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The Laneway Theatre - Magic Unlimited!

Home > Melbourne > Cabaret | Magic | Theatre
by Hanford (subscribe)
Hanford is a piano teacher and freelance accompanist. Visit his website at
Published September 6th 2017
Escape into a night of sleight and illusion
laneway theatre magic tim ellis
Alleyway entrance

The Laneway Theatre is Melbourne's exclusive magic theatre venue with only a handful of seats available each show night to eager viewers who crave to experience a night of close-up magic cabaret style.

laneway theatre magic tim ellis
A grim welcoming

Tim Ellis puts a great deal of effort into ensuring that each guest is entertained from start to finish; from the moment you step onto the premises to when you shut the door behind, you as you leave for the night.

laneway theatre magic tim ellis
Old photos from a long time ago

A feast for the eyes. A visual banquet of props. A smorgasbord of optical illusions and memorabilia line every nook and cranny of this space.

laneway theatre magic tim ellis
Butterfly window display

The alleyway wherein the entrance to the venue is located is secluded and lead you on with delightful fear and trepidation. A buzzer unlocks the door and grants you entry.

laneway theatre magic tim ellis
Bzzzt... Are you here for the magic show?

Once inside, an eerie blue glow emanating from the walls and ceiling engulf you in a cold embrace as you look into a bottomless pit. Fret not, however, for it is merely an optical illusion with the clever use of mirrors.

laneway theatre magic tim ellis
Careful not to fall in!

Tombstones and various other props decorate the premises from the entrance to the cosy insides. The main area is guarded by a coffin which acts as a door to the otherworld.

laneway theatre magic tim ellis
Push aside the skeleton and enter if you dare

Once inside, you can see many of Tim's accomplishments as the numerous trophies and awards displayed; or rifle through his photographs through the decades which fleetingly capture moments of his life.

laneway theatre magic tim ellis
One of Tim's many photogenic poses

laneway theatre magic tim ellis
Awards galore

There is a merchandise room where you can purchase decks of cards and other things to remember The Laneway Theatre and Tim by. It is also decorated beautifully with a surreal butterfly window display. Watch out for the hand coming out of the ceiling!

laneway theatre magic tim ellis
The Laneway Theatre merchandise

laneway theatre magic tim ellis
Watch out for the creepy hand

The stage is intimate and every audience member has the opportunity to observe Tim at work. From what I recall, there are four or five rows of seats, so not many at all - hence the great views. The seats are plush and soft - very comfortable. The velvet red matches the curtain backdrop and lighting.

laneway theatre magic tim ellis
Comfortable seats and close view

Tim's show changes every few months to keep things fresh. However, there will always be a mix of tricks on schedule for the evening; ranging from card tricks and classic cups and balls (with a twist) to new unseen before deceptions.

laneway theatre magic tim ellis
Tim entertaining guests before the show

Charisma and flair is paramount in magic shows and Tim connects with the audience, making them laugh and draw them into the world of sleight and illusion.

laneway theatre magic tim ellis
Tim on stage doing his patter

Tim's expertise and comfort on stage is one of a veterans. Calm and poised even in the face of disruptions - a phone call - catered for with a joke leaving no one embarrassed and everyone chuckling.

laneway theatre magic tim ellis
Puppet sitting on a chair

If you have the chance to catch one of the Laneway Theatre shows, you would be in for a treat.

laneway theatre magic tim ellis
Morbid props set the atmosphere

laneway theatre magic tim ellis
Playing cards on a piano

Parking and location

On street parking can be found; not difficult but some patience required when manoeuvring the narrow streets.

laneway theatre magic tim ellis
Parking requires some effort

The venue is a one minute walk from Tram Stop 30 (Route 11) and a five-minute walk from Northcote Station.

I have been asked to keep the exact location a secret but here is where you can find out more.

laneway theatre magic tim ellis
Costume cupboard
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*Hanford was invited as a guest
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Why? Magic and mystery
Phone: 03 9486 4445
Where: The Laneway Theatre - location undisclosed
Cost: $20-$25 tickets (may change depending on demand)
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