‘The Naked Magicians’ was revealing.
The Tivoli is synonymous with bringing some of the world’s raunchiest cabarets and fiery burlesque shows to Brisbane, so there is nowhere else in our glorious state you would expect to see full frontal magic than its humbled stage. Walking into the theatre you instantly knew it was going to be a night of risqué fun as a large inflatable doll sat statuesque on stage for all to see, alongside a ‘locked’ box that hung from the ceiling. It was the perfect juxtaposition of what lay ahead; mind boggling magic and stripped down entertainment.
Magic has long been a polarising art form. You either love it, or you hate it, and traditionally speaking it has been men that both perform and revel in performances of this nature. Having performed in over 300 cities around the globe to an audience of more than half a million live fans and more than 50 million on TV, it is safe to say that those statistics have likely changed – drastically! After a quick survey of the audience at the start of the show, it was quite clear (and obvious) that ‘The Naked Magicians’ was the theatre show of choice for a girls night out, as silence rang around the theatre when asked, “Who’s here with the boys?”
Much to everyone’s surprise the show opened with Mike Tyler and Christopher Wayne fully clothed and looking dapper in dinner suits. While it was the marketing promise of nudity and magic that drew the audience in, it was Mike Tyler and Christopher Wayne’s humour that won everyone’s hearts. Even though the first 30-minutes of the show could have been appropriately called ‘The Fully-Clothed Comedians,’ their witty, adult humour had everyone in stitches from the get go. Their jokes were thematically relevant and tied in beautifully with the nature and nudity of the performance, which elevated every element of their skillset.
Taking inspiration from a trick made famous by the arguably best magician in the world, David Copperfield, ‘The Naked Magicians’ opened with a prediction trick that involved completely random audience participation. Where Copperfield used a large inflatable beach ball thrown into the audience to select his participants, Wayne and Tyler used a five-foot inflatable member of the male anatomy – with a smiley face, for good measure. The selected members of the audience were asked questions to create a brand new title of an upcoming adult film, which had been predicted by the magicians before the show and hung above the stage in that aforementioned ‘locked’ box.
I put ‘locked’ in quotation marks not to discredit the trick, but because the box actually wasn’t locked – which Tyler and Wayne laughed about hysterically and joked that the show was off to a flying start. Whether this was scripted, or an actual mistake really didn’t matter as it was absolutely hilarious and the box was in plain sight the entire time anyway.It was an impressive start to the show and continued to get better as the night went on and the clothes came off.
The intimate Tivoli theatre was perfect for ‘The Naked Magicians’ style of magic as the vast majority of their tricks were sleight-of-hand, which are most impressive when performed up close. From card tricks, to disappearing and reappearing objects, Tyler and Wayne performed a really nice variety of different magic styles, all intertwined with suggestive humour.
While straight jacket escapes aren’t that impressive magically (once you know how they’re done), the set up, execution and comedy presented in this particular routine was unlike anything I have seen and had everyone in hysterics. For starters, this is 2022, and inclusivity of all people regardless of gender identity or sexuality is important, so the boys announced that while Tyler would be escaping from a ‘straight’ jacket, Wayne would be escaping from a ‘gay’ jacket, which was exactly the same in construction, but had sparkles and was fabulous. They performed a somewhat lapdance with their respective audience member assistants to get into the jackets and escaped to Wayne’s playlist of gay anthems.
The loser of the escape had to get naked, and this is where the raunchy fun really kicked into high gear. Whether fully clothed, or completely naked, the magicians performed flawless magic and delivered quality humour throughout the evening, Their interaction with the audience was natural, humorous, and even when being suggestively heckled by a woman in the front row, kept their cool and made the evening an astounding hour and a half of fun for everyone.
The concept of their show is so original and brilliant in its construction that even simple elements of the show, or very basic magic tricks became hilarious because of the absurdity of the whole situation. Audience participation became the absolute highlight as somewhat shy humans got on stage with the two naked magicians and performed tricks with them, while trying not to blush and actually think clearly.
‘The Naked magicians’ were brilliant fun for everyone and combined high quality elements of magic, comedy and performance into a show that will leave an imprint on everyone’s memory for years to come. Sadly, however, this is Wayne and Tayler’s farewell tour. In a VIP exclusive conversation after the show the boys announced that it’s great to be back on home soil in Brisbane and will be looking at the next stage of their career. “Brisbane has such a wealth of talent in the performing arts” they announced, “We want to do our part in fostering and helping that next generation of talent to continue putting on world class performances both at home, and overseas.”
It was a fitting end to an amazing career, and it will be exciting to see what the future holds.
‘The Naked Magicians’ is on tour, performing at multiple Australian venues until Saturday, 13 August. For more information visit the Naked Magicians website.