[2012118] The Comedy Magic Show

[2012118] The Comedy Magic Show

Luke Hocking & Alex de la Rambelje @ Gluttony – Carry On Theatre

12:00pm, Sun 11 Mar 2012

It must be hard being a stage magician, performing to an audience of grumpy parents and antsy kids at lunchtime on a sticky Sunday in a full and rapidly warming tent. And the websites for Luke Hocking and Alex de la Rambelje certainly give the impression that they’re accomplished magicians.

But up on that stage today, they looked nervous and uncomfortable… and unpolished.

They open with some strong and convincing sleight-of-hand magic tricks that confounded the younger members of the audience, and bemused the more senior spectators; but “confound” is a kinda quiet verb, which meant that the audience reaction to their opening brace of tricks was… well, silence. Or rather, silence plus ambient noise from the rest of Gluttony.

And that must have felt unbelievably bad to the guys on stage; they must have felt like they were tanking.

As the heat inside the tent rose, Alex and Luke began looking more and more uncomfortable in their suit/vest attire; beads of sweat became distinctly visible, and their smiles were noticeably forced. Some of their tricks looked really cheesy, and kids in the crowd started yelling out the “answer” as a result – it started feeling adversarial. The familiar sliding die box had the kids yelling at the stage, with tangible tension in their voices… but there was no applause when the “real” trick was revealed, more seething resentment that they’d been fooled.

The magicians tried to use some audience interaction to win the crowd over, but this backfired when one kid has a really adverse reaction to one of their jokes and storms off the stage. But that moment somehow proved to be less uncomfortable than when Luke and Alex spent a few minutes spruiking their magic kit – a collection of cards & a book – to parents: “instructions for one hundred tricks, great for self-confidence and self-esteem.”

Despite some neat card transference tricks, and a decent rings finale, The Comedy Magic Show felt like a very lacklustre affair. I know they tried hard, and that the audience was, at best, unreceptive, but despite their best efforts I left the Carry On actively disliking Alex and Luke… and that’s not something I would expect to take away from a either a comedy show or a magic show.

3 thoughts on “[2012118] The Comedy Magic Show”

  1. Hi there, I stumbled across your review. Apologies that you had to join us for that awkward experience last year. That was a very unpolished show and it seems like you came to the most painful day. From memory, we were very thrown that the audience was made up of about 5 kids and 20 adults. Thanks for your honest criticism. It saddens me that you judging us on such a bum performance. If you’re at all willing to give us a second chance we’d love to offer you comps to our new shows, Make Your Parents Disappear (kids show), or A Modern Deception Live To Air (adult show) on at the Garden, we’re much happier with these ones!

    Alex :-)

  2. Hi Alex! I certainly appreciate you taking the time to comment on my little ol’ blog :)

    I can honestly say that A Modern Deception is on my Shortlist, but can’t promise that I’ll squeeze it in – I’ll do my best, though that 7pm timeslot’s tough!

  3. I saw them at the Melbourne Comedy festival yesterday. Maybe they’re more accomplished now. I don’t know. But they certainly saved the day for us. We’d gone to a fairly dismal Kids Comedy Club immediately before and it was a real pleasure to see a well rehearsed and funny show after that catastrophe.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *