As I walked along the red carpet which lines the entrance to the Sir Stamford at Circular Quay, I was overcome with a sense of dignified exclusivity and sophistication which endured the entire night. The venue is historic in its decoration, which added to a sense of nostalgia for times gone by, where dressing in cocktail attire to be awed by magic tricks was far more common.
We were warmly welcomed with an offering of champagne, though soft-drinks were available for those so inclined. Almost immediately, canapes began appearing before our eyes, presenting a delectable smorgasbord including mushroom arancini, fried chicken, spinach quiche and lemon tartlets. All the offerings were brought out within the space of 15 minutes with an unfortunate result being that each wonderfully crafted treat was hastily devoured with little time between morsels. The quantity erred on the limited side and I would recommend a pre-show dinner as the offerings alone went little distance to filling us up.
As we were invited to take our seats in the main auditorium, an atmosphere of excitement filled the room. We did not wait long, as at exactly 7.33pm Bruce Glen entered and the stage was set. It was instantaneously evident that the magician had a way with words, as the audience was encouraged to engage with childlike wonder for the show's duration, with a careful reminder that wonder and magic could be found in the neverland between logic and imagination.
What ensued was, true to expectation an hour-long experience of delightful parlour magic where string, handkerchiefs and chalkboards were centre stage. The magic does not have the glitz or glamour found in many of the popular magic shows of today and instead, each trick was framed in delicate story-telling by the magician. Whilst many of the magic tricks performed will soon leave my memory, the sense of wonder, the intrigue and childlike pleasure that was crafted by the magician through each magical fantastical story will remain.
Particularly memorable is a certain trick centred around the characters from Alice in Wonderland, where the Mad Hatter and the White Rabbit were left in fear after playing a card game with The Queen of Hearts favourite cards. The Gentleman Magician expertly wove this story into a card trick, which left the audience in awe.
Bruce is captivating in his artistry
Audience engagement was high for this show, and over the show's duration, a total of 11 people were welcomed onto the stage. Yet Bruce's approachable manner and the comforting atmosphere of the show meant that no audience participant ever felt overwhelmed at their inclusion.
A Magical Soiree was a relaxing and intimate experience which evoked a sense of calm and warmth. This is in large part due to Bruce Glen performing brilliantly as The Gentleman Magician. Bruce has a warm and likeable charisma and the love he has for storytelling and magic is clear in the grin he wears for the entire show. Likewise, Eliane is a delightful hostess, and her vivid facial expressions add to the enchanting spell this show casts on the audience.
With a refined nature being conjured and an enchanting spell of curiosity and wonder filling all who attend, A Magical Soiree is perfectly simple, and simply perfect.