th Annual Cannon’s Great Escape Artists Convention, Arthur was the recipient of the coveted “Silver Cuffs Award”. The award was given to him “for his many mind-boggling death-defying stunts, TV appearances, lifetime contribution and support of the Art of Escape”. The convention was held in Ontario, California.