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Sullivan pulls the two halves of the lady apart. She wiggles her feet; applause; he grins, flourishing scarves.

“That’s an old trick, though,” he says. “Which is why I’m going to cut this lady… in three!”

They ooh and titter in anticipation. Sullivan walks to the wing of the stage, grabs the fire axe, walks back on and starts hacking. Blood fountains merrily. Part of her skull falls off.

Sullivan roars over the crowd. “But that’s not all! I will now make myself… disappear!”

The police swarm the stage. Sullivan’s buried in a truncheoned, khaki pileon.

“MAGIC!” he shrieks, invisible beneath them.