We don’t get too many magic shows here in Singapore, so when one comes along – performed by illusionists Lawrence and Priscilla Khong, and staged full-length at Esplanade Theatre no less – you know you can expect more than just a few illusionary tricks. Indeed, VISION, billed as the “largest illusion-theatre show in Asia” pulls out all stops in trying to convince the audience magic is real.
In one sequence, the audience is asked to make a wish and voila, a flashy sports car magically appears on stage. In yet another, the audience watches as Priscilla Khong levitates through the air and then disappears.
No expenses have been spared either to turn the show into a visual extravaganza. The glitzy costumes and spectacular sets were certainly impressive, as were the talented dancers who provoked more than a few “oohs” and “ahhs” from the audience with their synchronized dance moves.
VISION has also attempted to break the mold of the traditional magic show. Instead of a hodgepodge of disparate illusions, the show fuses together elements of dance, theatre and magic.
The show follows a narrative arc that portrays Lawrence and Priscilla Khong as a father and daughter pair whose relationship is strained by a personal tragedy. The story line of the road to reconciliation is nothing new, but it is interspersed with dance and a heavy dose of illusionary magic, the audience is somehow drawn to their struggles along the way. It certainly takes a dose of storytelling to weave all the illusions seamlessly into the narrative but for most part the show succeeds.
The star of the show though is daughter Priscilla Khong. She easily outshone her more famous father in several scenes; her geisha inspired solo routine especially, was mesmerizing to behold. More than just a talented illusionist, she also proved to have a certain theatrical flair as the resentful daughter in the show.
As the audience streamed out after the show, I overheard eager discussions on how the tricks were done and proclamations from kids on how they want to pick up magic. The illusions may not be on the scale of David Copperfield but ultimately, magic is as much about taking a leap of faith as it is about suspending reality. And for those two hours, the illusionist duo convinced us to take that leap with them.