Comedy Astonish: magic with a side of laughs

Astonish: magic with a side of laughs

We’ve all seen magic tricks performed with rope, sponge balls, and cards. Clowns at children’s parties usually use these tools, but it seems that Mawonga Gayiya, also known as Wonga Magic, knows something that they don’t. Gayiya manages to combine magic and stand-up comedy, making Astonish one for both children and adults. “If you don’t find me funny, hopefully you’ll at least enjoy the magic,” he jokes at the beginning of the show.

Originally from Khayelitsha, Gayiya peppers his performance with personal anecdotes. Perhaps the most notable thing about him, aside from his talent, is his likeability. His engaging tone, respect for his audience and ability to poke fun at himself make for a relaxed environment.

Comparable to Trevor Noah (back in The Daywalker days, anyway) his approachable humour takes on a tone that older audiences will appreciate. The odd political reference should not, however, go over the heads of younger attendees.

The performance was full of surprises, making you question whether Gayiya is a magician or a mindreader. A particular trick he does involving coins will blow your mind. Even my generally clenched jaw dropped a few times.

Gayiya provides an energising and unique experience for all. An aisle seat is recommended if you like the idea of being called on stage as a volunteer.

The show is fluid and steadily builds to an astonishing conclusion. Stuart Lightbody directs the show, and his years of experience as a sleight of hand artist are evident. My only gripe was that it ended too soon.

Megan Whittington 

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