By Cam Lucadou-Wells
Not even Hallam-based magician Cosentino has been able to escape the grips of the Covid-19 pandemic.
In the past two years, lockdowns and restrictions have regularly scuttled his planned tour Deception.
Last July’s eagerly-awaited show at Bunjil Place sadly vanished from the schedule.
But just like an act of conjury, the show will reappear this month – just down the road from the entertainer’s “office and laboratory”.
Deception features Cosentino’s renowned magic, illusions, vanishing acts, levitations, teleportation and audience volunteers.
Nothing beats a live audience’s astonished gasps at each feat of wonder, he says.
Including the death-defying finale – in which he escapes a manacled straitjacket beneath a looming giant axe that’s timed to strike.
“The show is visually stimulating, with all the bells and whistles.
“It’s like a block-buster movie – fast-paced with romance, drama and humour.”
Cosentino’s tour has featured a few great escapes.
As Victoria locked down, he postponed fully-booked shows for the first time in his career.
And within 24 hours’ notice, the crew’s trucks were hurtling across the WA border just before it closed. This was followed by a gruelling stint of hotel quarantine.
It was an escape akin to stepping on hot coals and jumping through fiery hoops, Cosentino said.
“If anyone could escape, it was me,” he said.
Show-starved during Covid, audiences in WA and Queensland had a “huge appetite” for live entertainment.
“There’s nothing like a live show.
“If you see me seemingly read your wife’s mind, or ‘cut’ your child in half – the magic is far more powerful than when you see it on TV.
“The audience gasps are a beautiful feeling.
“My aim is to catch you off-guard and experience that sense of wonder.”
Growing up in Endeavour Hills and Dandenong North, Cosentino was a shy 12-year-old who couldn’t read when introduced to a Houdini magic book from the Narre Warren library.
He was entranced by the pictures of old, vaudevillian magicians and posters.
What was revealed to him was not just magic, but the trick of reading.
He hopes to next escape overseas, to resume his successful tours of South East Asia. He’d last performed in Singapore in 2017.
Deception is at Bunjil Place, Narre Warren on Thursday 31 March. Details: bunjilplace.com.au/cosentino-deception-tour