The Illusionists 2.0
QPAC with Tim Lawson & Simon Painter
QPAC Concert Hall
19 – 27 January 2014
Reviewed by Josh Kirwan
What do you get when you mix QPAC’s concert hall with a bunch of strobe lights, confetti machines and six of the world’s top magicians all rolled into one? The astonishing production that is The Illusionists 2.0, that’s what! The unbelievable magic and the bold defiance of the conceivable laws of nature left me bewildered at the end of the show in a way that I have never felt before.
I will admit that as this was my ﬁrst magic show, The Illusionists 2.0 – the sequel to last year’s smash hit – went straight to the top of my list. But in the age of the Internet, thanks to YouTube, I’ve seen my fair share of magic tricks, and the feats of The Illusionists was something to behold. With everything from card tricks to miraculous escapes from imminent death, the magicians had a little bit of everything, and they pulled it off ﬂawlessly.
Obviously I don’t want to give anything away or ruin any of the surprises, but the show has an uncanny way of drawing you in and making you a part of the magic. It’s almost as if you become involved in the show itself. Audience engagement is one of the keys to a good performance and as with every element, these performers manage it brilliantly, though I am still sceptical of whether or not their “audience member volunteers” were just that… I suppose we are all sceptics until we find ourselves on stage with a sword pointed at our head!
Unfortunately the show was somewhat mired in an air of tragedy, due to the very recent loss in a tragic accident of one of The Illusionists. A touching message from the entire company was displayed prominently at the Concert Hall.
On Saturday 11 January 2014, our friend and renowned hypnotist, Dr Scott Lewis, passed away. He made a remarkable contribution to this world premiere production, and he is dearly missed. We dedicate the Brisbane season to his memory.
However, the show must go on. In their dedication to their friend and colleague, the magicians pressed on and put on a stellar performance.
In a very timely patriotic mention, it was good to see our Australian, Raymond Crowe, up on the stage. Some of you might recognise this Unusualist from Australia’s Got Talent. He is deﬁnitely up their with the best of them, with his funny antics and a unique spin on the typical magic show.
On stage with him was American born Futurist, Adam Trent, who used some fancy tech to show off his skills. The amazing Warrior took the art of weaponry to a whole new level and the unbelievable Deceptionist, James Moore, demonstrated his astounding high-risk tricks. The current world magic champion, Yu Ho-Jin the Manipulator, boasts unbelievable skill with cards. And of course, last but definitely not least, The Master Magician, Luis De Matos, charismatically leads the show and pulls off some amazing magic.
Together these talented men made the impossible seem like the easiest thing in the world.
The best part about this production is that it is for absolutely everyone; from young children to elderly gentlemen, everyone will love this show. If you can scrounge a ticket, catch one of the final shows before The Illusionists 2.0 closes on January 27. You don’t want to miss this fabulous opportunity to witness world-class magic in our own backyard.