Melbourne Magic Festival, where have you been all my life? Conveniently nestled into the Collingwood Art Precinct (home to Circus Oz and the beautiful Melba Spiegeltent), this is officially the largest festival of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere. The festival incorporates cabaret and comedy into many of the shows, but tonight, I was drawn to Juan Esteban Varela’s show ‘Magic In The Dark’. What an intriguing title! How can you have a magic show without sight?
‘Magic In The Dark’ is a partnership between Vision Australia and the Melbourne Magic Festival. It’s a one of a kind show. Before entering the show, you are offered an eye mask while being asked if you would ‘surrender your sight’ for the performance. All rather curious, and for someone with sight the experience of ‘blindly’ trusting those around you is peculiar and humbling. You are then in the dark until the end of the show. You quickly realise that this is a magic show like unlike any other.
While being ‘In the Dark’ we were guided, through Varela’s friendly voice, to use and embrace our other senses — including our imaginations. Each trick was cleverly crafted and led the audience along to its magic conclusion. The show was clearly aiming to make magic more inclusive and accessible to all, which was admirable and fantastic. Indeed, it succeeds as the event is designed specifically for people who are blind or have low vision.
‘Magic In the Dark’ is a bit of fun and everyone in the audience participates in the show just by being there. Allow yourself a different experience and remember what Varela says: ‘Magic reminds us that anything is possible.’
Cara has long hair, long legs and a long association with all things arty, crafty, colourful and fun!
Magic in the Dark runs from July 3-7 at 35 Johnson Street, Collingwood. You can purchase tickets here.
The venue is accessible.