WHEN Darcy Oake was a boy, his father showed him a magic trick he would never forget.

After two decades honing his craft, making it to the finals of Britain’s Got Talent and perfecting a breathtaking routine, Darcy still remembers the sense of wonder he felt at his first taste of magic.

He said: “I started when I was really young. I was six or seven and my dad did a simple ‘is this your card’ trick. It just fooled me. I wasn’t able to explain what I’d just seen.

“Whatever age you are, magic makes you childlike. Grown adults feel like five-year-old children.

“It’s that sense of wonder I’m trying to bring out.”

Darcy visited The Argus offices this week and left the newsroom gasping with awe.

His dizzying routine culminated with a card trick. Reporter Rose Lock was told to clasp a deck between her palms and Darcy said he would make them disappear.

We watched closely as Rose pulled her hands apart. And we watched, mouths agape, as she revealed a clear block of plastic between her fingers where the cards had sat just seconds before.

Since childhood, Darcy has striven to capture the magic in his audiences like this.

His new act will dispense with seating and many of the conventions people have come to expect from a magic show.

Instead, he will stand in the middle of the room and draw audiences in with extended routines and large-scale illusions. He was tight-lipped about the upcoming set but teased there would be “mind-reading” and “an element of danger”.

He said: “It’s cutting edge. There are no rabbits being pulled out of hats.

“My magic has evolved since I started. It’s about more than just the trick. Now, I’m trying to say something through the craft as opposed to it just being about the craft itself.

“The magic becomes a vehicle for saying something, rather than just an effect. I’m trying to create a relationship through the tricks.”

Darcy said he often finds his audiences divided by the magic he performs. He said: “There are two types of people. One half of an audience is sceptical and wants to know how the trick works. The other half just enjoys being fooled.

“Both groups love magic because it defies the laws and normal patterns of physics, life and reality.

“Not to being able to explain something is a rare experience in the modern world .

“With Google and YouTube, people are amazed to see something right in front of them, with their own eyes, that they can’t find the answers to on the net.

“Achieving that sense of wonder is the goal in all my routines.”

Darcy began training in America, but now lives in London, where he has been perfecting his art alongside members of the secretive Magic Circle.

“It’s a private club where magicians go for lectures, competitions, and to share secrets,” he said.

“You can only go in if you’re a member. It’s definitely not open to the public.

“But we do discuss our tricks with each other and bounce ideas off other magicians.

“It’s especially useful talking to the older ones who remember tricks from previous generations.

“But I’d never discuss my secrets with members of the public.”

Darcy said his idols include Derren Brown, David Copperfield, and David Blane – as well as Harry Houdini.

But he said he has his own, unique performing style.

“I think I bring a different approach to the craft,” he said.

“I work on larger illusions. My routine involving doves on Britain’s Got Talent set things off for me. It was a whole, rapid-fire set with birds appearing and disappearing, and I went from there.”

Recently, he said he has been pouring over old, turn-of-the-century magic books for inspiration. And he said the act of performing itself is helping him develop his routine.

He said: “I’m doing as many live performances and as much rehearsing as possible. It’s similar to a comedian working on a joke.

“I love touring in the UK. If the audiences love you, they tell you. If they hate you, they say.

“The crowds here are really vocal and involved. No night is ever the same.”

You can watch Darcy performing at Brighton’s Komedia on March 30 as part of an 11-date tour.