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Review: Adults Only Magic Show for the Sydney Fringe Festival

By Priscilla Issa

The Showmen are wildly hilarious, wonderfully confident and wickedly inappropriate. Magicians Sam Hume and Justin Williams take an “adults only” audience on an impressive journey through escapism and mentalism. These magicians really know their craft and, as such, have the panache and showmanship to play around with their routines, crack constant jokes and reel the audience in. The perfection in the illusions, sleight of hand tricks and mental games prove just how good this duo is.

Sam leads the scenes with an heir of controlled confidence. His improvisation skills and comedic timing are brilliant. He fills the air with his own infectious laughter and the audience can’t help but join in. Despite slight mishaps with sound and lighting, Sam managed to make light of a thespian’s occasional troubles. The audience was sympathetic; perhaps this was due to the fact that they were being plied with plenty – who doesn’t love an open bar during a show? Sam’s highlight was his sleight of hand card trick, which was made visible to the audience by live video feed. It was mind boggling to say the least.

The flipside to Sam’s meticulous control is Justin’s loveable jester character. You can’t help but laugh along to his cheeky antics, particularly his nothing-but-jocks-wearing numbers. While these men appear to work effortlessly as a duo giving an indication they’ve been doing so since the duo’s inception, Justin in fact began as Sam’s protégé. In a moving number, the audience discovers that Sam had made it into the Australian Junior Championships of Magic, aspiring to be the next Consentino. Justin so happened to be sitting in the audience the night Sam won the finals. He approached his idol with a “Hey dude! I think we should work together.” The rest is history. They have toured the globe with resounding success. Sam and Justin’s most recent show took place at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. They are versatile artists, changing their sketches, content and comedy depending on the type of audience. It is clear they love what they do, and they will continue to strive to tickle the hearts and wriggle the bellies of audiences young, old and in between.

Without giving too much away; there are cuffs, firefighters, clothes swapping, phone smashing, beach balls, fire tricks, celebrity dating, Channing Tatum and seductive dance numbers. How they manage to fit all this in a riveting one-hour show is remarkable.

Tonight’s show at the Actors Centre Leichhardt is the last Adults Only show for the Sydney Fringe. If you can’t catch it, don’t despair. The boys have The Greatest Magic Show coming up next week as part of the Festival. The show runs from 20th – 22nd September also at the Actors Centre. It promises to leave an impression.

The Showmen spectacle promises to be a fun night out with friends or family. After the encouragement of Sydney audiences so far, it would not surprise me if the boys returned with a bigger, bolder and more dazzling show soon. I, for one, hope they keep reappearing at future Fringe Festivals. Well done boys!

Image Supplied

All opinions and thoughts expressed within reviews on Theatre Travels are those of the writer and not of the company at large.


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