Hidden away in Surry Hills, The Magician’s Cabaret harks back to Belle Époque frivolity: a night of song and dance numbers, magical tricks, physical storytelling and a four-course candlelit dinner created by AHA award-winning chef Aidan Butler.
The show itself – designed by resident director James Taylor, whose experience stretches from the Royal Ballet of London to the Sydney Dance Company – is centered on the idea that a magician’s power flows from a force called la Lumiere, which reveals itself only during times of sorrow. The acts alternate between magic (illusions, tricks, and verbal comedy) and cabaret performances (feathered and sparkly songs, dance, and acrobatics), staggered throughout the night to leave plenty of time for atmosphere and dinner conversation.
It's tempting to say that the real magic happens in the kitchen: the menu changes frequently across appetisers (Mediterranean platter with dips, olives, and vegetarian dolmades), entrees (pan-fried calamari or arancini balls), mains (try the traditional French cabaret dish coq au vin, chicken leg cooked in burgundy wine sauce with mash potato) and dessert (chocolate mud cake with raspberry coulis).
There’s even some personalised pre-show playing card trickery that will leave you – as it did Time Out – agog.