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Maho-ho, it's Magic!

What do you get when you take a group of Japan’s leading close-up magicians and sleight-of-hand specialists, and a world-class flare bartender, and place them all in a neon-lit pop-up bar? Magic, baby. Maho Magic Bar that is!

By Tierney Seccull

Throughout Darwin Festival (and then some!) the lawns by Parliament House are transformed into Festival Lawn, the Festival's new exciting outdoor space that is home to Maho Magic Bar and The Spiegeltent. Those with curious minds and a thirst for unique experiences are invited to pull up a pew at the bar, or a table, and enjoy a side of tricks with their tipples.

Maho Magic Bar is presented by bold and visionary performance company Broad Encounters, and Creative Director Kirsten Siddle says they exist to flip the idea of theatre on its head.

“We’re interested in immersive experiences and performances for people, that is not traditional theatre per se – you don’t sit in a seat and just watch what happens passively, you’re actually involved and immersed in an environment,” she says.

“With Maho Magic Bar, our aim is to really make every touch point of your experience feel as though you've been whisked away for a night out in Tokyo, without ever having to leave Darwin.”

Japan has a tradition of magic that dates to the Edo period in the 1600s, and the traditional style of magic Tezuma features in the show along with more western style sleight-of-hand, close-up magic.

Being a bar, you can enjoy a range of tempting Japanese cocktails including the Okinawa Paradise – a celebration of tropical southern Japan with a blend of Haku vodka, lychee liqueur, apple, rose and lime. Or sip on a For Goodness Sake with Roku gin, sake, yuzu and pineapple. There’s also shochu, beer and wine, and mocktails for any non-drinkers, including the Ichigo Delight – a booze-free blend of strawberry, vanilla and green tea.

There's also a special performance menu on offer, with a talented team of tricksters and magicians on hand to fulfil your mystery orders where anything could happen.

Several family-friendly sessions run during the day on weekends, giving the whole family the chance to experience a bit of magic, and tables can be booked if you’ve got a special event to celebrate, including birthdays and hen's parties.

Round up your favourites and settle in for an hour of mystery and mischief in Tokyo. Kanpai!

Maho Magic Bar

Photos: Henry Li

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