Each evening of the Melbourne Magic Festival at 9:30pm, a special late night magic show called ‘Best of the Magic Fest’ is presented. Nicholas J Johnson hosts the show, however the performers for each show are different. So if you’re a fan of staying up late to watch magic, you could attend this show multiple nights in a row and watch completely different performers (and performances!). I attended on Sunday night, and the theme was ‘Royal Rumble’ – each magician only had a narrow window of time to perform before a bell rang and the next performer was introduced. The magicians performing that evening included Josh Staley, Nick Kay, Dom Chambers, Ben Sheldon, Mr Marmalade, Ben Orson and Pierre Ulric. Two special assistants from the audience took their places at each end of a table which sat at the front of the theatre. These special assistants were able to see all of the incredible magic up close, while the audience could marvel at the miracles happening from farther away (but also enjoying all the facial expressions from the two assistants). The evening’s magic focused on card magic (where all manner of cards disappeared, reappeared, changed places and so on) however some magicians also used rope and even a pair of iPod earbuds to convey their magic to the audience. The rapid pace of the magic unfolding and the magicians changing made this show an exciting one to watch – the tension was palpable on more than one occasion! This show was fast, furious and fantastic!
VERDICT: Definitely a show for adults, and it’s in a late timeslot however this show is NEVER the same and has a cult following in the festival. If you do plan to attend, I’d recommend attending on the last evening (Saturday July 9th).