By Andy Smith — Norwich Bulletin
Publishes April 20 2016
There’s nothing up their sleeves. Because they have no sleeves.
There’s nothing in their pockets. Because they have no pockets.
They are Mike Tyler and Christopher Wayne, costars of “The Naked Magic Show,” which is coming Saturday to the Garde Arts Center in New London.
“We’re literally stripping away the old magician stereotypes, the top hats and capes,” Tyler said.
But are they actually naked, or is that just another clever illusion?
In a phone interview from his native Australia, Tyler said that the two magicians start out the show fully clothed, and end it fully unclothed.
“We make three promises,” he said. “You will see amazing magic, there will be nonstop laughs, and we will be fully naked by the end of the show.”
Just how much naked the audience sees is a little mysterious, since in the promotional videos for the show there are props covering the most strategic areas of the two magicians.
Tyler said the nudity, or near nudity, of the show provides a useful distraction, since the audience is so busy checking out the naughty stuff, it doesn’t notice what the magicians are really doing.
“It’s an added bit of misdirection for us,” Tyler said. “We’re getting people looking in the wrong places.”
Tyler promised that the magic itself is first-rate.
“We’re not just two strippers on stage who know a few tricks,” he said.
Tyler, 31, a former competitive swimmer, said he’s been performing magic for about eight years.
Wayne has been at it a bit longer and was the first Australian magician to have his own TV series, “More Than Magic.”
Tyler said the two work hard to stay in shape. Wayne lost about 45 pounds, for “The Naked Magic Show.”
“We want to make sure there’s some eye candy up there,” Tyler said.
The idea for “Naked Magic” came from producer Simon Painter, who created the popular touring magic show “The Illusionists.”
“The Naked Magic Show” is deliberately bawdy, and intended for audiences over 18. The traditional comely magician’s assistant, for example, is a blow-up sex doll.
“It’s cheeky and naughty, but not crass,” Tyler said. “We’re trying to serve champagne, not beer. . . I think everyone has a jar of naughtiness somewhere. We like to unscrew the top of the jar and shake it up a little bit.”
He said audiences for “Naked Magic” have been about 75 percent female.
The show has been a big hit in Australia. Last year, Tyler and Wayne took it on a test drive to the United States, performing in three cities: Tampa and Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and Boston.
“It went better than we expected,” Tyler said, so now “The Naked Magic Show” is starting a 40-city North American tour.
“I’d like to take it to as many places as we can,” Tyler said. “There’s a bit of a time limit for us. I don’t see myself getting naked on stage when I’m 50.”