• Andy and Bec Losik

    Andy and Bec Losik

  • Craig Ebeling, Nicholas O'Hara-Boyd, Mitch Curran and Maia Parker

    Craig Ebeling, Nicholas O'Hara-Boyd, Mitch Curran and Maia Parker

  • Natasha Roberts, James Sharrock, Andrew Lockie and Sarah Jordaan

    Natasha Roberts, James Sharrock, Andrew Lockie and Sarah Jordaan

  • Andrew and Val Csivincsik

    Andrew and Val Csivincsik

  • Hollie Barrett and Andrew Marsh

    Hollie Barrett and Andrew Marsh

  • Tash Fletcher and Emma Burns

    Tash Fletcher and Emma Burns

  • Justin Craig and Gabrielle Adams

    Justin Craig and Gabrielle Adams

  • David Tynan and Marisa Martin

    David Tynan and Marisa Martin

The Illusionist 1903 @ the Canberra Theatre

8 December 2015

The Illusionists 1903 at the Canberra Theatre Centre is a mélange of magic to delight and mystify in their exasperating deception. The how did they do that, know that or deceive us so comprehensively in a range of famous magic tricks that have stood the test of time is what we find frustrating but knowing would spoil the sheer pleasure of this entertaining show.

A stylish production taking the audience back to the era when prestidigitators, conjurers, clairvoyants and escapologists were the ‘stars’ of the day, dressed for the era and among sets of appropriate lushness had an all ages audience entranced.

Amelie the clairvoyant, elegant and beyond belief with her number crunching, the tiny marionette puppet making magic entrancing, the escapologist who of course got out of the tank with a handy paper clip – yes it was patented in 1899 - to pick his last lock, and we saw the classic ‘sawing the scantily clad lady (Jinger Leigh) in half’ with the help of one flirtatious gent from the audience really making sure she was the real thing when he checked the box. And best of all Sammy the psychic bird from the bag of tricks of the Charlatan (Dana Daniels) brought a good dose of the ridiculous to their act. Then there’s levitating. Beyond belief, so puzzling and akin to an out of body experience some say they’ve had, but this body disappeared, to reappear on stage for the finale so she’ll be back to do it all again. How?

For most the simplest of card tricks with the Charlatan and the wry humour of the juggling assistant was a good foil for the serious magic and as the Showman (Mark Kalin) kept the pace just right in this world class show, it was the performances of the audience recruits to bear witness, hold the strings and make sure we will never know how this magic happens that was the charm of The Illusionists 1903. And that wasn’t an illusion.

The show continues at the Canberra Theatre until 16 December