MMF 2019 Review: “No Smoke, No Mirrors”

  For the 2019 Melbourne Magic Festival, a second hub debuted across town in the trendy suburb of Prahran. This hub was housed at The MC Showroom – an intimate and charming inner city theatre just behind bustling Chapel Street. Upon arrival at the venue, I received a warm welcome and was led into the bar / lounge area prior to taking a seat for the show. With a mix of cabaret tables and tiered seating, The MC Showroom has seating styles to suit many shows.

With refined music upon entry and a silent piece to open the evening, Richard Vegas was dressed in a dapper manner and charmed his audience from the moment he stepped on stage. “No Smoke, No Mirrors” may sound like a plain / direct name for a show – there were indeed no smoke or mirrors involved- however the show itself was not plain or unassuming. In fact during most of the show, Richard Vegas shared various stories with the audience matched with pieces of magic. Richard’s an engaging storyteller – during some stories I could feel chills; during other stories the room was so focused on Richard that you could have heard a pin drop. Much of this show could be deemed ‘mentalism’ (which I personally enjoy) but the storytelling really made each piece of magic come alive. My highlights were a cool number prediction using members of the audience, and a piece of magic involving razor blades which was very dramatic (and heart stopping)!

The message that we make our own future through our choices was mentioned throughout the show and that message resonated with me. Additionally there were other connections to be made between pieces in the show which impressed the audience. There were a few children in the audience the night I attended, however this show contained some mature themes so best use your own judgement if you’re keen to take children / younger family members to this show.

VERDICT: a well presented and enjoyable show, with a mentalism focus and a thoughtful message.

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

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