A NEWPORT-BORN west-end actor has returned to his hometown with a one-man show set in the heart of Pill, drawing on the true story of the great magician Houdini’s visits to the city.

Daniel Llewelyn-Williams is the sole writer, producer and performer of his new play, A Regular Little Houdini.

Daniel, who played Robin Hood in last year's Riverfront pantomime, said: “I’ve wanted to write a play about Newport for years. My Dad’s family are all from Pill and I’ve grown up around the stories of the docks.”

The play, which is Daniel’s first, is set in Newport docks between 1905 and 1913; the two occasions that Houdini visited Newport.

“He was a PR Genius,” Daniel said. “He got himself deliberately arrested and locked in a cell in Pill police station and when he managed to break free the reporters were all there waiting.”

The audience experiences these eight years through the eyes of a young boy from Pill who is obsessed with magic. His story tracks the massive industrial growth of south Wales, the building of the transporter bridge and the Newport dock disaster of 1909, which killed 39 people.

“I blended these two stories of Houdini with stories of my own family and this young boy.

“Once I’d done all the research, it just poured out. It’s full of Newport history and my personal history.”

Daniel, who will be playing all seven characters of his play, said: “The whole thing is about the perceived loss of childhood imagination. It’s a story of hope and tragedy.”

The tour begins in north Wales but will be coming to the Riverfront on January 23-25, before moving on to Swansea. Local fiddle player, Meg Cox of St Julian’s, will be performing the music.

It is suitable for ages ten and over.