MMF 2017 Mini Review: ‘Rockstar Magic Revisited’ Performed by John Fung

I had previously seen short performances from John Fung, however he seems to be regularly travelling so once I heard he’d be back in Melbourne I was extra keen to see his show.

John’s magic was classy and often very mystifying – magic occurred with an assortment of objects such as money, cards, cutlery and rings. John at times seemed like a ‘James Bond’ character – sharply dressed and debonair with a silver suitcase on stage – which he used to his advantage, charming and astounding the audience. John regularly selected people from the audience to help him – whether it was to inspect objects or make some selections for predictions to come. The audience members themselves seemed to be from a mix of different countries, which added to the ‘International feel’ of the evening. This international theme was also incorporated into the final prediction of the show, which I thought was a nice touch.

Whilst my expectations for this show were different to what I experienced (I’d expected the flashy routines set to music that I’d seen from John in the past), I was impressed with his rapport with the audience and I left the show feeling entertained and happy.

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MMF 2017 Mini Review: ‘Tim Credible’s Family Magic Show’

Tim Credible (magician Tim You) is undoubtedly one of the hardest working local magicians I’ve come across. Each MMF he has a family magic show on each morning (in the earliest timeslot!) and often runs a magic school session for budding magicians after the show. I felt most privileged and excited to attend his family magic show this year, in fact this is the first time EVER that I’ve been able to watch his full show so I was beaming as I walked into the theatre.

With little magic fans sitting up the front on donut shaped cushions, and (ahem) older audience members sitting up the back of the theatre, Tim welcomed the audience to his show. Dressed in a smart ensemble featuring primary colours, Tim showed off some hat juggling to get everyone in the mood for a fun show. Having performed countless magic shows, it was obvious that Tim is a polished performer – he knew which comedy lines and jokes would make his audience laugh and how best to direct his special helpers from the audience in order to create some special magic. Personal show highlights for me included magic that I’ve seen at plenty of other shows (rope magic, magic with a special bag) however none of those effects quite had the same magical elements previously as when Tim Credible performed them for he imparts his own fantastic and playful personality into his magic of course. Another highlight was that the audience got to meet some of Tim’s VERY talented animal friends. I even had the rare chance to meet one of Tim’s animal friends up close on stage – a memory that I will cherish!

This show is your best bet if you’re after some ‘tried and tested’ solid family entertainment. Both young children and adults are involved at various times during the show, whether it is wiggling fingers or having the chance to be involved in some magic on stage. Nothing is cheap or tacky, and everything is glorious in its flawlessness. The magic and comedy flow so seamlessly that I couldn’t quite believe it when the show was over, it certainly left me wanting to see more. If you have the chance to see a show by Tim Credible (whether at the MMF or at another event at another time), take that chance and please do see it!

Note: I attended this show as a Tim’s guest.

MMF 2017 Mini Review: ‘Gone Girl’

Dom Chambers and Bayden Hammond are the comedy magic duo ‘Dom and Dumber’ and since they burst onto the magic scene roughly a year ago, they’ve been successfully shaking up the concept of a traditional magic show. Each are magicians, able to hold their own in separate shows however when their powers are combined something special happens – put a magician and a comedian into a blender, and ‘Dom and Dumber’ will likely be the result!*

One thing to expect from a ‘Dom and Dumber’ show is plenty of theatrical magic, and their show “Gone Girl” was no different. The storyline was that Dom’s dog had been dognapped and the audience had the special privilege to be taken along for the (very) magical ride as Dom sought to be reunited with his precious pooch. I find it so refreshing that the variety of scenes in this show meant that I had no idea what was around each corner and that was thrilling! Without giving too much away, the show has a wild cast of characters and set locations along with some hilariously magical scenes. Many of the stories are parodies of scenes from popular movies, so it was easy to follow along with the story. There are a couple of scenes where it looks like Dom has hit some trouble, and those were the scenes where I laughed the most during the show (sorry Dom!). Those facial expressions get me every time.

In a world where magic shows can sometimes get a little stuffy and dated, ‘Dom and Dumber’ are the heroes, shaking up the ordinary and the expected. This time, I got so taken by the storyline that I actually forgot what city I was in when I left the theatre.

If you’re looking for an extraordinary (and somewhat zany and bizarre) theatrical magic show, then this is definitely the show for you. Clever, hilarious and refreshing, I look forward to what’s next on the crazy ‘Dom and Dumber’ horizon. This show is best enjoyed by audiences over 15.

*please do not put magicians and comedians into a blender.

MMF 2017 Mini Review: ‘Welcome to the Movies Part 3’

Having seen magician Peter Nguyen’s previous magic installment ‘Welcome to the Movies Part 2’ (which I thoroughly enjoyed) I was extra keen to see what the part 3 installment had in store for the audience.

Peter’s magic show is a tribute to the movies. He’s a self confessed movie buff and I enjoy that he displays his love of movies via magic. There’s plenty of variety in this show – sometimes the audience is watching a short movie clip on a screen, sometimes Peter is asking the audience movie trivia and a lot of the time Peter is performing magic. Peter is always optimistic and smiles broadly for the audience, and his entrance for this show was surprising! It’s hard not to be taken along for a magical ride through popular movies with Peter guiding the way. My boyfriend and I both saw this show (albeit on different nights) and it was interesting to see which segments he and I enjoyed the most. We both especially enjoyed Peter’s tribute to Stargate, and a scene during the show with Peter’s special lie detector. An interesting inclusion in this show was an awards ceremony (which I thought was quite clever). There is no sitting idly through this show, staring into a screen (as you would in the movies) as Peter frequently calls for assistance from the audience – often with hilarious results. Of course, everyone is treated well and perhaps a little ‘extra’ movie magic happens when audience members are involved.

Overall another fantastic show which really was like an escape to the movies, except with some added audience participation and some fantastic magic. This particular installment was aimed more at adults rather than children – with many of the movie quiz references being ‘before my time’ – however the children in attendance seemed interested and excited when it was time for magic. The installments of ‘Welcome to the Movies’ remain a MMF highlight for me so I hope another installment is on its way.

Note: I attended this show as a Peter’s guest.

MMF 2017 Mini Review: ‘Surreal’ performed by Josh Staley

I was very lucky to see three magic shows by Melbourne magician Josh Staley, and ‘Surreal’ was the final show I experienced from Josh at this year’s MMF. The audience was all excited to see what mysteries were in store for them, and I can tell you that the show definitely lived up to its name!

At the start of the show, Josh handed out some mysterious packages and boxes for selected audience members to keep an eye on (to be returned to later in the show). Along the way, Josh enlisted the assistance of many audience members which was fantastic to see as people were clearly excited to be selected to help out. Selecting many audience members to help meant that the entire audience actually felt closer to the magic happening. One of the things I enjoyed the most about this show was that it contained a wide assortment of objects – not just the ‘usual’ objects you’d find in a magic show but items like fruit, matchboxes and lightbulbs which added to the mystery and element of surprise.

This show also contained the most storytelling of all of Josh’s shows. Josh excels at storytelling, and these pieces were undoubtedly the strongest points of his show. I don’t want to spoil too much here, but trust me – when Josh tells a story, you’ll want to be an active listener and keep your eyes peeled for some fantastic moments of magic! There were many points during this show where the audience were making sounds of disbelief and shaking their heads, and this continued as the show ended. Many of the audience left the show wondering if they could believe what they had seen, for we had seen some wonderful and bizarre pieces of magic, surreal indeed.

 

 

MMF 2017 Mini Review: ‘Smoke & Mirrors’

Continuing on my very magical and fantastic odyssey of daytime magic shows, I was excited to see the show ‘Smoke & Mirrors’ by magician Richard Wibberley. Richard is a Melbourne magician however he has a British accent (and did mention he was from London) which added to the mystery of the show. Dressed in a striking yellow suit, Richard appeared and performed a very enjoyable and visual coin routine to draw the audience into his magical world.

Always very friendly towards the audience, and requiring plenty of audience participation (expected due to this being a family show) Richard treated his helpers well and ensured the audience had a fun time. We all shared many laughs during this magic show as well as an abundance of mystery and surprises. Richard had many curious props and magical pieces of equipment to show to the audience. We had no idea what wild prop was going to be around each corner! While some aspects of the show seemed a bit dated, the show was a fine choice for a family outing and there were many family groups and an assortment of children enjoying the show on the day I attended.

I’ve seen a small selection of Richard’s magic previously so I was beyond happy when he introduced his enchanted juice carton during the show. That routine is one of my favourites of all time, and if you haven’t had the chance to see it yet it is something you should get to see at least once in your life! Overall a very fun and enchanting show – I left the theatre with a smile on my face, thinking about how much magic makes me smile.

MMF 2017 Mini Review: ‘100% Dani DaOrtiz’ (International Guest)

Each year during the MMF I always make an effort to see each International headline act, and this year was no different. I’d heard a lot of excitement amongst the local magicians regarding Dani DaOrtiz’ magical capabilities so I was super keen to check out the show for myself. Appearing in a relaxed outfit, Dani seemed humble and the least ‘flashy’ or theatrical looking of any of the magicians I’ve seen. Perhaps this was to distract people from his true card wizardry?

I was aware that Dani’s specialty is card magic, however I was unaware of the exact nature of his card capabilities – gosh was I in for a night of incredible card magic and many surprises! The room was set up with 6 chairs around a table at the front of the room, and then the rest of the theatre had tiered seating so we could all see what went on at the front. A lucky selection of people took the chance to sit at the table at the front of the room, and they ended up sitting around Dani and experiencing many card miracles up close. Often I could see the looks of disbelief and the shaking of heads as the card magic flew by their very noses.

Dani was often able to produce and pinpoint a person’s chosen card shuffled amongst all other cards in a deck with lightning speed. Shuffles that seemed complicated, and varying sets of instructions given to participants were no hurdle for Dani as he seemed to know where every card’s position was every second of the entire show. It was an incredible show, with the tempo and excitement building each time Dani performed another miracle with cards (often using borrowed decks from audience members which just added to the mystifying nature of the show). Towards the end of the show (when many audience members were seemingly having their brains fried – myself included), Dani asked the audience if they wanted to see more and all the audience members roared.

Despite being surrounded by magicians in the audience (there was only a handful of ‘non magicians’ in attendance that night) it was an incredibly thrilling and impressive show for both the magicians and non magicians in the audience. Given that all the magic was from Dani DaOrtiz and the decks of cards he borrowed from the audience, the amounts of magic and amazement that occurred that night was beyond belief. In mythology, there are gods of the sun, war, love, oceans etc – in that sense I truly believe that Dani DaOrtiz is the god of card magic.

MMF 2017 Mini Review: ‘I Love Magic’

Given that I’m guilty of mentioning how much I love magic to pretty much anyone who will listen, I was compelled to attend magician Anthony De Masi’s magic show ‘I Love Magic’. Anthony is a well known magician in Melbourne and often has a show during the MMF, however I enjoy his magic so much that I always look forward to an opportunity to see more of it.

A magic show by Anthony De Masi is a madcap adventure of all kinds of magical effects – it’s like a magical smorgasboard that appeals to many different tastes and audiences all rolled into one show. There’s card magic, magic with fire, surprise productions, predictions and much more! No show by Anthony De Masi is complete without a visit from his sweet animal friends – many rabbits in hats were passed around the audience so everyone (big or small) had the chance to pat them. Anthony’s magical doves also paid a visit which was fantastic to see – the doves always prompt plenty of ‘oohs and aahs’ from the audience. Audience participation is always included in Anthony’s shows, with plenty of children having the chance to assist with the magic and the wider audience members asked to make magical gestures in order to make the magic happen.

Anthony regularly weaves a theme into his magic shows – last year the theme was about achieving your dreams, and this year the theme was about family and how much magic means to Anthony himself which was touching. It’s these themes that set his shows apart¬† and makes each show really stick around in your mind afterwards (well I know that is what it’s like for me anyway!) You’re guaranteed a fun show when it comes to Anthony and his marvellous magic – I’ve been watching his magic for years and have never seen a show from him that hasn’t been entertaining!

If you ever have the chance to see one of Anthony’s performances, don’t hesitate to go along! From those who’ve never seen a magic show to those (like me) who have seen hundreds over the years, Anthony strives to entertain all and does it so very well.

MMF 2017 Mini Review: ‘Enigma’ performed by Josh Staley

Melbourne magician Josh Staley frequently has shows on during the MMF, however this year he was involved in three of his own shows and I was able to see all of them (which is a rare occurrence as often I can only make it to one or two). It’s an amazing feat in itself to have one show in the festival, let alone to have three! Josh introduced himself to the intimate audience and mentioned that this particular show was all about card magic (which seems to be his favourite kind of magic).

The audience was gathered around a close up table, and Josh prepared to entertain the crowd using his magical skills and various decks of cards. I enjoyed his opening set, in which he invited a couple of children to mix the cards up (like mixing a ‘card salad’) and to display signs to the audience to refer to what was happening during the routine.¬† I found this routine to be entertaining, with a few surprising twists thrown in. Plenty of miracles with cards were presented during this show, and the audience was transfixed watching all the magic happen right under their noses. Often the entire room was silent while Josh weaved his magic – aside from regular cries of “NO!” and “Get out!” when something unbelievable occurred. Card predictions found and displayed in creative ways was a strength of this show – my friends were shaking their heads and making frustrated sounding noises when their chosen cards were found. Overall it was an impressive show, and one to look out for ion future if you particularly enjoy card magic.

MMF 2017 Mini Review: ‘Micky TrickSTAR Tricky Extravaganza’

Micky TrickSTAR’s family show was another daytime show at the MMF that I was keen to see. I had previously seen glimpses of Micky’s magic and he never fails to make me laugh so I had high expectations for his show – he did not disappoint!

Excitedly waiting for his audience (made up of an equal mix of children and adults) near the door of his show, he waved and smiled at the audience who were taking their seats. The room felt like such a friendly, happy space. Micky had a curious amount of items on stage: boxes, tubes, brightly coloured bags and his magical suitcase (of course!) Micky promptly started the show and called out to the audience to see how we were feeling and if we were ready for MAGIC – the audience reaction was a resounding YES! If you’ve never met Micky before, he has a loud personality (and many facial expressions) so there’s no missing him in a room or when he’s asking you a question.

This show included many magical effects, all served with loads of laughs. The appearance of Micky’s dove named “Bubbles” was very exciting, as was a game for a volunteer to choose a prize. The children laughed when things seemingly (deliberately) went awry for Micky, and that made me laugh along too. Micky regularly went into the audience, looking for young and older volunteers to help him. He never had a shortage of helpers from the audience – I frequently spied children attempting to stand on chairs and wave themselves about in order to get selected to assist.

Micky goes to great lengths to ensure his audience is entertained, via his comedy magic (especially his magic words!) and his facial expressions. He never fails to make me laugh – this was undoubtedly one of the most fun shows I saw all festival and it was definitely the family show that made me laugh the most out of all the family / children’s shows that I saw. It’s clear that Micky has many fans, and he appreciates them too – all children at his show received a free poster which I thought was a lovely memento. Go see Micky TrickSTAR if you ever get the chance!