The audience waits excitedly for the magician to appear. You can feel the anticipation in the room as we face the stage, where a large chest sits. Where could our magician be? And then magically she is here! But this is not the magician, but the magician's assistant, and so begins Maria Angelico's Melbourne International Comedy Festival show The Disappearing Act. Neither Angelico nor her tech assistant knows where the magician is, and frantic calls are made to his various girlfriends to locate him. But as the saying goes, the show must go on and Angelico takes the to the stage!
Naturally there are laughs to be had as this is being presented as part of the Comedy Festival, but the show's inspiration comes from the true story of Angelico's father, a well-known magician, who was absent for much of her life and instilled a household with domestic violence and abuse. You notice these anxieties and vulnerabilities manifesting throughout her performance; that there is something else simmering in her attempt to put on this magic show.