IT’S no trick—Perth is embracing magic again.
From July 5 a new Friday night magic show will be at Lazy Susan’s Comedy Den in the Brisbane Hotel.
Magic has been in and out of fashion over the past 160 years with people like David Copperfield becoming celebrities, and others becoming the butt of jokes, including fictional “illusionist” Gob Bluth who ruined magicians’ dating prospects for a decade.
Leederville magician Matt Penny concedes that magic was once “the domain of under-loved spotty teenage boys”, but says it’s made a comeback in recent years with shows like Penn & Teller: Fool Us enjoying mainstream success, and magicians often making the finals in primetime talent shows.
“In Perth there is a small but vibrant magic community who regularly meet up and often have visiting lecturers from overseas, but if you want to actually watch a magic show you have to wait for Fringe time…The rest of the year there is nothing,” Penny said.
He believes local audiences are ripe for a weekly show. He’d had one in mind for a while, and the perfect opportunity arose when Lazy Susan’s announced its Friday night stand-up was going on hiatus until later this year.
He’s lined up three months of shows at Susan’s: Some will be classic magic displays, delving into tricks he’s learned during his 30 years in the business, and others will have guest magicians or competitive “Magic Slams”.
He’ll also perform his award-winning Fringe one-man play Find the Lady, which combines his love of theatre and magic, and a little bit of his piano playing.
Named after the classic three-card monte con, the show is about a down-and-out grifter with a simple scam who hits the big time when he stumbles upon the talent to read minds. The show features eerie mind reading demonstrations on the audience.
It picked up the Blaz Award for 2018 for best performance by a WA writer, named in honour of Perth playwright George Blazevich.
Friday Night Magic is at Lazy Susan’s Comedy Den, upstairs at the Brisbane Hotel, from July 5 at 8pm. Tix $15 from http://www.mattpenny.com
Lazy Susan’s Tuesday stand-up, Saturday improv shows and comedy classes will go on as usual. There’s also a new monthly improv D&D show on the first Wednesday of every month.
stories by DAVID BELL