The Deans and The Piddingtons
by Eddie Dean
In the 1950s, the Piddingtons ignited fierce debates across Britain, as they demonstrated what appeared to be genuine telepathy for the BBC. Some believed they were magicians. Others insisted they were mind readers. Further theories advanced by the public included radio transmitters concealed within hollow teeth, and an invisible little green man which flew between them, whispering answers. The Piddingtons’ personal position was clear, as they repeatedly reminded their audiences that “you are the judge!”
Their methods were never discovered, remaining the subject of discussion and debate for over 70 years. In 2014, however, a notebook was discovered by an investigative journalist named Martin T. Hart. This notebook contained a number of methods which had been created and used by the Piddingtons — methods which had evaded discovery for nearly a century. Mr. Hart published many of these secrets in a book entitled, Piddington’s Secrets.
However, not all of the secrets of the Piddingtons were disclosed in this book. After discussions, meetings, international flights, numerous emails, and innumerous coffees, Mr. Hart agreed to disclose a number of additional secrets to Maggie and me. On May 22, 2016, after months of intensive training, we presented our collaborative effort at a VIP fundraiser event at Cork’s only five star hotel, the Hayfield Manor. The fundraiser benefited the extraordinary Teddies For Loving Care, which provides sanitary teddy bears for children during extended hospital stays.
As the Deans, Maggie and I have been developing contemporary techniques for telepathy since studying together at the Accademia dell’Arte in Tuscany, beginning in 2012. We were the first to assert telepathy as an act of contemporary circus — a sometimes dangerous, two person display of physical skill. We developed our first public telepathy demonstration as part of a residency at Seattle’s School of Acrobatics and New Circus Arts (SANCA); the largest circus school in the United States.
We continued this development at the University College Cork, as part of my doctoral research on the role of the body in contemporary performances of telepathy, and Maggie’s practice-based masters by research regarding gender, the body, and the contemporary performance of witchcraft.
We are proud to say that all of our demonstrations are purely physical and are accomplished without the aid of confederates, stooges, secret accomplices, magic industry gimmicks, or electronic devices. How do we do it? The answer, as ever, is: “You be the judge!”