If you want magic made for the mature person, Perth Fringe World has got it.
No rabbits from hats to be had from 'Adults Only Magic Show' (unless a rabbit in a hat is a sexual innuendo), because this is the one magic show you cannot bring the kiddos along to!
Seductive visuals, delighting tricks, and wit and humour unlike anything on the circuit, the act has been billed with a Kleenheat Sizzle Factor of 'very hot' – a little ironic, then, that the show, created by independent production company Showmen Productions, should be taking place at an all-girls school. “Not intentionally,” laughs one half of the act, Sam Hume.
The pair first met in Melbourne back in 2012, when Sam was competing in the Australian Junior Championships of Magic – “Believe it or not, that’s a real thing,” Sam says sheepishly – where Justin (Williams) saw Sam perform and win the competition. “He introduced himself, he said ‘You’re amazing, I think we’d make a great show together!’ When he tells the story, apparently my response was ‘Who are you?’ Sorry, you are beneath me, blonde dreadlock man!” Sam laughs heartily with a faux command in his voice.
With a similar style of performing and an interest in comedy magic, the rest, as they say, is history. There was a point, though, at which Sam and Justin saw a market for making magic a bit sexier. “We started in kids shows – which is a bit weird in the context of the question! It is leading somewhere!
“The first fringe festival we did was a family show, and it was at that fringe festival we noticed a really big audience that were showing up for late-night shows – cabaret, circus, things that appealed to the masses, but there was never a late-night magic show at the fringe circuit that we thought would appeal to an 18 plus market.
“So, we started to plan 'Adults Only', which of course is designed to appeal to an 18 plus fringe market.”
Sam and Justin finally had an adult show prepared, with a similar performance style to Penn and Teller; a big build-up, the wow factor, but always about the comedy, pushing the joke as far as they could. “Crude humour and that sexual element on the stage, we incorporate all that as much as we can into the magic,” Sam says. “It also gives us no ceiling.”
“When we’re improvising on stage, interacting with the audience and going back and forth, there’s a lot of freedom in that that we really enjoy.”
For all that the pair deal with the dirty as they dazzle the night’s derelict daredevils, they’ve never – thus far – stepped on any toes. “The humour is all about having fun, we’re having fun the whole way and making sure the audience is having fun as well,” Sam says. “We’re never doing anything super on the line or crossing the line or touching on political things – we want to leave all that at the door.
“We’ve never trodden on any toes because our focus is making sure people are having the best time they possibly can.”
In the magic world, you’ve got your big-name sleight of hand guys, your illusionists, people really out there making a mark and leaving an impression – so how does the pairing of sultry magic with unabashed comedy make 'Adults Only' a name to remember? Sam says, “I think what people remember more than anything else is the way that they felt from seeing our show.
“People remember the big finale, they remember the dangerous escape, they remember a few bits and pieces but overwhelmingly, it’s how they feel.
“Our comedy, the way we bounce off each other and the audience is all generating this real feel-good element in the audience that they get from watching our show – how happy they were, reminiscing on what a good time it was.” 'Adults Only Magic Show' plays Main Hall at Girls School (Fringe World) 25 January-6 February.