Words & photos by Harny Abu Khair
Do you remember your childhood days when you would park yourselves in front of the idiot box because it was a public holiday and mum allowed you to watch TV from morning?
You would sit and won’t budge at all just to watch the cartoons, circus performances and the most awaited programme of the day – would be The Magic Show.
Who doesn’t love magic show?
Watching the magician pulled the white rabbit out from the tall hat was mind boggling. Seeing the poker cards flying and catching one that have the audience’s name on it was hypnotising.
You name it. Whatever tricks the magicians showed on tele, they were awesome!
Magic shows evolve from The Great Escape artist Harry Houdini to David Copperfield who once flew across a ravine and walked across the Great Wall of China, and the latest like David Blaine and Criss Angel, where they enthral their audiences with simple yet awesome on-the-street magic and even at great hall using elaborated equipment.
Okay, they were all international magicians with a touch of Hollywood drama, but here in our own backyard, there are a new generation of ‘sorcerers’ who learned the magic and tricks to entertain their audiences.
At the House of Illusion (HOI), four home-grown talented magicians blend the elements of illusion, magic tricks and theatrical performances in their shows held twice daily at the theatre.
The show is at 12.15pm and 7.45pm and the theatre itself can sit around 300 spectators at every show. Tickets are sold at RM40 for adults and RM30 for children.
Some might say that the ticket price is expensive but it is worth every cent as each show lasted about an hour. True to the saying, time flies when you’re having fun. There are about 30 segments in one show and these magicians are surely an energetic bunch of people.
The magicians would also interact with their audiences by inviting them to participate in their segment.
According to the Baba Nyonya Art & Culture Marketing Consultant, CJ Wong, their patrons are mostly busloads tourists from China as the place is still less known among the locals.
“We are proud to have our own Malaysian young magicians and they practise hard to entertain the audience and we also use the latest and up-to-date visual and audio equipment to ensure that the audience experiences top notch performances,” he says.
Once the show ends, patrons can take the opportunity to take picture with all the magicians and purchase novelty gifts such as miniature magic props to bring back as souvenirs.
Meanwhile, HOI also offer RM10 discount for each ticket if visitors opt to have lunch or dinner at Nyonya Melaka Restaurant for RM40 meal and above.
The magic does not end after the show had long ended. Outside the theatre, there is an old tree dubbed as the ‘Wishing Tree’ so visitors can also make their wishes when they come to watch the magic show.
The tree is said to be more than 200 years old and have an impressive record to ‘grant your wishes’. All you need to do is write down your wish on a red piece of paper, tie it with a weight and throw onto the highest branch.
“Most of our visitors just do it for fun but some did say that their wishes have come true after making their wishes at the Wishing Tree,” says CJ.
Those who are interested to watch the magic show can come to HOI. There are ample parking area nearby.
Address 178, Jalan Parameswara, 75000 Melaka
Operation time: 12:15pm and 7:45pm