ADL Fringe 2020 review: ‘Suspension of Disbelief’

Back at Ayers House (but in the intimate Library room) the audience is transported to an old shop full of antiquities and curios. Local magicians Jamie Ramzan (one half of ‘Suspension of Disbelief’) plays the older, wiser curator of the shop while Baenedict Thievenathan is the other half of the duo – and is Jamie’s understudy. Indeed, after a welcoming introduction and commencement of the storyline, Jamie asks the audience to suspend their disbelief for the next passage of time and take in the curious magical objects of the shop (in addition to the magical and mystifying skills of the show performers!) The story and the strong magical talents of each performer make this show shine. Despite the ‘master’ and ‘understudy’ roles I felt each performer was equally matched in skill and storytelling efforts. Great effort was taken to draw the audience in, so that rather than it being the audience vs stage the line was blurred between audience and stage…

Without giving too much away, over the course of the show the greater storyline is referenced regularly so the audience doesn’t have a chance to get lost among all the magic that unfolds in front of them (and trust me when I say there are some strong pieces of magic in this show!) There’s so much to enjoy within ‘Suspension of Disbelief’ especially when the show covers many styles of magic. During the course of the show I heard gasps of surprise, saw shaking of heads and there was even a moment of tension where it seemed like time slowed down, with the whole room completely silent.

At the end of the show, when the story was done, I felt like all the audience members had been on a journey with each other and the magical hosts. It was a nice feeling which held it’s own warmth

VERDICT: A charming show in an intimate parlour setting, that will have you talking and thinking well after the show has ended. Suspend your own disbelief and get swept away in the story and magic of this immensely enjoyable show. I can only ‘Suspension of disbelief’ return for another chapter next year.

*Disclaimer: I attended this show as a Fringe passholder

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ADL Fringe 2020 review: “Improbable Deductions” performed by Auslusion

Local Adelaide magic duo Auslusion (Scott Stunz and Jace Wonders) return to the fringe with their detective based magic show “Improbable Deductions”, housed within the beautiful ballroom of Ayers House. I’d seen Auslusion previously a couple of times, however I’d never seen a show quite like this one – where the show was an equal split between a murder mystery and a magic show (all with Auslusion’s signature 1920’s flair of course!) This show had an extra appeal to me as I grew up watching many murder mysteries and classic detectives on TV. I could see that Stunz and Wonders enjoyed playing their roles as magical detectives, questioning members of the audience and selected ‘suspects’ then using their magical powers to help solve the murder mystery. Post all their great detective work, Auslusion went straight into the more ‘traditional’ magical portion of the evening, which was very enjoyable (though that could describe  the entire show). Along the way there were plenty of laughs, some fun pieces of mentalism and some engaging audience participation segments.

Another great aspect of this show is that it’s suitable for families. As soon as murder mysteries are involved, I felt the theme could potentially be a little less exciting for children (or even a bit scary for some) however on the night I attended, there were children in the audience helping to examine ‘evidence’ and busily trying to have their parent chosen to help out on stage. I found ‘Improbable Deductions’ an easy show to watch and enjoy.

VERDICT: A fun magic show with a detective theme, that is easy for the audience to enjoy. It’s clear that Auslsion enjoy their detective roles, and this adds to the enjoyment of the show for their audience. The magical pieces are enjoyable and clever, with audience volunteers looked after. A great show with wide appeal.

*Disclaimer: I attended this show as a Fringe passholder.

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ADL Fringe 2020 Review: Maho Magic Bar

Maho Magic Bar is billed as a special experience, and that it is. A neon light covered exterior held a room with 4 bars, and a central area decorated with cherry blossoms. With around 6 guests to each bar table, the hour was spent with 4 different Japanese magicians performing feats of magical miracles and card magic right before our eyes taking turns at each table. The magic was smooth, precise and very impressive. A pleasing array of Japanese drinks and spirits were available for purchase, along with a few cute souvenirs.

If that wasn’t enough, a particular highlight was the ‘special orders’ menu where for a mere $10 you could purchase a special experience (that was often solely just for the buyer, though the rest of the bar patrons could watch on). Needless to say, the names of some of these ‘special orders’ were quite coy and on one occasion I received way more than I bargained for! The level of audience participation through the whole event is fairly high – as each magician wants to involve you in their magic – plus the ‘special orders’ mean that extra attention is lavished on the buyer. The host for the evening is fantastic and has quite a few surprising skills himself. He definitely added to the fun and excitement of the evening.

Elements of the ‘special orders’ and much of the magic performed had a Japanese flair, which I very much enjoyed as I have been to Japan and miss the country and its quirks and icons.

VERDICT: Maho Magic Bar was everything I wanted it to be and so much more. The ticket price means this is a premium experience, but whether you’ve been to Japan or not you’re in store for a fascinating and amazing hour of magic. I was genuinely disappointed that I couldn’t return for another serve of fine Japanese magic, alongside some madcap surprise adventures.

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Tay Around Town – the return!

Hello readers, yes, I have returned for another year of witnessing amazing entertainment and writing about it. There has been quite the gap between blog posts due to some personal items arising before Christmas, then post Christmas I bought a house with my partner!! Which was exciting and stressful in equal measures!!!

So, I thank you for your patience during this time of me shuffling all my possessions to the other side of town (and misplacing many things in the process!) No need to fear, I’m back attending events and shows and there will be lots more for you to read and enjoy very soon. Speaking of reviews, I have just spent another joyful weekend in Adelaide for the Fringe festival and look forward to sharing my adventures with you. Pre Adelaide I also caught Alice Cooper’s latest concert offering “Ol’ Black Eyes is Back’ so look out for that review in due course too…but for now, grab a cuppa and read on to discover what Adelaide Fringe 2020 has in store for you.