Chamber of Mysteries Dinner & Show. Malta
Starring Brian Role & Lola
Reviewed by Mike Danata
Before I left the U.K. for a short break in Malta, I decided to check Google to see what "magical things" might be on there, not really expecting to find anything to be honest! However to my surprise when I Googled "Magic Show Malta" I came across a very highly rated Dinner/Show called "Chamber of Mysteries" starring Brian Role & Lola. I was intrigued, especially as it was limited to only 25 people!
I also discovered that every year since it started in 2011 it had picked up a Certificate of Excellence from Trip Advisor. Not only that, but the show had also been recognised by being presented the Merlin Award by Tony Hassini who flew in from New York to make the presentation! Other recipients of the award in the past have been the likes of David Copperfield and Siegfried & Roy, so I felt that the show MUST be good! I thought to myself however that being so late in the season, the show was probably not on, so I checked out the website to find out, and lo and behold the show was still running! So I booked it. I tried to find out as much as I could about it before I departed the U.K.
I discovered that the venue is an 18th century farmhouse, built by the Knights of St John, is located in the centre of Malta, and is way off the usual Tourist Map. You are picked up from your hotel and taken to the venue, where you enjoy a three course meal, with flowing wine, water, or soft drinks (this was a real feast!). Then after the meal you are escorted up a small flight of stone stairs to the "Chamber of Mysteries" itself, which is a beautiful miniature theatre with 25 proper theatre seats arranged in rows, facing a proper stage with curtains etc. You really do feel as if the show is being performed especially for you!
We take our seats, and suddenly hear the sound of a smoke machine whooshing out smoke behind the curtains; you feel a rush of excitement and anticipation as you know that the show is about to begin! The lights dim, the curtains open and the music begins, "Pure Imagination" from Willy Wonka, "Come with me and you'll be in a world of pure imagination, take a look and you'll see into your imagination. We'll begin with a spin traveling in the world of my creation, what we'll see will defy explanation, and you'll see into your imagination..." what perfect music and lyrics to start the show off with!
Brian then enters. He has a very likeable and quirky persona, and then the magic begins! He performed a very nice Dancing Cane routine, where the cane virtually flew over the front row, and then introduced himself. His next trick I feel that I should have known, but I am quite ashamed to say that I didn't! It seemed like a classic trick, but I can never remember seeing it before (as I get older maybe my memory is going, though if it is there are definitely certain benefits, like seeing a trick as if it's the first time, and being wonderfully fooled by it, which is very rare indeed as I simply know too much!). He vanished three walnuts one at a time (I did get that bit!) but one at a time they appeared under an upturned glass covered with a tube, the tube would be lifted off and another "vanished" nut would be underneath! I have no idea how he did it, and really couldn't see how the tube could have anything to do with it! WONDERFUL.
Brian then got a lady up from the audience to assist in a game of "Mastermind". Several pictures were shown to the audience and were all the same (pictures of the Mona Lisa). The lady assisting never saw the pictures. A brown envelope with a prediction inside (shown to be a duplicate of the Mona Lisa) was placed in full view of the audience. The lady then selected one of the cards without looking, and held it close to her chest; the picture was turned around and it was seen NOT to be the Mona Lisa, however when the picture was removed from the envelope and shown, it was a duplicate of the one she had chosen!
He then performed the classic Sawing in Half illusion with his glamorous assistant Lola, utilising two members of the audience throughout the trick, the young lady spectator actually mouthed "WTF" to her boyfriend in the audience, as the two halves of the box were separated and she was still holding on to the ropes around Lola's neck, coming through a hole at the end of the box! Brian's presentation, was very funny. A bit like a mad professor, but still keeping the magic very strong.
I was then called up, and he borrowed my ring, made it disappear, and it reappeared on the stem of a rose, that someone was holding at the start of the trick. Brian and Lola then performed a vanishing champagne bottle together, where the bottle turned into a silk streamer when covered with an empty tube. Then Brian did a beautiful Floating Table, it even flew over the audience! Very nice indeed, followed by a Zombie Mirror Ball to the music of "Diamonds Are Forever". "Snowstorm in China" came next, which was delightful, then a very novel routine with a tissue rose, that vanished and appeared in a photo of Lola in a picture frame. At the start the picture was only of Lola with no rose in her hand, the picture was even taken out at the end, and there was nothing else in the frame! A prediction trick followed with coloured pens, and then the finale of the Sub Trunk (or Metamorphosis as it's now more often called).
The show had sadly come to an end. About an hour and twenty minutes had just flown by! If you, or your friends or family go to Malta, then tell them about the Chamber of Mysteries, as it is Malta's Best Kept Secret, even locals I spoke to hadn't heard of it, and you will find no advertising in any of the hotels around Malta. If it was advertised and promoted by tour reps etc, there would be too many disappointed people... more people would not be able to see the show, than those that would, as it can only take 25 people, it's very exclusive and special, so if you go to Malta book before you go. Whatever you do, DON'T MISS IT!
© Mike Danata, December2017