Entertainment Hive 2017

Magical skills astound in The Illusionists 2.0

The Illusionists 2.0

Her Majesty's Theatre, Adelaide, until January 5

The magic is back in the form  of The Illusionists 2.0 and while the magic might not be as grand it is still a show to behold. The "next generation'' of magicians push the envelope in both new and old ways from Adelaide's own Raymond Crowe (The Unusualist) bringing a touch of vaudeville to his act to Adam Trent (The Futurist) showing us the way magic may evolve in the years to come. The charming Luis De Matos is The Master Magician and the host of the show and he proves it's the simple acts that can be the most astounding as he turned an empty fish tank full of water into one teaming with goldfish. Dr Scott Lewis (The Hypnotist) has been perfecting his art for more than 25 years and he worked through the interval to hypnotise 20 or so audience members with hilarious results. It was mindboggling to watch these everyday people do out of the ordinary things on stage and left this writer wondering if I would have been under Dr Lewis' influence had I gone on-stage. One performer to avoid going on-stage with was definitely The Warrior, Aaron Crow, who was fierce and formidable - and that's without his weapons. Crow believes fear is an illusion and selected several audience members to overcome some of their fears - one of which would be a blindfolded man coming at you with a razor sharp Samurai sword. He definitely had hearts racing. Master illusionist James More (The Deceptionist) had the biggest and most technical feats which included impaling himself on a sword and locking himself in a box with flaming poles ready to drop. While More amazed the audience with his big life and death illusions, it was the nimble fingers of South Korean magician Yu Ho-Jin who had the audience in the palm of his hand. There were gasps of appreciation as the young magic sensation manipulated a deck of cards - there was no trickery, it was all Ho-Jin's skill. Cards flew through the air, changed colours were ripped in half and repaired again in a beautiful and enthralling sleight of hand. Back to the future, Adam Trent (The Futurist) provided many light-hearted moments and audience interaction but it was his use of an LED screen and his magical card interaction with it that truly showed a new magical path. Our Unusualist, Raymond Crowe kept the interaction high with his well-honed physical comedy and ventriloquism skills. His dancing jacket is always fun as is his card comedy routine. But it was wonderful to see this enchanting and enthralling magical journey finish with Crowe's moving shadow puppetry to Louis Armstrong's What A Wonderful World. The Illusionists 2.0 features plenty of humour and participation while bringing back the old wonders of magic with enough big tricks to keep people on the edge of their seats. Bravo!
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