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Comedy meets magic at the Menagerie Deluxe

By Jarrod 15 Aug 2017

The capital’s coolest and most eclectic variety show is about to head for the big time, eschewing its usual (smaller) venue for the jewel in our theatrical crown:  Wellington’s grand old Opera House. The show promises no fewer than 16 acts, including circus, dance, magic, opera, kapa haka, burlesque, comedy, poetry, drag, music and more. To get the inside scoop, Jarrod spoke to two of the performers – comedy/magic duo Kade and Jeremy.

Kade and Jeremy 1

How does the comedy/magic dynamic work for you both – is it that one of you develops the tricks, and the other writes the jokes, or is it more collaborative than that? And has that dynamic changed over the time you’ve been working together?

It certainly started out as one does the magic and one does the comedy. It worked that way in the beginning as we both brought a different element to the table and we were still finding our feet and what kind of comedians and magicians we wanted to be, but as we have been working together for a number of years now that has mashed together, and it’s now just collaboration. Like one of us will have a base idea for a trick or a joke and the other will add stuff to it and it grows from there!

Who are some of your favourite magicians and/or comedians, and why? Who inspires you, or who is doing stuff you really like?

It would a crime to be a New Zealand duo and not say Flight of the Conchords. They are comic masters, we would love to entertain on the scale they do one day. Penn and Teller are also amazing and masters of comedy and magic, we were lucky enough to travel to Las Vegas earlier this year and see them perform, a magical wet dream come true. At the moment we are really enjoying Frickin Dangerous Bro, their sketch work is so good. We would love to be able to work with them on a project. Also David Correos is a mad comedic powerhouse and we are looking forward to being in the Menagerie Deluxe line up with him!

On the magic side of things, is there a particular style of magic that you’d say is your forte, or that you focus on?

The shows we perform, although they contain magic, aren't specially magic shows, and we don't present them as such. We use magic to accompany our stories or the jokes we are telling, so they accompany what we are doing and make it have more wow factor. There certainly are different styles and genres of magic, but we take a page out of a whole lot of books and use what suits us. We make the magic fit the show instead of sticking to one brand.

Can you tell me a bit about what you’re going to bring to the table for the Menagerie Deluxe? Have you got anything special planned?

We can't give too much away! We have designed our set to fit a stage of that magnitude, so you can expect magic with some pretty big wow factor. We realize performing on the Wellington Opera House stage is not something you get to do a lot so we have to make sure the shoe fits, if you catch our Cinderella drift.

Performing in the Opera House is something of a treat, isn’t it? How does playing to a big room affect the type of set you do?

It’s bigger than usual so we will have to stand a bit further apart on stage. Next question. Hashtag just kidding. It is an awesome opportunity that we are so stoked to be a part of. Our set has been created just for the stage size. We are doing stuff we have never done before, we have had to adapt from what we are used to for the sheer sizer of the stage, and we are bloody excited. It’s new and fresh and we have put a hell of a lot into it.

And finally – I understand you breed butterflies together? Can you tell me how you came to that as a hobby – and maybe a bit more about what it involves?

Hahaha we love that you have asked about this, you are the first one! We got into it by accident. We bought a single swan plant a few years ago and it attracted all the caterpillars like a milkshake would boys to the yard. So we had to buy more swan plants and then more and then more again, just to keep up with the sheer demand these little homies were eating.

Then we had a look online how to go about the next step. So we followed the instructions and a few weeks later we had bred like 40 monarch butterflies! We were quite pleased with ourselves. So we have been doing it since then. You buy a heap of swan plants and after about 2 weeks bring them inside and into a large cardboard box covered with mesh. Once they are fat enough they will climb up to the mesh and get their chrysalis on.

About another 2 weeks and you will be the proud parent of some beautiful monarch butterflies, they grow up so fast. We miss them so much, last we heard Barry was an accountant, but you know how it is, they never visit home once they grow up.

Catch Kade and Jeremy at The Managerie Deluxe showing at The Opera House on 2 September.

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