BAND OF MAGICIANS
09/09/2015 - 13/09/2015
Regent Theatre, The Octagon, Dunedin
20/08/2015 - 22/08/2015
27/08/2015 - 30/08/2015
Isaac Theatre Royal, Christchurch
16/09/2015 - 19/09/2015
Christchurch Arts Festival 2015
This supergroup of magic will wow audiences with their mind-bending wizardry and natural showmanship. Band of Magicians members James Galea, Adam Mada, Ben Hanlin and Brett Loudermilk are the faces of modern magic, creating such awe-inspiring illusions they could have been educated at Hogwarts.
Working together they create a compelling contemporary show loaded with tremendous trickery, dazzling deceptions and astounding artistry.
Each member’s fierce sense of one-upmanship drives the whole Band of Magicians to new, increasingly impossible exploits, creating magic that draws on their collective talents – far surpassing what one magician can accomplish alone.
They’ve stunned TV host Ellen DeGeneres, performed to packed crowds around the world and earned rave reviews everywhere. Time Out London, describes the feats of this foursome as a “truly baffling, hilarious and even strangely moving marvel of a show”, while the Daily Telegraph says: “Band of Magicians will restore your sense of wonder.”
The four hottest faces of modern magic are bringing a season of awe-inspiring entertainment to Dunedin. There has been nothing like Band of Magicians in Dunedin before – and it’s unlikely we’ll see anything as technically spectacular, as ingenious or as entertaining any time soon.
7pm – 20-22 August, 2pm – 22 August (4 shows)
TARANAKI Arts Festival 2015
TSB Theatre, TSB Showplace
Thu & Fri Aug 27 & 28 – 07:00pm
Sat, Aug 29 – 07:30pm
Sun, Aug 30 – 01:00pm
Live at Bruce Mason Centre
Wednesday 9 September – Sunday 13 September
Wednesday to Saturday – 7.30pm
Saturday – 2.00pm
Sunday – 11.00am and 5.00pm
CHRISTCHURCH Arts Festival 2015
Isaac Theatre Royal
Book www.ticketek.co.nz 0800 TICKETEK (842 538)
Theatre , Magic/Illusion ,
If you love magic and theatre, treat yourself
Review by Grant Hindin Miller 17th Sep 2015
A large BOM screen hangs like a Mercedes or BMW logo above the open stage. Tiered rectangles of silver scaffolding recede from the front lights. Wisps of dry ice float above black barrelled lighting. A rockabilly soundtrack with thumping bass reminds us that ‘these are the best days of our lives’.
The driving beat excites the expectant audience, a diverse multigenerational group. This is a masculine space and Band of Magicians is an appropriate name for a boyband of well-honed tricksters.
Two Australians, an American and an Englishman; four young streetwise magicians: James Galea, Adam Mada, Brett Loudermilk, and Ben Hanlin. Each has forged an individual career in the world of entertainment – as clowns, sword swallowers, illusionists and street magicians. They all boast a stellar performance history, including regular television appearances and their own shows. They’ve now pooled their talents and created the “world’s first supergroup of magicians”.
One of the strengths of this line-up is that it’s a family show. They’re the ‘likely lads of magic’: talented, skilled, energetic and appealing, they know how to work and engage an audience. The show ranges from multimedia deception, card tricks, illusions, disappearing acts, comedy and mindreading to lively and good-humoured banter.
The dazzling gilt of the newly renovated Isaac Theatre Royal, with its watercolour domed ceiling depicting Puck and fairies from A Midsummer Night’s Dream, is a magical frame for the performance. The sorcery is enchanting but the true magic of Band of Magicians is the verve and personality of the four main attractions, the individual members of the band, each with his own particular blend of charisma. These performers are seasoned entertainers and likeable showmen. The audience loves them.
If you love magic, if you love live theatre, if you deserve something special, then treat yourself to Band of Magicians. You won’t regret it.
The trick to writing a review of a magic show is not to give too much away and also to know when and how to disa….
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You got me!
Review by Michelle Robinson 10th Sep 2015
How well do you trust your partner? Your daughter? Your brother’s best friend? How about that guy three rows ahead of you, slightly to the left?
Thanks to the mind-taunting stunts of the fabulous four that are the Band of Magicians, you will be eyeing everyone up with suspicion as you try and work out who’s in on the act. Surely some audience members have been prepped to play into the hands of these clever tricksters.
It’s the only explanation for how the four could know the activity, place and famous person that three audience members were collectively thinking of. It’s the only reason for British magician Ben Hanlin knowing which number one chosen audience member was thinking of. And how he managed to create a mind-blowing number of mathematical equations to match that answer – 73.
Interestingly enough, my husband had that same number in his head. Was the audience lead into guessing that number? Hmmm. Well, even if Hanlin knew the number, I admit that his fast affinity with maths is still impressive. And it’s clearly the only way the four could have known what coloured clothing items another audience member was going to colour in on her picture.
Yep, I had James Galea, Brett Loudermilk, Adam Mada and Hanlin all figured out. That was, until the audience member who got up to colour in the picture turned out to be a volunteer ‘scapegoat’. The original person who caught the magicians’ audience participation Frisbee, flicked it to someone else, as she really didn’t want to go on stage. The second woman was trying desperately to also pass it on (to me!) when she was picked. She clearly didn’t have a clue what was going on.
“I was flabbergasted,” she told me afterwards. And yet, the magicians got her colours right – and all stripped off to reveal they were wearing those same chosen coloured clothing items. What?! Ok, you got me!
I quite like the way this Aussie, British and American quartet liked to pretend to include us in their magical secrets. Ellen DeGeneres has them on speed dial and after last night’s sell-out at the Bruce Mason Centre, I bet a few Takapuna-ites are hoping to grab their numbers too.
We learn about palming cards. For magic novices like myself, this is hiding the card in the palm of your hand and keeping your palm face down when shuffling and dealing. You then sneak that card onto the pack so when you want to draw it, tada!
Aha! Got it, I think. That is, until an audience member’s marked card mysteriously turns up in James Galea’s pocket without his hand going anywhere near there. Ok, you’ve still got me.
I won’t give the game away, but I can tell you the illusions, tricks and wizardry don’t stop there.
Personally, I cannot get over Brett Loudermilk swallowing a balloon that is as long as his torso. Where does it go..? My calculated, lateral thinking husband is won over by Adam Mada’s floating table. And the woman two rows ahead of me is won over by his magical teapot which pours delicious pina coladas.
I could go on but that would be ruining the surprise. So, who do you trust? Take them along to Band of Magicians, at the Bruce Mason Centre in Takapuna until Sunday September 13.
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Nimble, cheeky, astounding
Review by Ngaire Riley 28th Aug 2015
The thing about watching magic tricks is that you kind of know how it happens, yet you are intrigued and duped again. In this show there are no shiny costumes, black wands, magic spells or slinky girls.
Instead punchy music like ‘Dead and Gone’ by The Black Keys and superb lighting of steely silver and blue fractured beams, penetrate the murk and support four skilled, youthful magicians in jeans, t-shirts and bare arms (no stuff up the sleeves here). It’s a magic show with a contemporary twist on perennial material which works really well.
Audience members are selected by Frisbee catching, enthusiastic volunteering and careful selection. The story of a first kiss is re-enacted with a ginger bearded, skate shoe-shod, tattooed young man and a card that somehow swaps mouths – of course.
The interest and power of the show is enormously enhanced by the use of live footage from hand held video cameras that project onto a large screen so we can see, but not follow the green pea and the walnut shells; the can opener peeling back the top of the tin to reveal the watch that disappeared several minutes ago and the card trick that literally turns into a work of art – one of my favourite moments.
This show is a series of mainly individual acts from the four men. Their relaxed chat is cut by crisp slight-of-hand and illusion which nimbly deceives our focus and logic. There are cheeky, astounding poker hands, audience requested alcoholic drinks that instantly arrive from Nana’s teapot, disappearing people and dexterous mind reading.
I feel some of the personal ‘how I got into magic’ stories drag on too long in the telling and there is a sameness about the pace of the show, except when the group work together on stage. The final trick is a wonderful example of the power of the group to deceive and delight us.
The Guardian review says this group is, “Billed as the world’s first stage magician boyband, the Band of Magicians consists of four male collaborators: Justin Flom, James Galea, Nate Staniforth and Justin Willman. It’s something akin to watching a mature One Direction with card tricks and a buzz-saw.” There was no buzz-saw for us but the audience certainly gets a buzz from their entertainment.
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Review by Reuben Hilder 23rd Aug 2015
There is really only one thing a magic show has to do to be successful: confound its audience. Band of Magicians meets and exceeds this criterion with ease. Calling themselves the world’s first magic supergroup, the troupe combines the talents of James Galea, Ben Hanlin, Brett Loudermilk and Adam Mada to produce a magic tour de force that is both unique and of a calibre not previously seen in Dunedin.
The show combines a couple of old stage show favourites with a great many tricks and illusions that I guarantee you have not seen before.
Perhaps the show’s greatest strength is how varied it is; a huge advantage of using four magicians as opposed to one. Each member of the group brings something of their own to the table, both as magicians and as entertainers. Some of the acts deliver heart-pounding energy and pace while others take a more low-key or light-hearted approach, meaning the show stays fresh throughout its entire two hour running time.
The group also makes use of a camera crew to project a live video feed, allowing them to interleave some up close and intimate magic between the big-scale tricks that are typical of larger shows. This technique plays particularly well into the hands of James Galea whose mind-boggling street magic style acts are a clear highlight.
Another little gem is Brett Loudermilk’s sword swallowing act. Loudermilk’s quirky charm makes the refreshing side-track from illusion and slight-of-hand into something more genuine, visceral and thoroughly memorable.
Band of Magicians call themselves a supergroup and they live up to the title. They tackle each new trick with flair and never fail to entertain. If you are looking to be amazed, look no further.
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