IF YOU LOVE MAGIC AND THEATRE, TREAT YOURSELF
Christchurch Arts Festival 2015
at Isaac Theatre Royal, Christchurch
Reviewed by Grant Hindin Miller, 17 Sep 2015
A large BOM screen hangs like a Mercedes or BMW logo above the open stage. Tiered rectangles of silver scaffolding recede from the front lights. Wisps of dry ice float above black barrelled lighting. A rockabilly soundtrack with thumping bass reminds us that ‘these are the best days of our lives’.
The driving beat excites the expectant audience, a diverse multigenerational group. This is a masculine space and Band of Magicians is an appropriate name for a boyband of well-honed tricksters.
Two Australians, an American and an Englishman; four young streetwise magicians: James Galea, Adam Mada, Brett Loudermilk, and Ben Hanlin. Each has forged an individual career in the world of entertainment – as clowns, sword swallowers, illusionists and street magicians. They all boast a stellar performance history, including regular television appearances and their own shows. They’ve now pooled their talents and created the “world’s first supergroup of magicians”.
One of the strengths of this line-up is that it’s a family show. They’re the ‘likely lads of magic’: talented, skilled, energetic and appealing, they know how to work and engage an audience. The show ranges from multimedia deception, card tricks, illusions, disappearing acts, comedy and mindreading to lively and good-humoured banter.
The dazzling gilt of the newly renovated Isaac Theatre Royal, with its watercolour domed ceiling depicting Puck and fairies from A Midsummer Night’s Dream, is a magical frame for the performance. The sorcery is enchanting but the true magic of Band of Magicians is the verve and personality of the four main attractions, the individual members of the band, each with his own particular blend of charisma. These performers are seasoned entertainers and likeable showmen. The audience loves them.
If you love magic, if you love live theatre, if you deserve something special, then treat yourself to Band of Magicians. You won’t regret it.
The trick to writing a review of a magic show is not to give too much away and also to know when and how to disa….