At the Diamond Jubilee celebrations of Alliance Francoise at the Museum Theatre recently, the air was truly magical. Illusion on Macadam by Aristoblulle, the first of the three shows performed to celebrate the 50 years of the Franco-Indian Association in India, was a peek into Italian magic.
With magic tricks, complemented by a hilarious script, the show by the Italian duo brought in a fresh theme to the usual drill of magic shows that are a series of tricks in a row. Right from the stage set up — a cute tiny house with a window and clothes left to dry outside on the ropes, to the use of dialogues — a mix of French and English instead of music in the background, the show had magic woven into theatre.
The magician began by locking his assistant inside a black box. As the crowd watched, he stood over the box and brought in a black curtain around himself. The next second, he was banging at the box door, demanding his assistant to open it, who was by then free like a bird. How did they switch their position? How did he get in that box without the slightest stir? As the show continued, the audience realised that this wouldn’t be the only question bothering them later. There would be a million more.
How did that magical broom balance the weight of his assistant’s body in horizontal position? How did the flashy red panties apparate from the magician’s hands to someone’s cigarette packet? Silencing these thoughts momentarily, the crowd continued to watch with wide eyes as he presented his last trick. “This is the hypnosis trick. Keep watching,” the magician echoed, before pulling out the stool from under his assistant’s feet. In a long white gown, she stood floating there in thin air, long until the magic sank in and claps grew softer among the crowd.
“It must be some law of physics,” a few geeks were heard discussing. The magician would have probably sensed this edge in curiosity as he wrapped-up the show in next few minutes, with a bow and nandri.