The Purple Rabbit Review @ Brisbane Festival 2022

Fall down the rabbit hole with Strut & Fret’s latest magic show, ‘The Purple Rabbit’.

Presented as part of Brisbane Festival in the entertainment center on the Southbank Piazza, ‘The Purple Rabbit’ is a top pick on the program, showcasing circus, magic and comedy in a new and refreshing way.

This variety show, living up to its message of “danger, chaos and magic,” takes the rabbit right and real out of the hat in a nighttime trick of deception. Everything is on the menu at this sexy establishment. From beatboxing and magic tricks to balanced circus stunts and sexy mentalistic games, there are many never-before-seen, “hare-raising” stunts that have to be seen to be believed.

With a luxurious wonderland-inspired vibe, Piazza Southbank is infused with bright pink and feminine colors; accentuated over the set design. There are pink patterned flats, a play area in the middle, and a pink fabric chandelier that draws attention above the cabaret seating area. Slap bass music plays, fueling the show’s groove and sexiness, especially as the spectators find their seats. On the back wall of the stage, a projection shows a cartoon pin-up (the show’s brand) wearing bunny ears, and over time the woman intensifies, signaling the start of the show.

The whole aesthetic of ‘The Purple Rabbit’ really gives off a velvety nightclub feel. It’s moody, intriguing, and what would it be like if ‘Pink Panther’ met ‘James Bond’.

Led by host, Dom Chambers, the show bounded itself with pace and energy. Chambers, who also triples as a comedian and award-winning magician, filled the production with charisma and natural comedic timing. Making beers appear at the snap of a finger, and out of shoes and paper bags his dexterity tricks were sharp and impressive. He also playfully teased the audience and had us sidelined throughout the performance.

Also within the ensemble was Australian beatbox champion Gale, who composed a layered electronic rave track using only his vocal skills, leaving the audience in unison. Emma Phillips was impressed with her feet juggling skills, balancing everything from umbrellas to tiptoe tables. Olympic magician Vincent Kuo performed a completely original act with Rubik’s Cubes, and his humor was youthful, nerdy and ironic. Last, but by no means least, Harper Jones added a sexual flair to the mix with her sexual “psycho-cologist” routine, reading the public’s minds to guess some hidden secrets.

Together, the performers have redefined the term ‘magic’, each giving it their own unique interpretation. ‘The Purple Rabbit’ was full of tricks that were surprising and entertaining.

Director Scott Maidment, together with Chambers as Director of Magic and Consultant Simon Coronel, have created a spectacle of acts that really fall outside the magician’s hat. As a bystander, this meant you couldn’t predict what was coming — even if they were the best mentalist in the house.

‘The Purple Rabbit’ promises a great night of magic for adults. It awakens the child inside and entertains in spades. If you’re looking for something at this year’s Brisbane Festival, look no further.

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