The Expert's Guide


Expert’s Guide to the 2016 MMF

This year’s Melbourne Magic Festival is by far the best program ever conjured up since it materialised in 2008. We are so excited to see such an incredible variety of performers offering literally something for everyone.

So, with 55 different shows to enjoy… how can you possibly decide which ones to catch?



The MMF Close Up Magic Gala Show – With 16 of Australia’s top magicians bringing their best sleight of hand to the table, this show is always a sell out! The MMF Stage Magic Gala Show features a galaxy of magic stars as well, but that sold out weeks ago, so book your tix for the Close Up Gala before it sells out too!

You must not miss our two international guests this year: Max Maven is the world’s best mind reader, a living legend of magic who revolutionised the art form. John Archer: A Magician and a Ukulele was the first man to fool Penn & Teller and will have you in stitches with his hilarious comedy magic. Perfect for the whole family to enjoy together. You can buy specially discounted tickets to see both John and Max here.



John and Max are not our only international visitors this year. Simon Coronel, now based in Hollywood, is bringing award-winning magician Shoot Ogawa to join him in a three man show with Dave Lee called Simon & Shoot & Davefunkel Backstage. From New Caledonia comes star of his own kids TV magic show, Guy Raguin, with his charming show for the young ones Magic Guy. Card expert and owner of the legendary Blue Crown, Alex Pandrea, is flying in from the USA to host a ‘One Night Only’ workshop on card magic and sleight of hand The Alex Pandrea Workshop.



We are so excited to have so many magicians from all over Australia bring their amazing shows to the Festival this year. This is the ONLY place you’ll see these performers in Melbourne so we recommend catching at least a few of their shows. Ben Orson is bringing classic magic with a twist down from Sydney in his family show All That Is Magic With Orson the Magnificent. Also from Sydney comes popular entertainer Tracy Tam with her hilarious family show Why Kids Are Smarter Than Adults. Drace Illusionist is travelling from the Gold Coast with an amazing theatrical illusion show that has to be seen to be believed called Heavenly Hijinx. Australian Entertainr of The Year and winner of 27 Australian show business awards Phil Cass joins us from Sydney for one show only that you cannot afford to miss – Phil Cass: Expert Troublemaker. Sydney magician Michael Patterson reprises his great character Mr Bamboozle, who was such a hit last year, in an all new show Mr B Pranks His Exam. Coming to us all the way from Perth with a brand new show featuring some astonishing late night magic we have Hardcore Mysteries with Pierre Ulric.  Two of the most irrepresible young magicians you’ll ever see return to us from Sydney, also with a brand new show, Lucas Itrawan and Ash Hodgkinson are back with Cardistry Cubed.



If you’d like to support the future of Australian magic, check out the Championships that started the careers of Cardistry, Josh Staley, Dom Chambers and so many more. Who will win this year’s Australian Junior Championships of Stage & Close Up Magic?




Fans of sleight of hand will be in heaven this year with some sensational shows performed in true close up magic conditions. Josh Staley presents his most baffling pieces in his new show Perplexity. If you like lashings of comedy with brain busting technique you need to get Up Close and Personal with Nick Kay. Don’t know who to choose – why not see them all with an ever changing line up of three different magicians introduced each night by Nicholas J Johnson in The Best of The Magic Fest



For the younger ones who know magic is real, we have some fantastic shows created especially for you. Don your fairy wings and join Lee Cohen for a magical musical adventure in The Fairy Magic Show. Why not challenge gravity and join Dom Chambers and together you can Learn to Fly with Domino. See the ever popular Ace the Party Poodle and Douzie the Dragon entertain in Tim Credible’s Family Magic Show. For one show only you can see the KidsWB favourite Alex The Magician Live! Enter the crazy world of the wacky Italian The Great Armando’s Suitcase of Magic. Join Alex and Luke in the sequel to their sell out show Make Your Parents Disappear Again! If you enjoy fairy tales and stories with your magic you’ll love David Chandler as ‘The Storyteller’ in Once Upon A RhymeVentriloquist Sarah Jones enchants and inspires young readers in Catch The Reading Bug 



For the older kids who like something a little more adventurous, go see Nicholas J Johnson transform into a super villain in Tricky Nick is a Super Bad Guy. If you love Dynamo and unbelievable TV magic, check out Tim Ellis as he levitates his assistant and blows your mind in This is Magic! The “Mad Italian” David Key brings his brand of zaniness to the stage for ages 15 and up in Incantato



For magic, comedy, and lots of great audience participation, you can’t go past these shows the whole family can enjoy together. Tip Top Tom is back with his world of crazy magic in Funny Things Do Happen. Festival favourite Luigi Zucchini returns with his hilarious Italian magic in Spaghetti Spaghetti



Magic is definitely not just for kids either! Some of our most popular shows take place after dark. Josh Staley has put together some of his favourite effects in Memento. Direct from The Hollywood Fringe Festival where he got rave reviews is Simon Coronel with Things By Simon. Australia’s leading female magician is back with a new twist in Cath Jamison: Conjure Woman. Celebrating 20 years in magic Anthony DeMasi has a brand new show for adults only called Dream Time. Josh Staley teams up with Lawson Reeves (Big Brother) in a crazy new stage show called  2 Guys, 1 Show, No IdeaTop Hat Tuesdays is a monthly Melbourne institution and you can visit The 86 in Collingwood to see a fantastic line up of magicians – strictly adults only!



This year we have so many shows that go beyond the traditional magic you’ve seen before. Forget everything you know and get ready for a treat! He started as an usher at the Melbourne Magic Festival and now he’s become the most unique and abstract magician in Australia with his brand new creation Dane Certificate’s Trotting Complex. Taking magic to a whole new level comes the next generation of magician, viral superstar with 20 million views, Dom Chambers with his new show Ran Dom. Tim Ellis tells a story of heartbreak and love through mgic without saying a word in the acclaimed multimedia theatrical experience In Dreams. Nicholas J Johnson explores the many ways our mind deceives us into being fooled by magic in Deceptology. Raymond Truong combines magic, juggling and the variety arts in a unique charming show A Night Of Variety. Prepare to go under as Shane Hill takes control for one night only in Shane Hill Hypnotist. Peter Nguyen returns with the sequel to his sell out show combining magic and movies Welcome to the Movies Part 2. Whose Line Is It Anyway hits the stage magic style as two teams of magicians improvise magic for the win in the gut-bustingly-funny always-sells-out-show MagicSports



If your kids have always wanted to learn a few simple tricks they can do for family and friends, and gain confidence in the process, we have three great classes especially for them: Anthony DeMasi coaches young students at The Magic School of Confidence, or for a great introduction to the art of magic you can join Magic School with Tim Credible, or even head to The Arts Centre Melbourne where Lee Cohen teaches The Magic Workshop.


It’s never to late to start – we haven’t forgotten the adults either! Expert magician Simon Coronel is teaching Close Up Magic for Beginners & Advanced while our special international guests are both teaching their favourite effects in The Max Maven Lecture and The John Archer Lecture, and card magic fans absolutely cannot miss The Alex Pandrea Workshop




We pride ourselves on being the most affordable family friendly festival in Australia, and just to give you even more value, why not join us in Magic Central at the Northcote Town Hall where a host of free events keeps the magic alive and buzzing. Grab a snack and a drink and check out:

  • Dane Certifcate Art Exhibition – original paintings to view and buy.
  • Josh Boland’s Photo Exhibition – highlights captured from last year’s festival.
  • Magic Central Spontaneous Shows – they can happen at any time, be ready!
  • Magic Universe Magic Shop – demonstrating a huge selection of tricks for all ages.
  • MMF Instagram Stage – dress up, take photos, hashtag us!
  • Giant Chess Tournament – challenge your friends.
  • AIM Juniors Gala Show – 4pm, Sunday July 3.
  • Move Monkeys Card Magic Sessions – Each Saturday from 2.30pm
  • Vintage Video Installation – classic performances from magic’s past.
  • High St Pop Up Shows – unexpected magic in cafes and restaurants nightly.


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