Mr Merrit was the owner and manager of The Grand Scala theatre in London. John Cutter came to him to pitch the magic act of The Great Danton, who demonstrated his disappearing birdcage act. Merrit was impressed and gave him a week long run. However, on the first night that act was sabotaged by Alfred Borden, who killed a bird and broke the fingers of the volunteer. Merrit cancelled the show and booked a comedian instead, despite his hatred of comedians.

Several years later, Ackerman came to Merrit and told him that Robert Angier was back as Danton and would be performing 100 shows at the Scala. Merrit had to cancel the Moscow ballet in order to fit him in, but did. During the show's run Angier apparently died, killed by Borden.

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