Harem of the Goddess – An Offering to the Divine (Verse 3)

On a Saturday night at popular vaudeville venue Speakeasy HQ, I was delighted and excited to witness “Harem of the Goddess – An Offering to the Divine (Verse 3)”. Billed as a show featuring ritual, dance, burlesque, fire and shibari, I knew a fascinating adventure was about to unfold for the audience. The evening was auspicious and was to contain many surprises as I ended up meeting a kindred spirit to enjoy the show with! Upon arrival at the theatre, the scene was set with mysterious chanting music (which was haunting at times) along with a magickal alter set up on stage, surrounded by a circle of salt.

The host for the evening is Piro – a mysterious looking guide for the audience, who prepares us for what is to come and sets down some ground rules. As this is a show that features nudity / partial nudity, I do not have any photos to accompany this review – you’ll just have to use your imagination!

As an audience member, be prepared to be a part of the show and indeed drawn into it. The first part of the show is in fact a ritual led by Jackyl  – The Pharaoh’s only daughter – and also features a trio of performers, welcoming the audience and casting the sacred circle. Whether the circle of salt keeps the good energy in and keeps the bad spirits out (or both!) I was drawn in by the ritual and could feel energy radiating throughout the theatre. Prepare to be reborn into a time where ritual is everything. I have a feeling that this event and ritual gives us all what we need in our own different ways. Throughout the night I felt the audience was truly in Jackyl’s domain. Masterful, powerful and elegant at times – all eyes are on Jackyl whenever she enters the room.

Elina Skye appeared on stage with a punk style burlesque routine which I thoroughly enjoyed. Playfully teasing the audience and showing off some athleticism, I felt the room heat up with seduction and emotion. Multi talented dancer Victoria Wolf was up next with a dance piece featuring a ball gag (in place for the entirety of the routine) worn whilst dancing and contorting herself into all kinds of shapes – a testament to her stamina! Whether she was bound by pleasure or pain, the audience was lapping up every move.

After a brief interval, Piro asked the audience to close our eyes and imagine we were in ancient, imperial Japan – for the next act was a display of shibari: the binding and suspension of a person – a bondage art. Von Riga spent time meticulously preparing and checking the ropes that bound Babydoll (who looked as though she was in a trance the entire time). Whilst some people may find shibari uncomfortable to watch or make them feel uneasy, I noticed that Von Riga often caressed Babydoll and almost chanted to her and I felt that the binding was done in a beautiful way. It was fascinating how the ropes were woven and strapped together to support a greater weight than the sum of their parts, and at the conclusion of the act I looked around the room to find the audience looking thoughtful and intrigued by the shibari (and suspended Babydoll) before them.

Rouge Z appeared within the salt circle with a mystical sword bellydance featuring some serpentine moves combined with sword balancing. At this point, I almost thought we had gone to Agrabah for the night! It was easy to be entranced by Rouge Z’s beautiful moves and enchanting display. Rouge Z was ever smiling, whilst also having a air of mystery about her. Jackyl – The Pharaoh’s only daughter – finished the evening of ritual, entertainment and dance with a stunning burlesque and classic tease routine featuring a chair. It was a sultry routine making the crowd wild and wanting more.

VERDICT: A sumptuous evening of entertainment with added mystery, ritual and thoughtful elements. Something I’ve never witnessed before but thoroughly enjoyed.

Disclaimer: I attended this performance as a guest of the show producer.

*Additional notes: although this show features magick ritual, it does so respectfully and never ventures into areas that would be considered “too dark”. Having said that, the content of this show means that is strictly suitable for those over the age of 18.

Tickets and more information: https://www.trybooking.com/book/event?eid=314829&
Whilst I attended this show on a Saturday evening, the remaining shows of the run take place on a Friday evening.

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MICF 2019 Review: “Bombastic JOE Descend Into The Fiery Depths Of Heck”

 Tucked away in the conference space of an inner city hotel, I was greeted by a helpful and well presented front of house member and waited excitedly (with a large group mainly comprised of uni students) to be ushered into the theatre. I had no idea what to expect  – especially with such a spicy title for a sketch comedy show – and was excited for the adventure in front of us to commence.

Making a grand entrance are the stars of the show that comprise the acronym JOE: Jon Walpole, Oli Robertson, and Ed Rickards. Appearing in most sketch comedy scenes as a sort of ‘three stooges’ – with Jon being the ‘slow / dopey one’, Oli being the ‘shouty one’ and Ed representing a character the others do not like – if you’re going to see this show, best strap yourselves in for an evening of fast paced, sharp comedy sketches. The lads did seem way too cheery about taking the audience on their trip to the fiery depths of heck but judging by the regular roars of applause and cheers, the audience were clearly far too entertained to be concerned by the show title.

There were many aspects I loved about this show however the wide vocal ranges, scenarios / topics explored and characterisations by Jon, Oli and Ed were simply a marvel to behold. No scenario or topic was too much for any of them and there are a couple of characters within the show that I took a real liking to – see the show and you’ll know who I’m referring to I’m sure! This is not your typical sketch comedy show – expect surprise guests, dance breaks, some very interactive moments and some choice one liners to keep you entertained and enthralled throughout. I’m hesitant to name my favourite sketches here as I don’t want to spoil too much (also there are far too many to mention!) but I will mention that the ‘message from the sponsors’ section as well as the journey into children’s television and the loose interpretation of current affairs hosts made me laugh the most all night! Jon, Oli and Ed were nimble and attentive to the audience’s needs – some scenes seemed to be extended as the audience were having too much fun and this lead to some delightful seemingly unscripted moments in the show. During the show, there were times where I saw audience members doubled over / overcome with laughs and scenes where I was almost crying with laughter – we all shared in such a madcap adventure into heck!

The lads worked hard for their audience, and in return we all lapped up their sketches and enjoyed every moment. If you’re going to end up in heck – why not make it an delightfully enjoyable and funny adventure along the way?!

VERDICT: This is a show where the title delivers a hilariously madcap adventure for the audience. Bombastic, fantastic and with plenty of slapstick, ‘Bombastic JOE Descend Into The Fiery Depths Of Heck’ is a fun night of sketch comedy that surprises and entertains. Don’t miss it! For those after a ‘star rating’, I rate this show 4 out of 5 stars.

*Disclaimer: I attended this production as a guest of the performance team

**extra note: this show is marked as suitable for audiences 16+ which is fair as the show does contain regular references to adult themes and sex toys etc.

Tickets: https://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2019/shows/bombastic-joe-descend-into-the-fiery-depths-of-heck

MICF 2019 Review: “Love is a Work in Progress”

 Back at Tasma Terrace at 10pm for a show in a ‘late timeslot’, I entered the theatre to find very welcoming and stunning show performer (and host) Tara Rankine chatting to her audience and making sure everyone was happy and settled. The audience were about to partake in a party – about literally being in Tara’s heart. There were fun ‘party’ aspects to this show – songs, games, activities and inflatables! At times it almost felt like a hen’s party merged with a cabaret show. The songs were often accompanied by live music played by Maddie Thiele (who looked after the music and lyrics) which was a delightful touch.

This show is broadly themed on the different kinds of love (especially those that Tara has experienced) – ‘Rockstar’ love, addictive (Heroin) love, and friendship love (among others). These themes were explored through song (Tara has an amazing voice!), prop comedy and some very interactive hilarious scenes with volunteers from the audience. Yes – this is a show with a good amount of audience participation (plus the inclusion of some sensitive subject matter) – so shrinking violets need not apply!

Tara magically draws her audience into her stories, and invites the audience into her heart throughout the show. It would be difficult not to be moved by “Love is a Work in Progress” – there were times when I was captivated, and at other times I could feel my eyes becoming moist. Big love and big emotions aplenty. It really feels like Tara pours her heart out for her audience, and her audience returned the feels just as much. Having a theatrical background meant that Tara was often (literally) reaching out to audience members, and I loved seeing so much emotion in her eyes that unwavered throughout the show. I could see Tara’s heart shine through her songs and eyes during “Love is a Work in Progress” which made it a special experience. Like the subject matter, this show is more than just a title – it is quite an experience! If it reads like I’m gushing, then I encourage you to see the show as you’ll find out why!

The show ended on a very pleasant note, with Tara receiving a partial standing ovation –  rare for comedy shows and much deserved in this case. I walked away thinking “Gosh, what a room full of love!” There are some powerful stories within the show – and I must admit the day after seeing the show, much of the emotions and story content occupy my mind. Not many shows I’ve seen have had such strong staying power. Testament to the fun time that I had, I am tempted to see the show again – so I encourage all of you to come and see the show before it leaves town! It will be a show you won’t forget in a hurry.

VERDICT: This is a show that will stay with you – in your mind and heart. Featuring a powerful performer addressing some serious subject matter at times, “Love is a Work in Progress” manages to be entertaining, hilarious and meaningful in equal measures – who could ask for more?

*Disclaimer: I attended the performance as a guest of the show.

Tickets: https://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2019/shows/love-is-a-work-in-progress

 

MICF 2019 Review: “Mime Consultant” performed by Patrick Collins

Tasma Terrace is a period building (Terrace house) in the centre of Melbourne, housing a cluster of small theatres. As part of the 2019 Melbourne International Comedy Festival (MICF) I visited Tasma Terrace to enjoy Patrick Collins’ performance of “Mime Consultant”. Attending the opening night, the audience was friendly, supportive and we were all up for the adventures of the show to come.

The premise of the show is directly described in the title – Patrick Collins is a Mime Consultant and the show is about his adventures in this profession. If you’re thinking of the (possibly creepy) white faced mimes with striped t-shirts, then do not fear – Patrick Collins appears onstage in a neat, corporate outfit with no face paint in sight. Patrick is relaxed, yet well composed with perfect enunciation and well planned dialogue throughout the show.

Patrick received a warm reception from the crowd with regular bursts of laughter and giggles heard throughout his show. “Mime Consultant” featured some choice one liners and hilarious anecdotes that had audience members cackling with laughter. Whilst I enjoyed the mime based comedy sketches within the show, the personal anecdotes made the show shine!

It’s a fast paced show that was almost too fast in some areas / sketches, however this wasn’t an issue as the greater story of Patrick’s vocation as a Mime Consultant was consistently referred back to. Each comedy sketch lead back to a scene in Patrick’s Mime Consultancy office, which I liked as each of the ‘office’ scenes enhanced the storyline. Some elaborate setups made for some fun, surprising moments at times. Over the course of the show, everyday type scenarios became slightly ridiculous at times (but were also made hilarious!) A very enjoyable show!

VERDICT: for a sketch comedy show with a difference that contains many surprises, take a chance on “Mime Consultant”

*Disclaimer: I attended the show as a guest of the performer.

Tickets: https://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2019/shows/patrick-collins-mime-consultant

 

MICF 2019 Review: “Woah, Alyssa! 2”

 It’s March and thus Comedy Festival season in Melbourne. This season, I was very excited to see the hilarious duo behind “Woah, Alyssa! 1” – Filip Lescaut and Colwyn Buckland – had made a return to the festival with their new sketch comedy adventure “Woah, Alyssa! 2”.

Housed within the intimate Crowded Within the Vaults: Pilgrim Bar directly beside the Yarra River, Lescaut and Buckland took their “Woah, Alyssa! 2” audience on a party plane full of thrills, spills and hilarity. I’m hesitant to spoil too much, as this show has a wide appeal however I will say that this show isn’t without the duo’s trademark dance breaks, fun songs  / props and costume changes. I can’t impress enough how the “Woah Alyssa, 2!” team are the champions of dance breaks! The songs chosen during the show were well chosen to match the duo’s stories, and much of the time the audience was bopping along and almost dancing in their seats to the songs – it was almost like we had been taken to a club.

Like with previous installments of “Woah, Alyssa!” the comedy sketches within the show had messages behind them – some about the misrepresentations of the GLBTIQ community and other more light hearted messages like the struggles of where to put your donation token when you buy a burger from a certain burger chain. The sketch that gained the most laughs from my friend and I was a sketch about saying the word “Daddy” (in a hot vs creepy way)! I literally heard audience members snorting with laughter at times during the show – a sure sign that people couldn’t help but laugh.

A benchmark of a great show is often that the time passes super quick, and that happened with this show. I felt like Lescaut, Buckland and the audience had gone on such a fun ride together and I was sad when the show came to an end.

VERDICT: Always relevant and consistently funny “Woah, Alyssa! 2 is a party plane to your destination of comedy and dance breaks! Highly recommended for consistent laughs and a fun night out – don’t miss it!

Woah, Alyssa! 2 is playing until April 7th. Tickets / information:

https://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2019/shows/woah-alyssa-2

More information about the Woah, Alyssa! team: https://woahalyssa.com/

 

What’s coming up next for Tay Around Town?

Currently in Melbourne it’s what we call “Mad March” as there are so many large events and festivals starting / happening during March. Later this month, the Melbourne International Comedy Festival (MICF) commences so stay tuned for more reviews appearing here on the blog.

In addition to my ‘9-5’ job racing into busy season (which tapers off mid June), I’ve also been working on some side projects – one of which I thought I’d highlight here (in a bit of self promotion) as it may be of benefit to any readers who are in showbiz. On Thursday March 28th, Social Media / branding guru Nathan Darma and myself will be hosting a workshop on Marketing and Branding especially for magicians and those in showbiz hosted at The Magic School of Confidence. My focus will be on broader marketing and how to leverage the existing marketing activities you’re doing to better achieve your goals. Nathan’s focus will be specifically on the social media side of things. We’ll also be hosting a Q&A session, so we welcome attendees to think of some questions they have to bring to the event. I’ve been working in various streams of marketing for 13 years, but also have a unique perspective as not only an audience member but a reviewer too so I’m sure the workshop will be valuable and thought provoking.

I know what you’re thinking – marketing is expensive / time consuming / I need to focus on my actual show – I’ve heard all that and more, yet I also hear the same comments coming from frustrated performers who have sluggish ticket sales or who haven’t tapped into certain areas of the market, that others have honed in on. What this all means is like that old saying goes (that has been attributed to many people), if you keep doing the “same thing” you’re going to get the same results / outcomes as previous so you need to change things up if you want to see a change in outcome. Marketing doesn’t have to be expensive or super time consuming. The workshop we’re hosting seeks to address this via leveraging marketing techniques and providing tips and ideas for you to take away and implement in your own plans.

For more information, check out the Facebook event here or Click here for tickets

The Prodigy tour 2019: “No Tourists”

 In February 2019, UK electronic group “The Prodigy” returned to Melbourne for one night only (within their Australian tour) to spoil and thrill their audience with the their popular favourite songs that were chart toppers in Australia plus a couple of songs from their new album “No Tourists”. “No Tourists” was released in November 2018, giving audiences ample listening time and to decide on some favourites. For those unaware, The Prodigy is made up of vocalist / frontman Keith Flint, vocalist / rapper Maxim and keyboardist / synth / guitarist Liam Howlett. Their style is broadly electronica, but at times overlaps with big beats and dance music. There are plenty of techno remixes of Proidigy songs out there!

My favourite albums from The Prodigy are their older albums – especially “Fat of the Land” and “Invaders Must Die” . I made my recent ticket purchase as a last minute splurge – for I don’t count myself among their most die-hard fans BUT would relish the chance to see them play live, in a world where you don’t always get second chances to see bands play live in your own hometown. Pre-show, the crowd was warmed up by DJs Enschway and Shockone – who played some slamming tunes with heavy beats to get the crowd pumped for the epic performance to come. I particularly enjoyed the throwbacks to 90’s songs by Enschway, and when Shockone mixed in some psytrance into one of his new songs, it was fantastic. Everyone felt energized after their sets.

 I felt electrified when The Prodigy opened the show with bass heavy, chart topping “Breathe”! It made me so happy to watch the song live and dance along. Frontman Keith Flint looks pretty much exactly the same as he did in the band’s early days – still with a menacing stance and glare that the audience lapped up. All the iconic songs by The Prodigy that you know and love were played live along with my new favourites from “No Tourists” called “We Live Forever” and “Light Up the Sky” which were upbeat, uplifting songs. There were plenty of opportunities for audience members to get their hands in the air, and as soon as The Prodigy started, people couldn’t stop moving and dancing to their deep beats.

 The audience itself was a fair mix of people – there were expats from the UK that the band gave a shout out to; punks in tartan with all manners of hair spikes and mohawks; to people in their mid forties upwards with grey patches starting to appear in their hair. Such is the appeal of The Prodigy. Repeatedly, band member and rapping vocalist Maxim would thank and give respect to the audience for attending, which surprised me – as I’m used to acting the other way around and being super thankful for a band adding my hometown to their visit list.

I’ll admit that at times I’m hesitant to fork out money to see bands play stadium shows – I’ve been burned in the past, paying to see a show from a band who played none of their ‘old stuff’ (which was my fave stuff) and social media is littered with stories of performances and venues with bad concert audio. I’m so glad I put all that aside to see The Prodigy. Their finale of the evening was an old club anthem that I assumed wouldn’t get played, but I was delighted to my core when the band prompted the sound desk to turn the volume way up for their synth / base heavy “Smack my Bitch up”. The crowd went wild and we simply wished the night wouldn’t end. Everyone left on a high with a smile on their face.

If members of The Prodigy happen to stumble across this humble blog: please return to Melbourne – we love you! Your music excites so many and we sure love to dance.

Peter Pan Goes WRONG

 From the same team that brought audiences ‘The Play that Goes Wrong”, for this production they took a similar concept, made it PG rated within the beloved story of Peter Pan. This show was full of laughs and surprises from the moment you take your seats until some time after the show has officially ended! I had missed out on seeing “The Play that Goes Wrong” (clearly a mistake on my part!) so I was determined not to miss out on this production – especially as “Peter Pan” is one of my favourite stories from childhood. With a theatre buddy at my side, we reached our seats only to be bombarded by a cacophony of action happening in the theatre pre-show. This madcap start of the show contributed to set the expectations of the evening of theatre before us.

To describe each bit of comedy / scene mishap that occurs during the show would a) make this review like a thesis and b) ensure no one would be interested to see a future production so I will try to keep this review (fairly) brief. Of course, the production features all of your favourite characters from the Peter Pan story: the Darling Children and parents, Nana the dog, Peter Pan and his lost boys, Tinkerbell, Captain Hook and his pirates as well as a cast of other humanoid animals and mermaids etc. The show is easy to follow, with act signs and story progression.

When people ask me what the show was like in general, there’s one scene I refer to: Nana the dog’s first appearance onstage. There we were, watching an adult man in a dog costume receive belly rubs and pats from other adults (dressed as the Darling children); and then Nana gets stuck in her doggy door on the way out of the scene! This sets the tone of the style of humour in the show – slapstick / physical comedy which was ridiculous at times, and cleverly scripted and rehearsed at others. I also enjoyed the stories of people behind the scenes of the production (that the audience are privy to via some of the characters) – like the co-director(Robert Grove)’s audition tapes and what happened during their previous productions. That helped to bring extra dimensions and wider stories to the show, so the audience felt like they really were seeing a play put on by the (fictional) Cornley Polytechnic Drama Society.

In terms of the comedy, most of it is broadly under the banners of physical comedy / verbal /slapstick and prop comedy, with some mime thrown into the mix. Audience participation is encouraged, which enhanced the pantomime nature of the show  – much to the chagrin of Captain Hook (which just made us all laugh harder!) At many points during the show I heard people laugh until they snort, and I also witnessed children laughing, pointing and shouting with glee. It was clear that some audience members had seen this show (or its predecessor) multiple times as they seemed to know exactly what to say to the actors (and when to say it!).

If you ever come across this show (or one from the same franchise) my top tips would be to get to the theatre early and also purchase the program. The story and background to the whole show and the “company” (Cornley Polytechnic Drama Society) that puts on the play is well covered and extended via the program so I can’t recommend that enough!

Peter Pan and crew have now flown back to Neverland, however if you do have the chance to see this show then DO NOT HESITATE to get tickets! It really is a thigh slapping, ‘laugh til you cry’ kinda show…a kind of show I think we all need to see at some point.

The Illusionists: Direct from Broadway

 This is the fourth time a group of magicians under the banner of “The Illusionists” have staged a production in Melbourne, and this is the third show within the franchise that I have seen. I was extremely lucky and excited to be sitting in the front row, in front of all the action that was about to unfold! The 2019 installation of “The Illusionists” featured the following performers: Paul Dabek (The Trickster), Florian Sainvet (The Manipulator), Mark Kalin (The Showman) and Jinger Leigh (The Conjuress), Leonardo Bruno (The Alchemist), Chris Cox (The Mind Reader) and Sam Powers (The Enigma). The production also features Robyn Sharpe (The Warrior) however she was absent from the show I attended.

 I do not wish to spoil too much about what feats each act contained, however I will mention that this show has something that appeals to everyone who enjoys magic as there are so many styles that are covered. I especially enjoyed the magic presented by Jinger Leigh and Mark Kalin – both well respected and award winning magicians from the United States – as their acts contained magic that was captivating and incredible. Both are great storytellers and held the audience’s gaze and attention with each magical tale. Another performer of note is Frenchman Flavian Sainvet (The Manipulator)- also an award winning magician – once you’ve seen his act, you’ll understand why! All his magic was so smooth, and there was one piece in particular that made me feel as though I should get my eyes checked (ha!)

Another personal highlight was the MC for most of the evening (and resident Trickster) Paul Dabek. Previously I’d been lucky enough to catch Paul Dabek’s solo show (previous review for that is here) and wasn’t surprised he’d been hand selected to join The Illusionists -the man has impeccable comedic timing! From the moment he appeared onstage he prompted laughs and I know that I was laughing at points all along the show, clearly due to Paul. In an art form that can be a little serious at times, Paul Dabek made this show lighthearted and beyond enjoyable. Clearly I can go on about this man for ages, but trust me – once you enjoy his work you’ll understand why he’s world class.

Final performer mentions from me are Chris Cox (The Mind Reader) and ‘homegrown hero’ Sam Powers (The Enigma). Chris Cox took my mental image / concept / prior experience of mind readers and flipped all categories! Literally bounding around stage with exuberance (kind of like Tigger from Winnie the Pooh – but with braces, glasses and a neat outfit), Chris charmed the audience quickly with his endearing nature. Whereas ‘typical’ mind readers can come across as a bit scary / creepy with often serious routines, Chris ensured that his routines were the opposite – lighthearted, charming and not at all scary. The level of details he went to when ‘picking the brains’ of his audience members were incredible – much of the audience members were in disbelief. We are talking about ridiculous levels of detail here. Sam Powers had two segments in the show: one segment of classic stage magic and another set featuring a nail biting escape routine. Ever the showman, Sam was all smiles throughout his magic and showed plenty of panache. I very much enjoyed his magical stage entrance.

Without making too many comparisons to previous productions of “The Illusionists”, I will mention that there were aspects of this show that I liked more than the other shows – radically different presentations of magic and greatly enhanced comedy – however I did feel that some portions of the show did not reward those who had attended the previous productions. This left me wondering as surely the show producers would take into account that a percentage of the audience would have seen at least one of the previous productions of “The Illusionists”? Nevertheless, I’m always excited when the team of “The Illusionists” include Melbourne in their show run. The fact they keep returning is testament to the popularity and public interest in magic around the world and in Melbourne, which I think is wonderful.

 VERDICT: Perfect mix of comedy, suspense and some nail biting moments to keep you on the edge of your seat! “The Illusionists” have high production values and a show formula that consistently works, making this show a ‘safe bet’ for a very entertaining and mystifying night out.

*Note: The Illusionists have concluded their show run, but future shows are listed on their website here: https://www.theillusionistslive.com/
They may be appearing in a city near you soon!

“ASPYCADABRA” performed by Tim Ellis

On a hot Summer evening in Melbourne, my partner and I ventured out to the bespoke and exclusive Laneway Theatre (within an inner city suburb) to enjoy the premiere of Tim Ellis’ new magic show, titled “ASPYCADABRA”. For those of you unaware, Tim Ellis is synonymous with magic in Melbourne – during the show, Tim mentions that over the years he has run a magic shop, he runs /organises The Melbourne Magic Festival and now runs his own theatre too. Upfront in the show, Tim explains that he has Asperger’s Syndrome (or Autism Spectrum Disorder as it has now been categorised under) and sometimes refers to himself as an ‘Aspy’ – hence the name of the show.

You may think that the subject matter within this show could get a bit serious, however I found that Tim treated Asperger’s Syndrome with care whilst also being candid. I assure you there were some laughs and lighthearted moments during the show and Tim was keen to project some of the advantages of Asperger’s (especially helping him to succeed in his profession, and have a sort of collection of ‘superpowers’). The downsides to having Asperger’s were also mentioned – but not in a ‘poor me’ fashion – rather a trade off of skills (gaining some skills at the expense of others).

I enjoyed the personal nature of this show as it gave the audience a chance to learn more about the magician themselves. In the magical world of smoke and mirrors – where nothing is as it seems -I relished the chance to discover more about Tim and his background. Almost part TED talk, part magic show, each piece of magic was carefully selected to accompany a piece of dialogue or a short story relating to a strength or weakness of Asperger’s. Speaking of the magic, I won’t spoil too much here but along with some pieces of magic that Tim regularly performs, there was a piece that made everyone gasp with surprise. It was an incredible feat of magic that left audience members with their jaws on the floor! Children were in the audience on opening night, many of them chanting “HOW did he do that?!” I also personally enjoyed the messages conveyed via card magic (especially relating to trying to ‘fit in’).

There were many personal messages in the show, but the one that resonated with me (and that was carried all the way through the show) is that everyone is unique – and that is something that should be celebrated. In a society and world that tends to want everyone to act and work a certain way, there’s something liberating about celebrating everyone’s unique qualities. Indeed, Tim mentions that everyone had their role and part to play in society no matter their background or individual differences. Tim also opened up a segment of question time during the show, which I feel enhanced the audience’s learning. At the end of the show, it felt nice to have seen some fantastic magic and to have learnt more about the performer at the same time.

VERDICT: A thought provoking and candid show well worth your time. Part TED talk and part magic show “ASPYCADABRA” is as entertaining as it is informative, thought provoking and clever. I encourage everyone to come and see this show – it is so worthwhile.

Notes:
– this show is suited to teens upwards
– Disclaimer: my partner and I attended as guests of the performer

Tickets and further information:
https://www.trybooking.com/book/event?eid=448181