Review By Lia Cocks
Set in a bespoke pop up bar, with all glittering, neon Tokyo lights on the outside and cool cherry blossom elegance on the inside, Maho Magic Bar will give you and your friends an intimate night of magic and illusion.
Leave reality at the door, and be consumed by the wonders of magic and wicked delectation.
Direct from Japan, Broad Encounters bring these four masterful enchanters and their zany host, for a world premiere in The Garden of Unearthly Delights.
A brilliant celebration of Japanese culture - both contemporary and traditional, Maho Magic is a shimmering hour of delights, drinks and dazzling magic.
We are ushered to our table where we join with another raucous group of four and are introduced to our first up close and personal magician, Shohgo Yamashita; a pioneer of eye-popping tricks (so says his business card).
He takes our drink order then proceeds to perform a series of card tricks that will literally blow your mind. A sweet boy wonder of a charmer, don't let his innocence fool you!
As they play musical magicians with us, moving from one bar to the next, we meet Sarito, who I dubbed The Magician of Fire, but who calls himself the craziest magician in Japan.
And I belive it!
His skills of illusion, fire and kooky are out of this world, and goes to show you don't need to speak a word of English to communicate the language of mystery and marvel.
Our host then interjects to tell us someone has ordered from the Special Menu! This is a choose your own adventure, or pick your trick. Where the person who purchases the trick becomes part of the interactive trick.
Without going into too much detail - please purchase Crazy Panda Cameo. Featuring the crazy steampunk, Sarito, you will appreciate it's special mention when you see it!
We learn a little background history of the host, contortionist Shun Sugimoto, before our next spellbinding act by Kentaro Ikegami - conjurer of laughter and mischief.
An absolute professional in the art of up and close and personal card trickery, if I wasn't chuckling at his humour, I was sitting with mouth agape in awe!
Our last visit was by the Kawaii (Japanese for 'cute' in case you were asking) Princess of Ilusion, Kaori Kitazawa.
Incredible deception of the hand and absolute master of mis-direction, she was brilliant!
I was gently coerced into purchasing the final trick of the night 'It's All Just Sweet Hot Air', and boy what a twist to end the night!
Maho Magic Bar is an absolute immersive experience; fusing the art of illusion and apparition, and the atmosphere of a cocktail bar to become part performance, part unique destination, part bar and all encompassing the most remarkable and enchanting night out at the Fringe!
Don't miss it!
All opinions and thoughts expressed within reviews on Theatre Travels are those of the writer and not of the company at large.