What an adorable prop this is 🙂
I am pretty sure this is a one off created by a very talented British craftsman but I have no other information on the creator. However, I can share what I have pieced together. The creative British inventor and Children’s magician, Len Belcher, wrote an article in Abracadabra (October 10th, 1949) titled “See That Wet!” which featured a weather house with a man and a woman, and the man figure disappearing and reappearing in place of the woman. Then c. 1954 Supreme Magic started selling their Little Weatherhouse with a similar premise. Then in 1983 Len Belcher was back in Abra (January 22nd, 1983) with a new article “Weatherman“, where he recalled his original article, the subsequent copying by a dealer of his idea, and came back with some more thoughts and a better routine. This is where the idea of the man going back and forth to the lady’s side is introduced. Len also beefed up some patter details, and included a sketch of a weather house.
From these beginnings I believe this prop was created. Although it didn’t come with a routine from reading the Len Belcher articles and the Supreme ad copy I came up with the effect below which seems to be in the spirit of what Len Belcher was going for and whoever the very talented craftsman was who created this.
Just look at the attention to detail – it is all solidly made from wood with metal figures, and the figures are even painted on both sides. Each brick is painted individually, and even the doors have extra grain painted on to add to the realism of the little house.
Here is the routine I came up with after studying the prop and reading the Belcher articles and Supreme advert.
Effect: The magician talks about how people use their smart phones to find out what the weather will be today. However, before smart phones we used small weather houses to let us know if it was going to rain or shine. A small weather house is introduced to the children. The house has two doors: Wet and Fine. Behind the Wet door is Mr. Rain and behind the Fine door is Ms. Sunshine. If the Fine door is open and you see Ms. Sunshine then you know it will be nice and sunny, but if the Wet door is open you’ll see Mr. Rain and you know rain is coming.
Both doors are closed and as the magician is talking the children start screaming that Mr. Rain has moved over to see Ms. Sunshine. Of course the magician doesn’t see this and doesn’t believe it saying if this was the case we would have some rain right now. So he opens the Fine door and just before Mr. Rain scurries back to the Wet door (the kids are screaming again, but the magician pretends not to notice). This goes on for a while.
Eventually, Ms. Sunshine disappears altogether and the magician blames the kids because they scared her away with all their shouting. Now all that is left is Mr. Rain and he continues to go back and forth a couple more times then finally he too vanishes.
Finally, both Mr. Rain and Ms. Sunshine end up on the back of the performer or a child complete with umbrella to keep them both dry. Let’s hope Mr. Rain doesn’t bring his weather anytime soon.
This has much of the fun of Run Rabbit Run with a fresh angle and I’m sure more could be worked into the routine as you play with it.
This will look wonderful in your collection or performing to your kids and grand kids 🙂
(Notice: Includes: Printed Instructions.)( Post Source: martinsmagic.com - click for details )