The Laneway Theatre reviewed in The Age

Last week Kate Herbert, theatre reviewer from The Age , visited The Laneway Theatre to see Tim Ellis’ new show ‘THE MAGIC MENU LIVE! You can read the review online HERE or just check it out below

Tim Ellis, director of the Melbourne Magic Festival and president of the Australian Institute of Magic, presents The Magic Menu Live!, a family-friendly, close-up magic show performed in a secret location revealed to guests only upon booking.

After audience members knock on a wooden door and give the secret password, Ellis invites his guests “to enter through the coffin” – a coffin-shaped door decorated with a skeleton – that leads to a warm, comfortable, 32-seat theatre that Ellis built and bedecked with magic-themed paraphernalia.

What follows is 85 minutes of gasps and wide-eyed astonishment as Ellis performs close magic and sleight of hand. We see every movement of his deft and deliciously mysterious hands on a huge screen, but it remains a jaw-dropping mystery how he executes these tricks with cards, bottles and silk handkerchiefs.

The “magic menu” is a choose-your-own-adventure performance where the audience selects magic from a menu of appetisers, entrees, mains and desserts, guaranteeing every show is different, but the utter wonderment stays the same.

Playing cards magically transform, a bell rings itself, coins disappear, objects transport themselves and Ellis reads volunteers’ minds. Adults will be as delighted, amazed and open-mouthed as the children. “Magic is the one art form that families can truly enjoy together”, Ellis says. “Even if the show is designed for the very young, the adults see the magic reflected in their children’s faces and are just as spellbound.”

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