The Unluckiest Magician

Te Whare o Rukutia, 20 Princes St, Dunedin

19/03/2024 - 21/03/2024

Dunedin Fringe Festival 2024

Production Details

Steve Wilbury – Writer/Performer
Joanna Joy and Eli Joseph - Directors

Wilbury Entertainment

As Steve Wilbury navigates the ups and downs of his life, the audience witnesses how he uses humor and magic as tools for coping with adversity. Each surgical scar becomes a symbol of strength, and every setback becomes an opportunity for transformation. Steve’s witty banter and awe-inspiring illusions not only entertain but also inspire, reminding us that even in our darkest moments, we can find the magic in life’s challenges.

The Unluckiest Magician is a celebration of the human spirit’s ability to triumph over adversity, showing that our most difficult circumstances can empower us to see life as it truly is — a magical journey filled with unexpected twists and turns. This show is a testament to the power of laughter, hope and the belief that — no matter how unlucky we may feel — we have the capacity to turn our setbacks into spectacular comebacks.

Join Steve Wilbury on stage for an unforgettable experience that will leave you both laughing and believing in the magic of life.
19-21st March 8pm

Comedy , Solo , Theatre ,

50 minutes

50 rewarding and occasionally hilarious minutes

Review by Barbara Frame 21st Mar 2024

The magician is Steve Wilbury. In perhaps an intentional parody of traditional magician garb (top hat, bow tie, tails and cloak) he wears pyjamas, a dressing gown and slippers. His odd attire epitomises the show’s two main aspects.

First, the magic. With the usual kind of audience assistance, Wilbury performs some fairly standard tricks, including card tricks and making a banknote turn up in a very unlikely place. They are faultlessly done – he is a highly skilled performer, and the audience, and this reviewer, were appropriately astonished. He has the good magician’s gift of making what must in reality be immensely difficult, appear natural and easy.

Sadly, even magicians can’t change everything that life throws at them, and this brings us to the other stuff: “The saga of my miseries,” as Wilbury puts it. He tells us how, for much of his life, he’s been in and out of hospital (pyjamas, dressing gown, slippers). His woes started with ulcerative colitis in his teens, followed by broken bones, gangrene and a neck injury, all contributing to what he calls “The horror of my life” – horror compounded by humiliating treatments and ongoing, debilitating pain. 

Perhaps inevitably, the two strands come together a little awkwardly. What redeems the show is Wilbury’s warm yet unshowy personality. Despite the clichė-ridden promotional material (“a celebration of the human spirit’s ability to triumph over adversity” is just one example) there isn’t much of the standard rubbish about having a dream and believing in yourself, just the candid and sometimes self-deprecating experience of someone who’s had the most appalling luck, but, for 50 rewarding and occasionally hilarious minutes, can still make other people laugh.


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