If you think two slightly overweight, middle-aged magicians aren’t going to impress – you are correct.
Well-designed posters for the Illusionaire Magic Show had been littered throughout Melbourne’s CBD months before the event’s opening night.
The posters, featuring a well-dressed duo flanked by scarlet stage curtains and shrouded in smoke, are a testament to the imagination of the graphic designer.
Misleading, dramatic and incredibly flattering, the image on the poster was far from representative of the show.
Promising a night of “remarkable and enchanting magic”, sure to leave the audience “delightfully flabbergasted,” from “witnessing miracles up close,” the Illusionaire Magic Show did nothing but disappoint.
There was no smoke; there were no curtains; and there certainly were no miracles.
Instead, there was weak coffee; there were wobbly chairs; and there was the collective sigh of disappointment from a crowd who had wasted $38 on a precious Saturday night.
Hosted in the Mission to Seafarers Dome in the Docklands, a historic building which appeared to double as a recreation and community hall, the theatre was not what was to be expected.
The ‘theatre’ – the ‘dome’ section of the building – resembled the barren skeleton of an unfinished synagogue, fitted with stark concrete and adorned with rusty metal hooks poking out from the concave ceiling.
Seats, which were meticulously chosen online, consisted of 84 stackable chairs lined up in six rows.
The stage consisted of a brown wooden box stranded in front of a Chinese folding screen, flanked by fake IKEA potted palms and a mismatched mishap of mirrors.
The ‘illusionists,’ a male-female duo, opened the show with a sense of bravado, rolling r’s, and showmanship, warming up the crowd with mythical anecdotes and tales of mystique (with similarly comparable synonymous variation and semantic simplicity).
As the night continued, their accents began to falter, dipping between British, ambiguous, and bogan.
A lack of curtains meant participants were asked to exit the theatre during intermission, to preserve the ‘illusion’ – or, perhaps more aptly, deception – of the show.
Guests were free to purchase outdated boiled lollies, pre-packaged popcorn, or alcoholic beverages from a sweet, yet mildly befuddled bartender.
Whilst the night begrudgingly wore on, and as alcohol consumption increased and sobriety decreased, the show stayed resolutely stuck in the same place, pace and position.
Each magic act was short, plain and simple, with no trick the highlight, or even talking point, of the performance.
Illusions included turning an egg into a large coin, pulling a knot from a scarf, cracking a plastic egg into a cup, making a card reappear inside a lemon, and turning a scarf into an egg.
It seemed the egg was more well-deserved of a place on the poster than even the magicians.
During a night when even the children struggled to feign bewilderment, the only miracle which occurred at the show was the fact that the audience stayed for the entirety of its duration.