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Melbourne Magic Festival Gets Seriously Scammed

For the last 11 years, the Melbourne Magic Festival has attracted magicians from all over the world, honing their skills and dazzling audiences for 2 weeks of illusion, mystery and entertainment. Over 12,000 tickets for performances across multiple locations including their new premier venue, The Melba Spiegeltent in Collingwood.

All who attended were unanimous in it being the best magic festival yet!

International magicians such as Silly Billy from New York, Eun Gyeol Lee from Korea made the trip down under along with 75 magicians from Australia to perform over 300 shows during the fortnight event.

One of the common themes throughout the festival included audiences getting scammed over and over. But what do you expect from a bunch of sneaky, misleading humans?

Nicholas J Johnson was one of the main culprits, and with a nickname like “The Honest Conman” it was no surprise. He hosted the very popular “Sleight Night” which was a special event at the Laneway Theatre in Northcote and it certainly lived up to its name.

Five extraordinary magicians (including Nicholas) performed an array of mind-blowing tricks and unbelievable illusions, with lucky (or should that be unlucky) punters getting scammed, swindled and straight up confused!

The Laneway Theatre is an intimate venue comprising 32 cinema seats and a stage specifically built for close up magic. But on top of that, it is packed with secret passages, hidden surprises and more tricks than Grey Street on a Friday night. Even just getting in the door is an experience.

Dom Chamers, Lee Cohen, Vyom Sharma, Mr Marmalade and Nicholas J Johnson put on an award-winning display and then made the award disappear altogether! So much so that Sleight Night is now a regular event on the calendar.

Nicholas has over 20 years in the magic game and this magician from Melbourne continues to baffle crowds with his amazing sleight of hand and collection of swindles and scams.

He is a multiple award-winning comedian and entertainer, with annual gigs around the country at comedy and magic festivals. The honest conman is also continually in demand for private performances such as corporate events, Christmas parties and school shows.

Unlike most magicians, Nicholas J Johnson uncovers the secrets behind his tricks, which adds to the appeal. Not only can audience members be entertained but can also learn the trick themselves. Disclaimer: simply viewing a trick and seeing how it’s done will not make you a magician!

His deception and trickery have received plenty of attention both in Australia and abroad. Nicholas has appeared on TV shows such as A Current Affair, The Project, Today, and Sunrise. He’s also had radio gigs on Triple J and Radio National.

The author of two novels, Nicholas loves to write, as evident in his Chasing the Ace and Fast and Loose.

If you are fortunate enough to see Nicholas J Johnson perform in person, get set for plenty of gasps, laughs and two smoking barrels – ie. your left and right hippocampus! You will never look at magic in the same way again. The Melbourne Magic Festival is back again next July.

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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