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  • Alex First

Mystique (Palms at Crown) - 80 minutes, plus a 20-minute interval

Updated: Jul 3

His appearances, disappearances and reappearances are captivating.


Michael Boyd is an illusionist whose top line acts are slick and seamless.


Two sold out shows at the Palms at Crown (the only two he put on) are testament to his popularity.


He draws people of all ages.


The couple of volunteers he calls up on stage are children, but adults are just as mesmerised.

His repertoire includes “piercings” (where a blade, large knives and sticks seemingly slice through the “poor unfortunate” trapped inside a “box” “basket” and other apparatus, but they emerge unscathed), levitation and sleight of hand.


Boyd attributes his magical roots to his grandfather, Stanley Boyd, who was a magician.


He uses that as part of one of his routines.


His tricks go from the small to the large and impactful.


The former involves, among other things, a small box and a red handkerchief, three silver rings that should never join, but do and a brown paper bag and a bottle of Coke that “evaporates”.


Along the way he manages to turn waterlogged paper into cascading confetti. That really is something.

The latter includes both he and his assistant “rising” and “floating”.


Another man “passes through” his splayed body, held firm by an impressive looking device that seems like it would be at home in a House of Horrors.


I should also mention a fearsome looking mechanical “scorpion” that appears ready to dismember Boyd.


Fear not though, for I didn’t get the feeling that even the younger children were scared. Rather, they – like me – were left asking “just how did he do that”?


Modern technology also plays a part, when Boyd calls upon Siri to show we punters a magic trick.


And he proves he can foretell the future when he asks three members of the assembled a question each. Surely, he can’t know what they will say. And yet, hanging from the ceiling is a small, padlocked box. In that box … “yes” you guessed it, the answers.

The show starts with impact. Techno music plays as two dancers take to the stage as “lit up” neon robots.


In fact, dancers in different guises are an important part of Boyd’s repertoire. Belly dancers, the Orient and showgirls all feature, interspersed with the magical acts.


Mystique is playing at Palms at Crown until 2nd July. Boyd will next appear at the State Theatre in Sydney in September.