The secret of the black light theatre

Optical illusion

The black light theatre has its own unmistakeable appeal. Ever since its origin in ancient China, its magical attractiveness has been based on a simple and dark secret – dark itself.

The actors are dressed in black costumes and wear black gloves and masks, which only have openings for eyes. For the viewer, these “black people” are invisible figures, but they facilitate practically all the magical movement on the stage.

The hundreds of metres of black fabric which are spread behind every black figure, and the fluorescent light which highlights only objects painted with fluorescent dye – these are the building blocks of the successful optical illusion of a black light theatre presentation

Black cabinet

The black people on the stage see everything but, thanks to the surrounding darkness, cannot be seen themselves. The actors move objects painted in fluorescent dye so that it seems like these objects are floating in the air. Thanks to this, a dancer painted in fluorescent dye can fly and levitate above the ground – she is being held in the air by a man dressed completely in black; an actor whom the viewers cannot see.

For this magic to be successful, the entire theatre auditorium must be completely submerged in darkness, and it must remain dark during the performance. Both the stage and the audience must be in pitch blackness, which no light must penetrate. This is the magical “black cabinet”, which gave the black light theatre its name.

The Wow Show performance relies on the magic of darkness. It is a mighty, but at the same time very fragile magic – even one weak ray of light has the power to immediately expose this secret.