Magician Lu Chen has a cult following in his home country of China, and his run of shows at the 2019 Melbourne Magic Festival is his first time performing in Australia. Suffice to say, his arrival has been the buzz of the second week of the festival. Opening night was a packed full house, co-ordinated exceptionally well by festival staff and volunteers given there were three different ticket types including VIPs to be seated in a short time frame.
I’d heard of Lu Chen before but had no idea of his speciality or what to expect from his show. Put simply, the audience was in for a an evening of sleek magic and powerful storytelling with focus on mentalism / mind reading. Many of Lu Chen’s routines required assistance from audience members, which delighted his many fans in the audience who were keen to assist. The inclusion of Australian animals in a guessing game is a nice nod to Australia. A personal highlight is a routine involving wine and some playing cards, which was highly surprising and interactive. Lu Chen’s show included many surprising moments, prompting lots of “oohs and aahs” from the audience. I enjoyed Lu Chen’s references to the psychology of belief during his show, however he kept those references fairly light so the audience didn’t get bogged down into too much detail. Much of his show was aimed at adults, however it is a show that families can enjoy together – and indeed I spied many children in the audience enjoying the show with their families.
The show concluded with a wonderful story time piece that I very much enjoyed. I left the theatre feeling very thoughtful and happy.
VERDICT: sleek magic and powerful storytelling combine to create a memorable magic show that will leave you amazed and surprised.
Note: Lu Chen’s run of shows in Melbourne have all sold out.