A stroll around the Adelaide Fringe’s Garden of Unearthly Delights is a treat in itself. With the return to full capacity since the pandemic’s inception, you’ll find markets, delicious food, carnival rides, and a plethora of awe-inspiring and spicy shows – the vibes are right.
And making a return to the Garden, tucked in a vibrant, neon-lit nook is Maho Magic Bar – Australia’s first Japanese magic bar, for that matter, bursting with mischief, mayhem, and divine cocktails to boot.
This year, Maho Magic Bar brings together four of Japan’s superstar sleight-of-hand specialists; Shirayuri, Santa Terakado, Kaori Kitazawa, and the infamous daredevil, Sarito.
Each artist brings something different to the table, quite literally. Once inside the venue, you’ll find four separate bar seating areas where you can get comfy within arm’s reach of the manoeuvres and watch the magic unfold right in front of your eyes.
Once the bewildering is well underway, you’ll experience the tricks of each master at point-blank range as they rotate the intimate setting. And it’s not all about them either, you’ll be getting involved in one way or another – whether that’s picking a card from a deck, doing some colouring-in, or clutching pieces of ‘cheese’.
One Maho Magic Bar audience member who took part in said ‘cheese’ ploy by Santa Terakado shared, “I’m still thinking about that cheese…had me up all night contemplating everything. And I’ve always said that.”
Our jaws certainly dropped a number of times throughout the performances – each and every trick was a head-scratcher and a knee-slapper. But the venue itself is a spectacle to be admired too – adorned with cherry blossoms, Japanese lanterns, and traditional sake barrels.
As for the cocktails, Jun Nakamura, one of Tokyo’s most sought-after mixologists, rounds out the gang with flair bartending magic aplenty. Fuelled by a carefully curated and innovative bar menu of premium Japanese cocktails and spirits, including sake from three different regions and styles, Japan’s famed whiskeys and shochu or savour an umeshu and soda. Or perhaps take a risk with a purchase from the ‘special menu’.
Broad Encounters Creative Director, Kirsten Siddle revealed, “For Fringe 2023 we have assembled the ultimate sleight-of-hand line-up and I promise this will be Maho Magic Bar’s craziest and most astonishing season yet.
“This troupe of prodigies have been discovered in the labyrinthine tumult and high-octane energy of Japan’s nightlife capitals and I couldn’t be more thrilled to be able to present these tricksters in Adelaide…the only question is whether you will take your magic shaken or stirred!”
Tickets to Maho Magic Bar in The Garden of Unearthly Delights are essential, and you have until March 19 to witness the sneaky action.
All images supplied.