Martin Brock – Probably the Coolest, Funniest and Most Magical Magic Show in Town!

Martin Brock – Probably the Coolest, Funniest and Most Magical Magic Show in Town!
Australian Premiere. Fringe World. The Enchanted Ballroom at FANTASIA, Perth Town Hall, Perth. 10 February, 2024.

Extended for three more nights - prepare to be spellbound by young, Danish illusionist Martin Brock during the Perth Fringe World.

His magic is sophisticated enough for adults but will also appeal to children who might not understand the jokes but be dazzled by the disappearing and reappearing cards and martini glasses.

Right from the start, Martin Brock is teasing and entertaining his audience, even when he’s not on stage.

His face smiles down from a slide projected to the back of the stage while the audience are taking their seats and occasionally, he winks or plays tricks on us from the screen, so watch closely!

Of course, letting the audience watch closely is exactly what any talented magician is adept at avoiding.

The sleight of hand and carefully practiced illusions require the audience to be distracted – focusing on one thing while the magician somehow places a rabbit inside the hat, so that it can be pulled out later.

So why is Martin Brock using close-up cameras on stage where his dexterous fingers keep finding Ace after Ace after Ace?

Surely, we will be able to see the secret?

I must confess that I used to work in a magic shop, so I have an enthusiast’s working-knowledge of some old card tricks; still I could not fathom how just one deck of cards could keep on producing the exact card requested by three different audience members! 

All angles of the shuffle, the cut, the counting, and the final selection were on view, in full close-up projected onto the screen.

With his amiable style, Mr Brock sometimes gave us a clue as to how the trick worked, but it just left the audience more confused as to how he did it!

During his theatrical retelling of a story about his grandfather, using cylinders and multiplying bottles, the audience literally gasped with wonder.

With a different spin on the usual card trick, the finale used blank, white cards on the table under the close watch of the camera.

As a Frank Sinatra song played in the background, numbers and drawings mysteriously appeared on the cards that reflected the lyrics. 

Obviously, there must be a logical solution to the illusion, but it was so well executed that I stopped wondering and just enjoyed the magic of the moment.

 The thin air of the old Perth Town Hall seems an unlikely venue for producing magic out of, but the seating lends itself to a low-stress amount of audience participation, which was fun and even moving.

Martin Brock is the kind of easy-going illusionist who is a pleasure to spend time with, whether he’s flipping cards out of someone’s ear or balancing a couple of elegant, gold bowls that somehow produce a never-ending stream of crystal-clear water.

He makes it enjoyable to be left with a sense of awe and wonder.

Fringe World have set up a relaxed bar atmosphere in the foyer before and after the show, so (as Martin Brock suggested during his performance) you could enjoy his early 6.15pm show, then stay for a later cabaret in the same venue.

Jane Keehn

Martin Brock has extended his shows – Sunday 11, Tuesday 13, Wednesday 14 Feb.

Perth Fringeworld continues until 18 February. He then plays at the Adelaide Fringe from Feb 19 – Mar 16.

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