Multi-talented performer Maria Angelico has appeared in Australian tv series including ABC’s The Newsreader and Retrograde for SBS, and international productions on Netflix. Now she brings her considerable acting chops to MICF with a one-woman show inspired by her upbringing: The Disappearing Act.
As Angelico hasn’t revealed much in her MICF guide blurb, it’s not fair to unveil surprises here. Broadly though, Angelico was raised by her lounge-singer mother to keep away from magic and magicians.
By her later teens, curiosity was starting to overcome those maternal prohibitions. Now she’s on stage before us as a magician’s assistant, waiting for the all-important magician to join her so the show can begin.
In handling the delay, at times Angelico conjured good laughs, such as through her parody of a young “edgy” magician with appropriately aggressive sound and lighting effects. As the show proceeded, we got the sense of just how important the – typically silent – female assistant was to the success of an act, and just how little recognition was given for this.
This well-paced show, co-directed by Declan Fay, effectively uses Angelico’s acting talents; a stage smile here could communicate a range of emotions. There’s also some novel physical comedy as we learned how the show-biz reality is somewhat less-than-glamourous for the woman supporting the famous man.
Whilst the MICF season of The Disappearing Act has finished, hopefully the encouragement of a ‘Golden Gibbo’ nomination will cause the show to reappear in a Fringe festival soonish. Many will appreciate Angelico’s exploration of finding the strength to address the past, and then moving on from it.
Maria Angelico: The Disappearing Act
The Malthouse (The Playbox), 113 Sturt Street, Southbank
Performance: Sunday 24 April 2022 – 7.00pm
Season: 12 – 24 April 2022 (ended)
Image: Maria Angelico (supplied)
Review: Jason Whyte