Jeremy Brooker creates unique magic lantern entertainments using original glass slides and equipment from the 18th, 19th and early 20th centuries alongside modern slides of his own creation.

Jeremy Brooker is one of the leading magic lantern performers working today.

Whether in the grand auditorium of the Centro Cultural de Belém in Lisbon, a circus tent overlooking Lake Geneva or the cabin of an historic Thames barge putting to sea with just 20 people onboard, audiences have marvelled at his mastery of this demanding art form.

In his hands, the beauty and visual spectacle which has kept the magic lantern at the forefront of popular entertainment for centuries retains the power to fully engage a modern audience.


Our shows feature an authentic triunial (or Triple) magic lantern combining three projectors in a single device. This is the most complex and rarest form of magic lantern entertainment. It allows us to present our fast-moving shows featuring the most spectacular effects the lantern can produce. Carolyn and Jeremy Brooker have been performing together for over 20 years to perfect this demanding art.

Each performance is tailor-made for the occasion and our shows are suitable for all ages from family audiences to the most discerning attendees at film festivals or academic conferences.

Typical formats are:

  1. 30 minute shows, typically given at one hour intervals through the day. This is ideal for smaller venues and festivals.
  2. 1 hour Magic Lantern Spectacular. These performances are often themed to suit the occasion or location- Gothic horror and the phantasmagoria; Christmas; science as spectacle; circus spectaculars and many more.
  3. Full evening performances with additional actors and musicians, typically lasting an hour and a half plus interval.

Past Performances include:

Galleries and Museums
  • ICA, London
  • Whitstable Biennale
  • Bloc Projects, Sheffield
  • Beaney Museum and Art Gallery Canterbury
  • Grand auditorium of the Centro Cultural de Belém, Lisbon
  • Cresent Theatre, Birmingham
  • Riverside Studios, London
  • Angel Marionette Theatre, London
International Cinemateques
  • National Film Theatre, London
  • Musée de l’Elysée, Lausanne, Switzerland
  • Cinemateca Portuguesa, Lisbon, Portugal
  • Brighton Dome
  • Windsor Fringe
  • Loughborough University Arts ‘Weekend of Weird’
  • Wise Words, Canterbury
Film and Television
  • Original slides sequences for BBC4 documentary on Robert Paul/H G Wells ‘The Time Machine’
  • Original slide sequence for BBC children’s drama ‘Station Jim’
Performances at academic conferences
  • Chemical Heritage Foundation (CHF), Philadelphia, USA
  • British Academy
  • Birkbeck College, University of London
  • University of Westminster
  • Kent University

Special Projects

Jeremy Brooker regularly collaborates with other artists and musicians to create new works featuring the magic lantern.

Past collaborators include the wonderful singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Richard Navarro, acclaimed performance and video artist Ben Judd, Stroh violin and phonograph supremo Aleks Kolkowski, painter Frank Johnson, composer Stephen Gibson, leading silent film pianists Stephen Horne and Costas Fotopoulos.

He also accepts commissions for bespoke magic lantern sequences for theatre and film projects.

Research and Publications

Dr. Jeremy Brooker is an independent researcher into various aspects of magic lantern performance practice. He completed his PhD through Birkbeck College, University of London under the supervision of Prof. Ian Christie.

His particular areas of interest are the use of music and live action in conjunction with screen-based images; science as spectacle; stage illusion; and optical magic. He has undertaken a number of site specific studies, notably on Victorian institutions the Royal Polytechnic Institution; the Adelaide Gallery; the Royal Panopticon; the Royal Institution; and the Academy of Music in Philadelphia. This has led to further original research on such figures as John Henry Pepper; Edward Marmaduke Clarke; Thomas Tobin; Henry Morton; and John Tyndall.

Jeremy Brooker is a founding member and current Chairman of the Magic Lantern Society. He formerly held the post of Research Officer, and was the first editor of its flagship quarterly publication The Magic Lantern. He is a regular participant in international conferences related to his fields of interest.

Select Bibliography

The Temple of Minerva: Magic and the Magic Lantern at the Royal Polytechnic Institution, London 1837-1901. Ripon: Magic Lantern Society, 2013

“A Lecture on Locust Street: Morton, Tyndall, Pepper, and the the Construction of Scientific Reputation.” In Science Museums in Transition: Anglo-American Cultures of Display in the Nineteenth Century, by Carin Berkowitz, and Bernard Lightman (eds.), 111-138. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2017.

“Paganini’s Ghost: musical resources of the Royal Polytechnic Institution (1838-1881).” In Realms of Light: Uses and Perceptions of the Magic Lantern from the 17th to the 21st Century, by Richard Crangle, Mervyn Heard, and Ine van Dooren (eds.), 146-154. Ripon: Magic Lantern Society, 2005.

"Pepper’s Ghost, Metempsychosis and the Magic Lantern at the Royal Polytechnic Institution." Early Popular Visual Culture, 2007: 189-206

"Signor Topsey-Turveys's Wonderful Magic Lantern: Subversion, Inversion and Transformation in the Land of Dreams." The Magic Lantern Gazette, 2013: 3-10.

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