Arabian Tent (aka Doll House)
Designer: U.F. Grant
The Arabian Tent is one of the many great contributions to the magic community of mastermind U. F. Grant. It was published in its most basic form in his booklet Victory Carton Illusions under the name “Doll House” and since then this simple yet powerful method of producing a person has been used and published by countless magicians with a number of great improvements.
The performer enters the stage area carrying a piece of the house (often the roof). The house is in three sections: The roof, the front and side section, and the back with side section. Each piece will be picked up by the performer and shown inside and out. The performer will then put the parts together, forming a dollhouse/tent. The completed house will typically be three feet tall (at the peak of the roof), two feet wide (the front of the house) and three feet deep (the length of the sides).
Once the house has been assembled, it can be moved around to show that there is no funny business going on. At the performer’s command, the roof pops off the house and out steps one or two people depending on the performer’s wishes. No trap doors or special stage settings are required for this effect.
This illusion is simply constructed and can be performed by the raw beginner, and also be used by the most accomplished professional. Corrugated cardboard can be used for the house material. Tape can be used to connect the sections together. An elastic band on the front, and another at the back can be used to connect the front-side and back-side sections together during the performance. The roof section simply sits or rests on the top of the assembled house.