Nokise then introduced the first act of the evening, Chelfyn Baxter who used a simple but effective card trick where he bought 4 volunteers onto the stage and asked them to shuffle a pack of cards each. Then all the cards including a pack he shuffled himself went into a bag and was shaken. He then picked up a 3 of clubs and told the audience the incredible odds that all the volunteers would have picked the same card. Baxter seemed very genuine but could use some more magical flourishes to strengthen up his act.
Nopera Whitley then stunned the audience with his fast and flowing slight of hand by turning two handkerchiefs into a bottle of wine. He then worked his magic turning three pieces of rope into two that continued to change length as he pulled and stretched them. Lastly Whitley ripped up a newspaper and then in a blink of an eye managed to put it back together again. Whitley’s use of physical comedy added to his tricks and there was never a dull moment.
Mike Kay gave a letter to one of the audience members and explained that this man represented the New Zealand Post and the letter would magically find its way to the right address. 5 volunteers passed the letter between them to get it to the right address and it ended up being held by a woman who opened the letter to a note that complemented her blue hair, she gave a small gasp of shock. Kay used a simple trick but his comfortable stage presence helped to strengthen his act. However, some more humour or surprise would not go amiss.
Matt Carter started by asking a woman who she would like to dine with and making a few jokes before bringing her onstage to be his volunteer. Then pulled out some cards, a music box that played “La Vie en Rose” and managed to trick the woman into picking an envelope that let her walk away with a few chocolates instead of a fifty dollar note. Overall, there were a few nice jokes and Carter gained confidence as he went through his act but I think he could make his tricks more self contained as there seemed to be some moments of uncertainty.
Cameron Anderson entered in a long coat invoking a traditional magician style both through his attire and his theatrical style. He bought up a volunteer and talked about the law of attraction while getting the volunteer to write down something that he would like to achieve in the next six months. The piece of paper was then torn and burnt. Anderson then studied the man while writing down a word in a sketchbook, which turned out to be that the volunteer wanted a Hedge and although that was sweet, the best part was when his wife saw the answer and exclaimed with “Oh my god” countless times. Anderson seemed comfortable onstage but could use more personality within his act.
Reuben Tyrie entered clowning about with his cards and seemed comfortable from the start as he played the fool, which was very enjoyable to watch. He then did a quick observation test showing his skill in sleight of hand and his love of puns before moving onto the famous Three Card Monty. Tyrie managed to make me lose track of where the money card was every time and he maintained a nice pace as well as a good use of space throughout. However, it would be nice to see him perform a trick with something other than cards as it could add some variety to his act.
The last act of the night was Kade Nightingale and Jeremy Ralston who make a wicked stage pair with great physical comedy. The trick that they performed seemed to make their volunteers uncomfortable and went over the kid’s heads. It would have been great to see some more family friendly magic to end the show. However, the trick of making a card, picked by one of their volunteers, end up inside a balloon was performed well.
The show still has three performances on Saturday at 2pm, 4pm and 6.30pm at BATS Theatre which are selling out fast, so get your tickets if you would like to see a variety of magic trickery.
For more details, check out the BATS website: https://bats.co.nz/whats-on/magicians-of-wellington/