Civic Theatre, cnr of Queen Street & Wellesley Street West, Auckland

03/09/2014 - 13/09/2014

Production Details

The future of magic has arrived!

2 to 13 September – Live at The Civic, Auckland 

The next generation of magic is coming to town! The Illusionists 2.0 — a stunning sequel to the box-office smashing 2013 season of The Illusionists – is announced for Auckland’s The Civic theatre this September.

Featuring seven masters of mental and optical illusion, The Illusionists 2.0 is a brand new production that will propel New Zealand audiences into the future of magic and illusion, using cutting-edge visual effects.

A fast-paced, high-energy powerhouse performance, The Illusionists 2.0 gives audiences the chance to witness the magical genius of the world’s greatest stars and their genre, each with a unique skill that has won them countless fans globally.

Whether it’s the deadly arts of The Warrior, or the high-risk tricks and stunts of The Deceptionist, The Illusionists 2.0 will leave audiences rubbing their eyes in disbelief. Edgy, exciting and most of all fun, it’s the perfect live entertainment show.

‘Forget abracadabra and rabbits jumping out of hats because The Illusionists 2.0 will make you question whether Harry Potter really is the chosen one.’ Adelaide Advertiser


He’s the king of conjuring, a superhero of stage illusion.  Prepare to be astonished as one of the most renowned magicians of all time pushes the boundaries of the believable with a series of spectacular tricks and stunts that will redefine your idea of what is real.

Hailing from Portugal, he’s a multi-award-winning performer and host of the BBC’s “The Magicians” – a superstar of sorcery and a maestro of mentalism with a flair for the theatrical.  His use of cutting-edge video techniques makes him truly one of a kind.  You’ll be bewitched by The Master Magician!

THE WARRIOR – aaron crow 

He’s the ultimate strong, silent type – the man who has mastered some of the most dangerous acts of mentalism on stage without uttering a single word!

Using swords, paintball guns and highly powerful crossbows, Belgium’s foremost international magic sensation creates acts that are as unusual as they are entertaining, leaving you on the edge of your seat in anticipation.  Little wonder he took the planet by storm after winning first place at the World Championships of Magic.  Prepare to defend yourself against The Warrior.

THE DECEPTIONIST – james more 

He’s dark, handsome and a master of modern magic – combining a powerful stage presence with an outstanding talent for the art of illusion.

One of the rising stars of the scene, this British-born, enigmatic character has a smart, slick approach, delivering fast-paced, high-risk tricks and stunts that have been witnessed by millions of people around the world.  His many charms have seen him win over international audiences through appearances on major television shows that include ITV’s primetime entertainment extravaganza, Fool Us, where he performed for Penn & Teller and Jonathan Ross. 
Prepare to fall for the dark arts of The Deceptionist.

THE MANIPULATOR – yu ho-jin 

He’s renowned as one of the most masterful sleight-of-hand artists in the world, with dazzling dexterity and the ability to fool even the fastest eye.  You’ll never figure out how he does it, because he’ll always keep his secrets up his sleeve.

Originally from South Korea, he has conquered stages around the world, winning multiple international illusion competitions, the highlight being 2012’s FISM – the Golden Globes of the magic community.  His act has become the benchmark of illusion.
 Now you see it, now you don’t – meet The Manipulator.

THE FUTURIST – adam trent

He’s a star for a new generation of magic fans, fusing classic techniques, dancing, comedy and technology in a show that shatters stereotypes for those who think they’ve seen it all.

His edgy, fun style has been described as ‘Justin Timberlake meets David Copperfield’ and has put him on a fast-track to global fame.  He’s performed more than 300 live shows in 19 different countries over the past year and his star is still rising, with two major television shows set to air in the United States this October.  He’s the next big thing – bring on The Futurist.

The showman of all showman returns to Auckland, he stole everyone’s hearts and a few watches last time and now he is back trickier than ever. 

The host of Las Vegas and is the epitome of glamour and showmanship. He leaves audiences laughing long after the curtain goes down. Don’t be fooled by his innocent appearance.

The Trickster will get you every time…!

“Hobson steals the show like a slick bank robber.” New York Daily News

“A whirlwind of fabulousness that simply cannot be contained.” Las Vegas Review Journal

THE UNUSUALIST – raymond crowe

He’ll make you laugh, cheer and gasp.  He’s a home-grown hero – an entertainer extraordinaire of the most unconventional kind.  Magician, comedian, mime artist, inventor and master of illusion, he’s a multifaceted Aussie genius who keeps you guessing until the last moment.

He’s performed alongside Bon Jovi and Russell Brand, and for David Letterman, earned a standing ovation from more than 3,000 magicians at an international convention, and was the only Australian chosen to perform on the famous NBC television special, The World’s Greatest Magic.  Expect a rare treat with The Unusualist.

VENUE:  The Civic 
SEASON:  From Tuesday 2 September to Saturday 13 September 
TIMES:  Tues & Sun, 6.30pm, Wed to Sat 7.30pm,
Matinees – Sat, 2.30pm, Sun, 1pm
BOOKINGS:  0800 111 999 or
Tickets:  From $69.90* 
Family and Under 16 ticket prices available

Reality suspended as acts cast a spell on an appreciative audience

Review by Paul Simei-Barton 04th Sep 2014

Along with the gasps of amazement, a perfectly staged illusion makes us question the evidence of our senses. Such scepticism is useful when reality is constantly transformed by digital manipulation and political spin doctors can make a discussion with a person suddenly reappear as a discussion with an office.  

The Illusionists 2.0 offers a very contemporary take on the ancient art of conjuring with live 3-D close-ups of the action as seven internationally renowned magicians provide a survey of the latest trends in the world of illusions. [More]


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Age of Illusion

Review by James Wenley 04th Sep 2014

The Avengers of Magic are back in Auckland, and they’re changing their line-up faster than the continuity of a Marvel comic book. Charming trickster and watch thief Jeff Hobson is the sole returnee from The Illusionists’ original line-up. This time he’s joined by magicians with names like ‘The Unusualist’, ‘The Deceptionist’, and ‘The Illusionist’ with powers including “unusual optical illusion”, “technology illusion”, “card manipulation”, “the impossible”, and of course, “death defying stunts”.

Conspicuously missing from this new line-up are any female magicians, the show’s most unfortunate disappearing act.  Instead, the show’s two women are relegated to cheesy back-up dancers, along with two men, whose moves misdirect our attention more than is probably intended. For a show that bills itself as the future of magic, the gender imbalance is not a promising portent. [More]


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Amazing sights and tricks

Review by Bronwyn Elsmore 03rd Sep 2014

When I was the age of the two young people accompanying me to this show, I was impressed by the simplest scarf-out-of-hat, and water-turns-multicolours-in-different-glasses tricks. We called it magic then, all effected by a tap of a wand and a dramatic “Abracadabra”. The new breed of children now expects much more, and for them “the next generation of magic has arrived” as the billing for The Illusionists 2.0 says.

The expressions, both facial and verbal, of the patrons pouring into the theatre show that expectations of a wonder-filled evening are high. The only dubious note comes from a staff member who looks at the accompanying juniors and says she found it scary. I note the warning: if I find it so I’ll hold their hands, not for their sake – they are the next generation – but for mine. 

On entry we’re supplied with 3D glasses and an envelope marked DO NOT OPEN! 

The evening begins with a sound and light sequence and I begin to understand the staff member’s qualms. As the floor vibrates underfoot and seats pulse with the volume, I wonder if the first illusion could be the Civic collapsing around us. That fear aside, it’s a truly great and amazing evening.

Each of the seven illusionists has his specialty: Jeff Hobson, USA, is The Trickster; Luis de Matos, Portugal, The Master Magician; Yu Ho-Jin, South Korea, The Manipulator; Aaron Crow, Belgium, The Warrior; Adam Trent, USA, The Futurist; James More, UK, The Deceptionist; Raymond Crowe, Australia, The Unusualist.

Though they are all, without exception, masterful performances, the greatest gasps come with the more spectacular acts.  It’s a good change to find that, rather than saw a woman in half as the old generation did, this new generation Deceptionist slices himself in two, and later escapes a burning box to appear elsewhere in the theatre.

The Warrior’s skills with weaponry are chill inducing – especially, I suspect, to the audience members selected to take part. He also takes the prize for best costumes. No written description can do justice to The Manipulator’s sleight of hand skills, termed prestidigitation in new generation-speak. Playing cards appear, disappear, grow and shrink in his hands – not one or two, but whole packs of them.

But that’s not all. Others entertain with ventriloquism and mime, and a delightful interlude with some good old-fashioned hand shadow puppetry contrasts with a sharply executed act illustrating future developments in the art of illusion.

For those not in the front stalls or with less than perfect vision, there’s a super-sized screen above the stage so a close-up view is there to reveal all the now-you-see-it-now-you-don’t-moments.

If you do happen to be in the front stalls, be prepared to help provide some of the entertainment – members of the audience are recruited for many acts. Personally, I’d advise taking refuge under the seat when it’s the Warrior’s turn and thee’s any item of fruit onstage. 

We’ve been wearing the 3D glasses on and off to get the full effect of some acts, and at the end of the first half we’re instructed to open our envelopes, follow the directions as instructed and prepare to be amazed. It works for me, and I am.

There are no wands, and not an “Abracadabra” to be heard the whole evening. There is the odd puff of smoke and there might be mirrors because I’ve got no explanation for some of the stunts. After an evening crammed with amazing sights and tricks there are a lot of questions remaining – including: where are all the women illusionists?  


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