Performance by Dr Will Houstoun

  • In-Gallery Performance
  • British Sign Language
Photograph of a seated audience watching a performer in the gallery space of the Smoke and Mirrors exhibition at Wellcome Collection.
Live performance event at Wellcome Collection, Thomas SG Farnetti. Source: Wellcome Collection. CC BY-NC.

What you'll do

A magician, it has been said, is the most honest person in the world: first they tell you they are going to lie to you, and then they do. Watch some magic and discover the subtle difference between magic and less honest forms of deception, which is often linked with the way the performance is framed. In this session on the philosophy of truth and lies in magic, you'll examine how the frame can shape the performance, and how magicians work to take the con out of conjuring.

The performances will be BSL interpreted by Sula Gleeson.


Just turn up

Need to know


We’ll be in Gallery 1. When you enter Wellcome Collection, it’s on the left on level 0.

Queuing likely

Spaces are limited and we recommend arriving early as these events are particularly likely to be busy. If we’re full, we will ask you to queue outside the gallery to avoid overcrowding in the exhibition space. Only people in the exhibition space will be able to attend the event. If queuing is not accessible for you, please speak to a member of staff. If you have any access requests or requirements, email us at or call 020 7611 2222.

British Sign Language

This event will have British Sign Language interpretation. If you would like to come along, email us at or call 020 7611 2222.