At its core this is the very dynamic from which magic prospers. The desire that people watching magic have is to be tricked, fooled, misled; the magic comes from remaining oblivious to how the trick was done. The Great Illusionist spins the enchanting tale of a young boy from a bland European town who meets a disappearing man, and a fascination so deep as to trigger his own lust for magic.
Playing out in the intimate setting of the Studio at the Sydney Opera House by the Netherlands’ acclaimed Het Filiaal theatre-makers; the performance carefully unpacks the smoke and mirrors associated with a traditional magic show. The magician’s assistant, the endless coloured scarves, the white rabbit. All these elements and more take centre stage in this remarkable production that turns the notion of a magic show back to front, bringing backstage into the spotlight.
We learn about the story of a boy who wanted to be a magician, how he started small, went underground and re-emerged in an explosion of trickery and misdirection; the very tools in every magician’s box of tricks. But life at the top can be lonely, a sentiment subtley conveyed through the bedazzled garments worn throughout the show to signify when magical action is taking place beyond the curtain. Because all that glitters is so often surface deep, just like the tricks unfolding from the magician's sleeves or out of a wooden box.
An intriguing insight into the behind the scenes of a magician’s life, The Great Illusionist cleverly punctuates the central story with seamlessly executed illusions, morsels of magic-related history, live music and a slice of humour. Elevating the audience to a greater understanding of the intelligence and complexities needed to manifest great magic; this tale pulls more than a rabbit out of its hat in an effort to demonstrate there is so much more to magic than meets the eye.
The Great Illusionist will play until Sunday 29 July 2018. To book your tickets for this mesmerisingly magical show; click here.
What you need to know
What: The Great Illusionist
Where: The Studio, Sydney Opera House
When: Sunday 22 July, 11am; Friday 27 July, 6.30pm; Saturday 28 July, 11am & 2pm; Sunday 29 July, 11am
Who: For 8+ years
Duration: 55 minutes (no interval)
Cost: Standard tickets from $29 (+ $8.50 booking fee)
Getting there: If you’re seeing The Great Illusionist during the day you can get discounted parking at the Opera House car park through Wilson Parking Book a Bay. Hour parking is $10.50 with 30 minutes allowance either side. For evening performances I recommend taking public transport as the parking prices are significantly higher. Circular Quay is the closest station and is also well serviced by buses and ferries.
Food and Drink: You will not be allowed to take any food or beverages, purchased or other, into the Studio during the performance.
Late Arrivals: Due to the intimate nature of the performance, late arrivals will not be admitted into the Studio so make sure to arrive on time and allow extra time for ticket collection (if picking up from the box office), toilet and pram parking.