In 2019, the Melbourne Magic Festival was lucky to receive a visit from the Mad Hatter (performed by Tim Ellis). It is lucky for this to occur because 1) the Mad Hatter does not perform at every festival and 2) I overheard him mentioning to children before the show started that he “doesn’t even exist on Sundays!” In any case, I was delighted to be there to experience this fun show. The premise of the show is that it is Alice’s birthday and the Mad Hatter is getting ready, preparing for her party (with the help of the audience of course)! Prior to starting the show the Mad Hatter was on stage, chatting to the younger audience members and setting the scene for the show, which was a nice touch.
Now, you may think that children’s magic shows are a bit boring for adults, but such is the power and magical ability of the Mad Hatter that he ensured that his show was interactive for adults too. Sure, many children had the chance to help out but some lucky adults also had that chance (albeit in different ways). Much of the Mad Hatter’s magic was set to to fun chirpy music, which the audience really enjoyed – some people clapped along with the beat and other audience members made happy sounds, indicating their enjoyment of the music and magic. I don’t wish to spoil too much of what went on during the show, however make sure you look out for a very special pot plant and for when the Mad Hatter had some snack time – those were the moments that made me laugh the hardest!
Along the course of the show, the Mad Hatter’s enthusiasm never waned and he adapted well to children who were enthusiastic vs others who were shy. The Mad Hatter was very well received by his audience, especially his special onstage helpers who screamed and shrieked with glee and delight at the Mad Hatter’s antics. A tip for this show would be to wear your best hats and wonderland fashions to this show! The Mad Hatter loves fashions (especially hats) and even held a short fashion paraded during the show. A special surprise guest also brought delight to many of the audience members.
VERDICT: a fun and memorable show, bound to engage the whole family but especially suited younger children 7 and under. You’d be mad to miss this show!
*Disclaimer: I attended this show as a guest of the festival.