As a repeat audience member at the Melbourne Magic Festival over a number of years, I have learned not to miss Dane Certificate’s show. Dane’s shows are often considered the ‘dark horse’ of the magic festival – the type of show that you should take a chance on, because it may just surprise you the most! Again this year, I was not disappointed (though with Dane’s show, I never am). Having seen Dane’s shows over the previous couple of years I expected music – loud and all encompassing at times, and romantic (almost relaxing) at others. Immediately I knew this show was different as it was performed in silence, with only some sound effects as a ‘backing track’. Another feature that was markedly different to previous years is that Dane’s show this year had a clearer narrative: a factory worker was blind to the magic around him and longed to escape to another world.
Dane’s shows are often described as surreal – like a magical trip to another world and I agree with that. His shows are immersive and while I’m focusing on his magic I’m forgetting where I am (almost who I am). As objects transformed into other objects and the mundane became magical I honestly did not know what to expect next and that made my pulse race with excitement. With surprise appearances, disappearances and reveals of curious objects this show was like a trip down the rabbit hole of Alice in Wonderland. A world of unexpected wonders and surprises curated by Dane himself.
Verdict: I implore you to take time out of your usual routine and world to witness one of Dane’s shows. Whilst perhaps not ideal for children (however the content / narrative was family friendly and there were children in the audience) or first time magic show attendees, one thing is for certain: the dark horse is often the most rewarding.