national Arts Festival Banner

Monday, September 22, 2014


(Stuart Lightbody)

(Review from the artSMart team covering the Witness Hilton Arts Festival which ran at Hilton College from September 19 to 21)

Show that will surprise you and leave you with a sense of wonder. (Review by Keith Millar)

Illusive, which enjoyed sold-out performances at the Witness Hilton Arts Festival, is no ordinary magic show. There are no rabbits popping out of top hats or glamorous assistants being sawn in half.

Instead it is a wonderfully elegant and polished production which is presented with considerable panache and charm by the charismatic Stuart Lightbody.

Lightbody is an astonishing illusionist and an excellent entertainer. His show is filled with drama, humour, and illusions which boggle the mind. This is sleight-of-hand artistry at its best.

He has excellent rapport with his audience and involves them in all of his illusions. Using mostly packs of cards, and performing increasingly impossible tricks, he leaves them astounded and mystified by his mastery of his art.

He weaves a web of intrigue and deception which leaves you doubting your own common sense and power of observation. You can’t help but to believing that there really is magic taking place and that this man is a wizard.

Illusive is written by Lightbody himself. He has visited several international festivals with the show and won the Creative Award at the Prague Fringe Festival. Direction is by the very talented Tara Notcutt who was responsible for hit shows such as Three Little Pigs and …..miskein which were previously seen at the Hilton Arts Festival.

Both Lightbody and Notcutt deserve credit for taking what could have been just another ordinary magic show and turning it into a sophisticated and classy piece of performance art.

Illusive is a superbly entertaining family show. It is filled with impossible illusions, plenty of drama and not a little bit of humour. It will surprise you and leave you with a sense of wonder. If ever you have the opportunity to see Illusive don’t miss it - it’s magic. – Keith Millar