Maurice Fogel was to Europe and Great Britain what Dunninger was to the United States. He was the first solo-mentalist in Great Britain. But he took his act in directions that others dare not go. Where some magicians attempted the very dangers Bullet Catch, Fogel did it with a firing squad of 6 marksmen and caught 6 bullets in his mouth!
That might seem like the ultimate of sensational routines, but Fogel didn't stop there. Later in his career, he took the Bullet Catch in a new direction, this time making it a Russian Roulette Routine. Again, often 6 marksmen, 6 rifles. But one rifle was empty. The weapons were spun on a carousel so no one knew which was the empty rifle. The marksmen were instructed to shoot at a large target containing china plates that was directly behind Fogel. ONE marksmen was chosen to shoot straight at Fogel's forehead! 3-2-1 FIRE! and plates would come crashing down, and Fogel would be unharmed.
OR so you might think. On several occasions things went bad and Fogel was actually shot. Once in the head, once in the chest. And one time, he avoided death because the marksmen refused to shoot his rifle, which as it turned out, was actually loaded.
A final sensational piece of showmanship came from a routine he developed called Cheating the Gallows. In this, four rope nooses were inspected and proven to be real. A fifth was shown to have a break away section, so that if you put that one on, it would impossible for someone to hang, due to the section that would break. Cardboard tubes were placed over the section where the 'break' was located on each rope. They were mixed up and a committee chose single rope. If it was 1-4, Fogel would hang himself in from of his live audience. If it was number 5, the rope would break and he would be safe. The rope was hung from the gallows. Maurice Fogel stood on top of a chair and placed the noose around his neck. 1, 2, 3, Fogel jumped from the chair....
broke! and Fogel dropped to the stage safely! No record of this ever having gone wrong, thankfully!
To learn more about Maurice Fogel, check out podcast episode 94