On a fun Friday evening at the Melbourne Magic Festival, I was fortunate enough to attend Simon Coronel’s show “Things by Simon”. I was excited to see this show as Simon was once a Melbourne based magician, but is now in California so it was a treat to have him return to the festival and wow local audiences. Those who have seen Simon’s solo shows previously would know that he presents stylish, suave magic that makes you think long after the curtains have been drawn and the audience has left the theatre. Simon opened his show with an elegant close up card routine, which was projected on a screen for those up the back to see. Simon has a relaxed way of addressing his audience throughout his show, yet still having plenty of mystery about him and his magical talents. One aspect of Simon’s shows that I admire is his insistence on ‘magic with consent’ – that is, there are multiple chances throughout his show for audience members to assist with the magic (and often receive a unique magical souvenir for their efforts) however the audience members must agree to help out of their own free will. There’s no forcing of audience interactions or helpers here, and that in turn helps to foster a trust between the audience and Simon. The magic Simon weaved for his audience was at times amusing and light hearted, and at other points had a more intriguing story or outcome behind it. Items traditionally seen in magic shows made an appearance (cards, coins and banknotes) however Simon also included some other surprises that easily held the audience’s attention. I saw magic during this show that still baffles me to this day and I enjoy that aspect of Simon’s performance! Audible gasps were heard during Simon’s show and I saw many wide smiles and impressed looking audience members which added to my own enjoyment of the show.
Verdict: A thoroughly enjoyable show full of ‘modern miracles’. I consider Simon’s shows to be unmissable during the Magic Festival. If you have the chance to catch a magic show by Simon Coronel, then please go ahead and take that chance! You’ll be very glad you did.