Category: Events

Show review by Joelene Pynnonen

There was magic in the air as we arrived at the beautiful Jupiters Casino on Friday the 28th of August. Even with the upgraded seating plan Cosentino’s show, Distortions, had sold out and Jupiters Casino’s Theatre was crowded. With an audience of adults as well as numerous very excited children the anticipation was palpable and Cosentino didn’t fail to impress.

The charm, enthusiasm and lack of pretension that we grew to love while watching Australia’s Got Talent is still there in abundance; but Cosentino seems to have grown since striking out on his own. He has gained confidence in the face of large audiences, tempering his performance to their reactions. Even with the theatre packed and resembling nothing so much as a sea of faces, the show felt personalised. Cosentino has an individual and genuine air about him, using gentle self-deprecating humour to bridge the gap between stage and spectators. While much of Cosentino’s humour is aimed at the adults, he doesn’t forget his younger fans. Many of the clips shown are for their benefit, and it was easy to see that the children there were captivated.

Watching the show that he has orchestrated for the whole spectrum of his audience, I found there was something for everyone. But it’s obvious that Cosentino remembers what it was like to be a child, along with his beginnings as an illusionist and escape artist. He makes sure that when the children leave, they will want to learn about magic as much as he did, even going so far as to showing the mechanisms behind one of his illusions.

While watching him on TV back in 2011 it was obvious to everyone how far he could go. With Distortions it seems that he has arrived. The show is a wonderful mix of dance, humour, biography and, of course, magic. The fresh, unique take on an age-old form of entertainment and Cosentino’s ability to personally interact with the audience was always set to be a hit; and this is no exception.

The illusions and performance side of the show is flawless. Rather than limiting himself to the larger than life, grand-scale illusions that many on-stage magicians do, Cosentino brings parts of Distortions right back to basics. Utilising large screens to show the act to the audience; card tricks, predictions and string tricks are dispersed through-out the larger acts. It further serves to create what feels like a close-knit group out of what is, in reality, a substantial crowd.

The grand illusions, that most of us were expecting, were carried out with flair and left onlookers confounded; not only asking how he did it, but how he had come up with the illusion in the first place. While a magician never reveals his tricks, Cosentino shares some of his inspirations and the history behind certain illusions, giving the show more interesting dimensions and drawing it further into a new genre of magic show.

Distortions is a show that he has made his own. The stage, though simple, was decorated with touches of his personality. A high-backed chair, stack of old tomes and set of shelves weighed down with antiquities all serve to tantalise audience expectations. They are also the only traces of traditional illusionist props in the show. Biographically, the props do tie in to the personal journey Cosentino has taken to reach Distortions. The books and shelves speak of the research and innovations that Cosentino discusses with the audience between acts; as he advises the children especially to go to the library if they want to learn magic.

Cosentino’s Distortions is funny and informal; the kind of show that transcends age. Parents and their children will find it just as enthralling as people out with friends or a partner. There is so much more here than a magic show. The humour, performance and Cosentino’s candid personality combine to ensure this a show that will not disappoint.

Tickets with thanks to our creative partner:

Those of you following my FB and Twitter feeds know that I had a really enjoyable time in Cairns. I was kindly picked up at the airport by Hettie Ashwin and taken to Rydges Tradewinds.

Friday night was the launch cocktail party where I met some of the Tropical Writers, and then headed off to dinner with my friend Bernadette who I haven’t seen in five or so years. Hip little cafe and good food.

Saturday was a very full day; a three hour workshop (and they were an interesting, lively bunch), a panel on writing for young adults and children, launching Hettie’s book The Mask of Deceit and attending the literary dinner. Matt Reilly made a great keynote speech about retaining passion for what you do and afterwards I stumbled into bed.

Sunday was less hectic. The Big Book Club panel was very stimulating – we discussed Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward, Cold Grave by Kathryn Fox and Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend by Matthew Green. I have to say that Salvage the Bones was like reading something by Margo Lanagan – the use of language and the deeply personal insights. A truly splendid book. We also agreed that Kathryn Fox was doing a great job raising awareness of social issues and that Green’s novel will make a touching movie.

Collins booksellers did a fab job (had all my books) and all the organising committee were very helpful throughout.

Once my offical duties were finished I got to sit and talk stories, TV, comedy and the revolution with Tim Ferguson – definitely one of the weekend’s highlights for me. Hettie then deposited me back at the airport (thanks Hettie!), and I got to watch five epsidoes of Big Bang Theory on the flight home on the swishy new Qantas jet.

Thanks for having me Tropical Writers!

by Joelene Pynnonen and The Spotlight Report

Event Cinemas at Garden City was all glammed up on Thursday the 30th of August in preparation for the foxy ladies from Fountain Lakes. Hot pink balloons served as a guide up the staircase to where the crowd awaited. Even an hour and a half before the event the atmosphere was charged with subdued excitement that spiked a little with the arrival of every new Kath, Kim or Sharon look-alike.

 Fluffy blond perms and netball outfits abounded, as did skimpy frocks and outrageous bling. While the costumed fans waited for the stars they paraded on the red carpet. Having their photos taken by friends and media alike, they looked good enough to rival the real thing.

It was not to be. Kath, Kim and Sharon arrived amidst a chorus of cheers; dressed in their usual splendour. Their presence caused such a furore that for the first five minutes of their arrival, I could see no more than an occasional elbow from my place on the red carpet.

Despite the commotion, we did get the chance to speak to the Kath and Kimderella stars briefly. In her leopard-print onesie, Kath seemed well-qualified to point out the finer points of Italian culture.

SR. So you’ve had an all-girls holiday, how was that?

Kath: It was great! I mean Sharon and Kim aren’t the best travelling companions, because Sharon’s always sick and catching things and Kim is just a life-denying misery-guts. But I made the most of it. I tried to get away and have my down-time. A bit of me time.

SR. So how’d it go?

Kath: Oh, I just tried to run away from them as much as I could. But travel and me go hand-in-hand because I’m a very…I look around and I see. I’m very cultured. You know, I’ve done a lot of Tafe courses; I speak Italian, I’ve done art. In Rome we saw the Sixteenth Chapel, went to the Trevis fountain.  So we did the culture thing as well, so that’s me.

SR. So as far as the speaking Italian thing goes, were there any language barriers?

Kath: I did learn ‘neanco persono Jose’, which means ‘no way, Jose’. Because I got so many offers, you know.

Kim spoke of the difficulties faced by princesses like Kate Middleton and herself.

SR. Now we hear you’ve been having some lessons in being a princess. What would you say would be the most important one as far as that goes?

Kim: You know, I think being mean, I want to bring back capital punishment and ‘Off with your head’ because I want to say that as a princess. And I think K-Middy and me are on the same page with that one.

SR. Do you feel like maybe your rights are being violated because you don’t get to say that on a regular basis?

Kim: Oh, that’s right. I think people need more control. You know, I think people want – I think they want to be scared of their monarch so I think I’d be a pretty tough…Yeah, I’d be a tough monarch.

SR. What did you love most about Italy?

Kim: Well, I loved the guys ‘cos they all loved me. We did travel a bit. We went to Trevis fountain, the Colosseum, the Sixteenth Chapel. Yeah, it was really noice.

SR. How did Brett feel about all this?

Kim: Oh, Brett was ropable. He was left at home.

While Kath and Kim had been giving interviews Sharon was wowing the crowd with her gold-sequined netball uniform, posing for photos and signing signatures. Eventually she was persuaded to abandon her fans for a very short interview.

SR. Now we’re running a little bit late, so I’ll just ask the question on everyone’s mind. Holiday flings: did they happen?

Sharon: Ooh, look, I don’t pash and tell. Let me just say I had a fantastic time in Italy. You’ll have to watch the film to find out.

After some more photos, that was exactly what we did.

Awards

davitt-award  aurealis-award   logo-curtin-university

Peacemaker - Aurealis Award
Best Science Fiction Novel 2014

Curtin University Distinguished Alumni Award 2014

Transformation Space - Aurealis Award
 Best Science Fiction Novel 2010

Sharp Shooter - Davitt Award
Best Crime Novel 2009 (Sisters in Crime Australia) 

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