BWW Reviews: THE ILLUSIONISTS 2.0 Have Adelaide Audiences Spellbound

Reviewed Friday 27th December 2013

Following the success of The Illusionists tour in January, it was inevitable that the team behind that production would follow up with more. The Illusionists 2.0 is the sequel, featuring another seven performers in a range of genres. The first production had a goodly number of large scale illusions, such as hoisting a cage containing a magician on a motor bike, then collapsing the cage as the contents vanish. This time there were less of the mechanical illusions and more of those that demand considerable skill, and lots of practice.

From Portugal, Luis De Matos, The Master Magician, acted as master of ceremonies, as well as performing his own conjuring feats. He had all the charm and charisma for his role of introducing the other acts, and his unique way of filling a tank with goldfish caught the audience by surprise.

I, for one, would not like to be standing too close to Belgian magician, The Warrior, Aaron Crow, as he wields his razor sharp katana, that famous Japanese samurai sword, particularly as he is heavily blindfolded at the time. He was the winner at the World Championships of Magic for his performances, which included an array of weaponry. You will be amazed at his skill with a longbow, fired while standing on a rotating platform.

The Deceptionist, James Moore, who appeared on Britain's Got Talent, came up with some clever illusions, such as climbing into a long box then pulling in the ends toward each other, and shrinking himself in the process. Definitely not to be tried at home are his illusions in which he lays back on a long sharp spike and spins, or is anchored to a bed and a set of flaming spikes are dropped.

Adelaide's own extremely popular Raymond Crowe, The Unusualist, is more than a magician, combining a host of other talents and bringing back memories of the heady days of variety performances. Alongside his magic he adds ventriloquism in an hilarious routine that, even having seen it before, was nonetheless highly entertaining. To everybody's delight, he ended the show with his famous hand shadow puppetry to Louis Armstrong's Wonderful World, the Youtube video of which shot him to international fame five years ago.

American, Dr. Scott Lewis, The Hypnotist, has been using hypnotism in treating his patients for the last 25 years and has also been performing for a long time in Las Vegas. Setting a real challenge to other hypnotists, he puts three dozen audience volunteers under his influence during the interval and, when the rest of the audience returns, works with them as an entire group, as well as selecting one individual for some very comical antics.

The Manipulator, Yu Ho-Jin, is from South Korea and only turned 21 recently but, in that short lifetime he has developed some blindly fast and deceptive skills at sleight of hand. Removing a silk scarf, he transforms it into a white card, changes it through a range of colours, and it ends as a playing card or, more correctly, a group of cards. Cards appear, disappear, change from playing cards to coloured cards and back again, are regularly discarded onto the floor, for more to appear in his hands and finally a white card becomes his silk scarf again. He is a magician's magician and you will be enthralled by his act.

Another American, Adam Trent, The Futurist, combines magic, dance moves, comedy, and technology and also offers some fine close up card magic, projected onto a large screen that permits the whole audience to watch as if standing on stage with him. This demands great precision and dexterity, and he certainly has that.

The seven performers bring a range of talents and skills to the stage in an action packed show that thrilled and amazed young and old alike from start to finish. Four dancers, dressed and made up in an otherworldly fashion, who also acted as assistants to the magicians, added further excitement to the production. This excellent show is only in Adelaide for a few days, so be sure to act quickly and get along to Her Majesty's Theatre for this family friendly production.



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From This Author Barry Lenny