I love magic. Maybe this comes from my love of the movie The Prestige, but also because there’s so much skill involved. I love watching and wondering “how did they do that”. But just don’t tell me. I don’t actually want to know. I’ve never actually been to a magic show, at least not anything longer than 30 minutes. So, prior going into Lachlan Wilde’s show ‘World of Wonders’, I had wondered how anyone could make a magic show last an hour.
The premise of World of Wonders isn’t just a series of magic tricks one after the other, the show revolves around Wilde’s travels, how those experiences shaped him and the lasting effect they had on his personal life, his goals, and aspirations as a performer. Each destination wasn’t just a segue into the next trick, it was obvious that Wilde had taken great effort to deliver a strong narrative for his production and wanted to do more than to just please the magic nerds (like me) that are doing seal claps after each trick.
I enjoyed so many moments throughout World of Wonders, but majority of my favourite performances were inspired by Wilde’s time in London. As soon as I saw the silver broach on Wilde’s stylish suit, I knew that it was a Vivienne Westwood design. But what I didn’t know was that this would connect with an illusion involving an atlas of London and audience participation. The end result had the audience gasping in wonder and awe, collectively wondering how Wilde had just deceived us all.
Without a doubt, my favourite illusion was one themed around Jack the Ripper. Not only was the performance amazing, but so was the lead up. Rather than a series of choices made by audience members, the entire illusion had a storyline to it, like a ‘choose-your-own-adventure’ book, but with magic and true crime. There were multiple moments in this illusion that seemed to be the final reveal, however, the true reveal was one that I felt received the biggest audience reaction. I enjoyed it so much and I’m still haunted to know how he did it! These inspired and excited feelings of curiosity, charm and wonder are why I really love magic. The longing desire to know ‘how’, but at the same time, you want it to stay a secret because it’s so much more fun that way.
There are people that aren’t automatically transfixed by magic the way that I am, and that’s okay. Admittedly, my partner is one of those people. But as we watched Lachlan Wilde perform, my partner was having a wonderful time, his natural pessimistic feelings regarding how tricks are pulled off were gone, allowing him to really enjoy the show, and honestly, I didn’t expect him to have that reaction.
What makes Wilde such a wonder to see, is that he wasn’t just on-stage performing trick after trick. He was telling us about his journey, and his story never became lost amongst the magic. It was surprisingly great to go with someone that isn’t normally a fan of magic shows, because being by impressed by Wilde’s performance, this is a testament not only to Wilde’s craft as a magician, but more importantly, to his talents as an entertainer entirely.
Lachlan Wilde performed World of Wonders on the 8th and 9th of July as part of The Melbourne Magic Festival. While these shows are over, please keep your eyes peeled for future performances by checking out the following links:
For more information on The Melbourne Magic Festival, visit: https://melbournemagicfestival.com