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  • Writer's pictureNicholas J Johnson

Sleight Night opening night brings a little magic to Melbourne

Its take years of planning, procrastinating and prestidigitation but, on 20 September, Sleight Night finally arrived at The Laneway Theatre. The monthly show features the finest close up magicians Melbourne has to offer at a venue custom built for experiencing illusion up close and personal.

The Laneway Theatre, built by magician Tim Ellis in his home in Northcote, is a truly magical place. As well as 32 cinema seats and a stage specifically built for close up magic, Tim’s home is packed with secret passages, hidden surprises and more tricks and treats than halloween. Even just getting in the door is an experience.

Tim has talked about turning the ground floor of his home into a theatre since he moved in almost twenty years ago. It wasn’t until Hoyts in Doncaster put a handful of cinema seats up for sale that he made his dream a reality.

Tim’s been kind enough to allow me to run Sleight Night on the third Wednesday of each month. Once a month, I bring together four different acts to show off their talents.

Close up magic is one of the most popular types of magic but also the hardest to find places to perform. Aside from roving entertainment at parties, there’s not a lot of places to perform magic right under audience’s noses.

Sleight Night changes all of that.

I could think of no one better to open our first show than Nick Kay, a professional mindblower with a smart brain and an even smarter mouth. His work with Rubik’s cubes and iPads is absolutely genius.

Next up was wunderkind Nicola Marie. Nicole is still a teenager but her routines are slicker than some magicians twice her age. She was also the only act on the bill to bring her Dad.

After the break Nigel Xu busted out coins, cards and love hearts in a baffling display of sleight of hand that has audiences literally shouting for more.

And, to end the night, our gracious host Tim Ellis took to the stage performing a few classic pieces from his 40 years in magic. He even managed to read the minds of a third of the audience at once.

And now we get to do it all again in October.

I’d suggest you buy tickets but the show is already sold out.


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