Watching a magician connect three pieces of rope perfectly into one blew the mind of 8-year-old Anthony Street.

He still recalls exactly how he felt that moment he first saw the trick.

So he asked Santa for a magic kit that Christmas and he was the entertainment whenever friends and family got together.

"I was doing little shows all the time and I was a huge fan of David Copperfield who is the best illusionist in the world, so I had this dream to create a huge touring show doing magic like he did."


He's always dreamed big, Anthony says. Anthony was positive he would become a professional illusionist.

But there was a bend in the road when he watched a Riverdance show at age 14. Suddenly dancing was his new passion and he gave up magic to dance.

Anthony, from Melbourne, expected Riverdance to just be a hobby but instead performed leading roles in Michael Flatley's widely-acclaimed Lord of the Dance, including the role Michael originally performed himself.

"I had wanted to be a cameraman as well but that completely went out with the wind. I always had these big plans.

"I wanted to go back to magic as well as dance and I thought to myself 'will I have enough time in my life to do both' ... so I thought 'what if I do it all together?' and that is pretty much how Celtic Illusion began."

Celtic Illusion took shape in 2011. Anthony took a massive risk and booked a tour, managing every job in the lead-up and used his life savings to fund the tour.

"It was the most difficult, stressful job in my life, it's not a 9-5 job. You can't switch off."

Anthony has a team around him now but is always looking to keep Celtic Illusion fresh. "Even now I am constantly thinking, sometimes in my downtime - I work at my cousin's steel factory - I'm still dreaming and planning the next big illusion ... "


The show is pegged as the creative fusion of the two art forms, a combination of contemporary Irish dance and illusion. The choreography and music provide a sensory experience like no other, according to promotions.

Internationally-acclaimed dancers including performers from both Riverdance and Lord of the Dance offer some of the fastest taps in the world in perfect unison.

"We've taken Irish dancing to a new level and now has an element of commercial jazz with more upper body movement and choreography ... we do have that original long line and there's lots of amazing intricate dances."

Anthony says people leave the show saying 'I did not expect that'.

"I'm not sure what people are expecting but they do seem to be wowed. There's a lot of really nifty little things that happen in the show. They really like one illusion which is my reinvention of Houdini's Metamorphosis trick - the exchanging from a female assistant into myself. And there's the grand levitation in the show. "Sometimes it's the little things that happen in the show the audience really like. I think it exceeds people's expectations."

The fine print

What: Celtic Illusion

Where: Baycourt

When: August 31

Tickets: Ticketek