On another cool night at the Melba Spiegeltent, my partner and I were both looking forward to the debut Melbourne Magic Festival performance by Mr Marmalade. The show with arguably the most intriguing and whimsical poster (and title!) had taken our attention and we settled into the theatre ready for an evening of mysteries and curiosities to unfold in front of our eyes.
Mr Marmalade appeared onstage in his dapper sepia coloured suit, with an extra twinkle in his eye and grand moustache twirled to perfection. Commencing the evening with a silent routine featuring rings, Mr Marmalade easily commanded the attention of everyone in the room. I was delighted that Mr Marmalade included some of my personal favourite pieces of magic- card magic with some added danger was a particular highlight as was an escape themed piece! Audience participation was also featured, with those chosen enhancing the magic that much more for the very full room of audience members.
One aspect I thoroughly enjoyed from Mr Marmalade’s show was the emphasis on storytelling. This was a magic show, but also much more as Mr Marmalade spun tales of his Grandpa and other quirky characters that he made reference to along the course of the evening. The storytelling and whimsical mood was enhanced by a musical duo who looped sounds and played musical instruments during the show – some may have found this a little distracting at times, but I felt it matched Mr Marmalade’s aesthetic.
Mr Marmalade’s show flowed so well that we could hardly believe it was his first festival run. You know you’re really enjoying a show when time seems to vanish on it’s own pace. We all hope that Mr Marmalade returns with more of his whimsical, charming magic that has echoes from a sepia coloured past but is just as fitting for modern audiences.
VERDICT: step into Mr Marmalade’s parlour of charm and indulge in an evening of delightful mysteries and magic. A stand out show by an accomplished performer that was thoroughly enjoyable.
*Disclaimer: we attended this show as guests of the performer.