Hollywood style stunt show coming to town

Tony Christian during a stunt for a Harry Potter Quidditch match
Tony Christian during a stunt for a Harry Potter Quidditch match

Have you ever wondered how your favourite Hollywood hero jumps out of a burning building and survives an all-action chase to capture the baddies?

Well now you can find out as stunt men from Harry Potter, Sherlock Holmes 2 and War Horse turn Kingsbury into a film set and reveal some of their secrets.

During the free family event on August 9 the team will show how they devise and choreograph a range of stunts, from falling 40ft from a tower to making a fight scene look realistic.

Stuntman Tony Christian said: “It’s something that no one will have seen before. Most shows in town, or at fetes, are bike shows or horse shows.

“But we demonstrate what you would see in the cinema in films like Bourne, James Bond and Indiana Jones.

“They are going to see fighting, falls, guns, explosions and pyrotechnics.”

The 36 year, who lives in Reading, featured in three of the Harry Potter films – if you look closely he was the stunt double playing Harry Potter or Ron Weasley during some of the quidditch matches.

He also appears in Sherlock Holmes 2 and War Horse, where he stands on a special machine which catapults him into the air to make it look as though he was blown up.

“The biggest thrill is when you see people’s faces when you have just done a fire scene,” he says.

“I have done a few full burns, for programmes like Casualty, and there is always silence afterwards until they realise that you are still alive.

“Then, if the director’s impressed he will come over and thank you. That has happened to me a few times from people such as Clint Eastwood and Steven Spielberg.”

On average it takes three-five years to train as a stunt man. To get listed in the approved British stunt man register, hopefuls must reach set grades in at least six areas.

For example there is horseriding test, devised by a former stunt man. Trainees must also work as an extra on 60 productions, to get a feel for life on a TV or movie set.

Dispelling some of the myths, Tony jokes that life as a Hollywood stunt man is not very glamourous – pointing out that he doesn’t get invited to film premieres because he is not one of the stars.

He jokes: “You get blown up and shot into mud, fired out of cannons and all the special FX guys think the stunt guys are invincible. Sometimes you have to say ‘that’s too much gunpowder’.”

The four Aylesbury shows on August 9 will each last 20 minutes and feature a team of five stuntmen.

It is one of the Town Centre Partnership’s free events that take place each Thursday during school holidays.

Click here to visit Tony Christian’s website