CT Scans – Catching Cancer Before You Even Have Symptoms

CT Scans – Catching Cancer Before You Even Have Symptoms

CT scan needed? At Mermaid Beach, there is a clinic which is the only private practice in Australia with new Spectral CT Scanner. Here’s what that means for you.

There is now a technology so innovative and disruptive, that it promises to turn medicine on its head. It is called Spectral CT and it is a revolution in the diagnosis game. This is the sharp edge of medicine.

The long name of the kit is the Philips IQon Elite Spectral CT. Or, Spectral CT for short. Mermaid Beach Radiology is the only private radiology clinic in all of Australia to have one. It can see inside you like no other machine on the market while having an ultra-low radiation dose. It can diagnose cancer you don’t even know you have, even before you feel sick.

Patient getting in Spectral CT
A patient getting a CT scan

Just when you think things couldn’t get better for patient care – in the room next door is the Philips Ingenia Elition 3.0T X wide bore research[1]grade MRI. There are only 3 of these top-of-the[1]line MRI machines in private practice in Australia (the other two are in Western Australia).

Entrepreneurial Minds at Work

Dr. Zane Sherif is the brilliant mind behind the futuristic clinic. He’s a radiologist with a passion for technology and what it can do in the medical field. Alongside his wife, Dr. Kirralee Sherif, who herself has a Ph.D. in Engineering, Zane has opened Mermaid Beach Radiology. They are hoping that people of the Gold Coast (and much farther afield) will understand just what a gift it is to have access to these cutting-edge machines. He said, “Our bar for machine selection was, ‘what would we want to have ourselves, our kids, our loved ones scanned on?’”

Spectral CT in its full glory
A glimpse of the CT scan machine

Zane tells us about a recent case of his. “A  patient came into use with a forearm issue. He’d been living with forearm pain for years and had seen multiple specialists. He was in relentless pain that no one was able to get on top of. He has been prescribed antipsychotics and antidepressants and all sorts of things. Nothing worked. He had accepted that he may have to amputate his arm to gain relief. Finally, he found us.

“Ben Kennedy, the MRI Clinical and Research Director, did his magic and finally, the patient had a diagnosis. There was a problem with his radial nerve. The radial nerve in our arm goes through a little tunnel, just off the bone. For him, that tunnel was too tight and it was inflaming the nerve. But you could not see it on any other scan until now.

“Ben was able to get an entirely new view of the nerve. He could trace its path through that tunnel. He could see that the nerve was thicker and brighter, but only in the tunnel. So we knew that it was getting stenosed. Now that we knew the problem, we could treat it. Within hours, we injected the area with some Cortisone, and for the first time in years, the patient had no pain. The Cortisone shrinks down the swelling around the nerve and could last for years, if not forever. This kind of case isn’t unusual, it happens here on a daily basis.”

Rise of Spectral CT Scanners in Queensland

In South East Queensland, there are six Spectral scanners in public hospitals. The hospitals have a much bigger budget to purchase the near two-million-dollar machines. They always have to have the best diagnostic tools. But there’s a waiting list and you may only get to use it after you have run the gauntlet of lower-end machines. And usually, you need to be a hospital inpatient. By then, precious time has passed.

Then there’s the machine in Mermaid Beach Radiology, which is a private clinic. In all of the other radiology clinics in Australia, there are a grand total of zero Spectral CT scanners.

As a private business, Zane and Kirralee had to answer the business case for spending so much money on one machine. Says Zane, “This piece of machinery is 10 times the cost of some CT scanners. An entry-level CT scanner costs about $200,000. The Spectral CT costs nearly two million dollars. But this machine takes a  massive leap when it comes to diagnostic power. It is like comparing the phone that you used 15 years ago to the one you’re using now. We  took a gamble because the medical community needs to do better for patients.”

Zane said that he wanted to move to Spectral CT technology when he worked for other radiology companies. “I was literally laughed out of the building. And yet… this machine is an absolute diagnostic monster. I wanted my patients to have access to this. So I said, right, I’ll buy it myself.”

And Mermaid Beach Radiology was born. Zane says the Spectral CT images give the radiologists diagnostic confidence in what we are seeing. “A lot of the time you might see something on a lower-end machine, and you really have no idea what it is. However, with the Spectral CT, we have more diagnostic confidence. The images are just far superior to what’s out there. I’m not saying we can answer every question, but we have the best tools known to science to help answer the more complex medical dilemmas.

Importance of High-Quality Scanners

“It does not matter how good a radiologist is if their tools are poor. If you’re looking through foggy glasses, all you’re going to see is fog. They could be an Einstein-level of intellect, but it is irrelevant. They can only report what they see, and if they can’t see it, they can’t diagnose it. But every single day, we are seeing pathology in patient’s Spectral CT scans that have not been seen using an older technology.

“There isn’t a day I’m not making a phone call to a referring doctor on a new case of unknown cancer or some other obscure diagnosis. I’ve never made so many phone calls in my career. We have a lot of patients come in here who know there is something wrong and haven’t yet been able to get a diagnosis. There was one gentleman who had five scans in the last six months with no answer. It was not until he got on the Spectral CT that we could see that he had cancer of his chest wall.”

Kirralee says, “There are times Zane shows me scans done on non-Spectral scanners, and you just cannot see cancer, even when you know where to look, we can’t see it. Then he’s like, ‘Have a look at this.’ And the cancer is so bright and unmissable.”

Zane says it is so important to be diagnosed early. “With modern medicine, our best chance at altering the course of a disease is in the early stages. Once it is chronic, forget it. The horse has bolted. You can’t unscramble an egg. Spectral CT is the future of radiology. In five years, everyone will have a Spectral scanner. But at the moment, it’s just Mermaid Beach Radiology who are offering it. We wanted to be an early adopter because this machine is your best shot.”

Holistic Medicine

Kirralee Sherif, the wife of Zane, is passionate about the experience the patient has at Mermaid Beach Radiology. As a working mother of four young children, she has the usual juggle of family and working life. But being busy doesn’t diminish her desire for the patient to feel cared for when they need it. She is intensely convinced that the patient journey is paramount and has made it her life’s work. “I had imaging done myself between my second third child. I had some really awful news, and I was sitting in a clinic in Sydney bawling my eyes out in the hallway, as everyone’s going past getting their images done. I was so alone and I just didn’t want anyone to ever feel the way I did that day. We designed this clinic so that the patient has a much better journey than that.”

inside Mermaid research
The living wall, which sits behind the reception desk designed by local artist Lisa De Boer

The clinic has a dedicated room in case someone needs to hear bad news and two full-time nurses. The patient comfort room has a heated blanket, a TV, and if someone needs time with Zane to discuss a diagnosis or if they just need time with the nurse, they can have this room. It’s also a recovery room, and an observation room too.”

The Ambiance of Mermaid Radiology

When you walk into the clinic, it has an art gallery vibe. A living wall, looking like a tropical rainforest, in reception is beguiling, and unexpected. It is properly beautiful. Green life grows in a lot of places in the clinic. Says Kirralee, “All the plants in reception and throughout the building are real. There’s a lot to be said about the effects of greenery on health. We want our patients to feel as calm and as comfortable as possible – like they’re coming into a resort. It is hard enough coming into a place like this, let alone when it’s all clinical and scary.”

It is not even scary for kids. A kiddie room with a short-throw projector plays movies for the children who are waiting. When we were there, some kids were kicking back on the beanbags, watching their favorite show.

Kirralee and Zane are both passionate about the environment. Amazingly, Mermaid Beach Radiology is becoming a carbon-neutral practice, which is an excellent achievement for such a  young practice. Says Kirralee, “I keep trying to instill in my children that we are here to make a positive impact. You have to treat the planet and all the living things on it with respect, and we want to model that in our work environment, as well.”

Kirralee and Zane are also on the same page with supporting local artists. “We used local suppliers where we possibly could as well. The front desk is all done by a local artist, Lisa De Boer. Sean Scott is a well-known photographer based in Burleigh. We’ve used his images all around the clinic and backlit them. We love the Gold Coast and as a family-run practice, we want the clinic to celebrate that.

“Zane has worked for other radiology companies. But we wanted to do things differently. We have a more patient-based focus. We aren’t about meeting strict goals. We just want to make sure that the patients have the best imaging journey that they can. If there’s something that can be done on the day, Zane will call the patient’s doctor and progress their imaging further. If injections are required, it can be done there and then, rather than the time-wasting to-ing and fro-ing with other doctors. That all adds to stress and pushes costs up as well.”

Radiology Expertise

Ben Kennedy is a world-renowned MRI scientist and researcher, according to Kirralee. He was formerly head of the MRI modality with the QScan group. When we go to see the MRI in action, he says, “Want to see something cool?”

We always want to see something cool. He  says, “You want to see real-life cerebrospinal fluid flowing through the brain?” He points to the screen. “That’s CSF flowing in and out of the cerebral aqueduct.” It was amazing to see it live. It looked like tomato sauce being squeezed repeatedly through a hose.

Yep. We all stood there and watched spinal fluid flowing through the brain. It was fascinating. The question was asked, “Do all of our bodies do that?” Ben answered, “I hope so.”

MRI is typically considered the most sophisticated imaging tool in radiology. As a pre‑emptive strike, or as a way to get a fast, accurate, early diagnosis, the value for money using MRI is incredible. But even if you feel fit and well but just want peace of mind that there is nothing dark brewing, you can waltz in and get an MRI scan with no radiation.

Says Zane, “You can wake up one day and say, ‘I’m curious what my brain looks like today. I want to go get an MRI.’ And just get it done. We have had people who’ve just come in and just chosen to have a full-body screening for cancer on the MRI. And we’ve almost found something on every one of them. The pick-up rate is huge. We are now the go-to place for doctors on the Gold Coast who want to get themselves and their kids checked out.”

Going Off-Piste

The conventional route of diagnosis is not one Zane is a fan of. “If you’re sick, you don’t wake up one day going, ‘Right, I’m going to go see my doc today. I hope he/she starts me off on this process with the worst available tests.’ But that’s exactly what happens. You go and see your doctor, sick.

You’ll almost always start off with an X-ray which is a 125-year-old technology. Then you might get to an ultrasound. You will rarely get to a CT, and almost never get to an MRI. By the time that has happened, it could be too late. Ask anyone, what is the best diagnostic camera in medicine? Everyone will say MRI. Yet it’s the last thought, not the first thought in the investigative process. Which is bonkers.”

While Medicare will not refund the cost of an MRI scan, which starts at $360, it is still very much worth the price. Says Zane, “Medicare is a great safety net for the less privileged. But it has also forced our thinking towards the idea that we should never put our hand in our pocket when it comes to health care. That is just the wrong mentality.”

girl with a toy in the machine
It is suspected that the monkey in question has a very serious case of fluffyitis

There’s no better way to spend your money than on your health, so you will be around for your loved ones for a long time. You spend similar amounts of money on your hair, a good meal, a couple of bottles of wine. You ARE worth it. In fact, we are all worth it. And in this case, technology is very definitely our friend. ■

How to Make an Appointment

Mermaid Beach Radiology offers Wide Bore 3T MRI, Spectral CT, Cone Beam CT, Ultrasound, X-Ray, biopsies, and all pain relief injections all using the very latest technology. You can make an appointment for any of these, and they accept referrals from all over Australia.

Phone Number: 07 5619 9499

Address: 2469 Gold Coast Hwy, Mermaid Beach

Email: info@mermaidbeachradiology.com.au.

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Good entertainment at an event helps your guests have fun. And who doesn’t like to have fun? Whether it is a wedding, a wedding anniversary, a big birthday bash, or a corporate event, hiring roving entertainers is a great way to break the ice between acquaintances.


Wedding Entertainers

Some events go down in family history. And usually, it’s because of how great everyone felt while attending them. I recently attended a wedding that had two entertainers on staff. One was a sexy, fire-twirling goddess who mesmerized us before the drunken dancing started. The other was a magician that was hired to bring the kids to the side for an hour and let the parents eat their meals in peace without having little fingers in it.

These two entertainers made a normal wedding into a fantastic one. A lot of selfies were going on with these two roving entertainers. And it made me think about my next event and how I could make it memorable with roving entertainers.

Work-Related Entertainers

At events that are work-related, it is a really good idea to have entertainers, as it can break the ice between people who don’t know each other that well. Entertainers can help the event stay upbeat and keep the attention of guests and put them in a stimulated state of mind, ready for learning. In other words, they will be in a great frame of mind to hear your sales message.

Matt Hollywood at an event
Matt Hollywood at an event

Making your potential clients feel great cannot be underestimated. If you have ever been at an event where an illusionist has been hired to wow the person with who you want to do that big deal, then you’ll know how well it works. These roving performers can be worth their weight in gold.

Event Star
Matt Hollywood Magic

Back in the Naughties, I went to a party in London that had a psychic reading everyone’s palms… and the biggest topic of the night was what she had predicted for us. It was a great way to start a conversation with a total stranger…and boy did it work! Two of the people were told they would find their soul mate that night. I wonder if they hooked up later? I hope so.

Matt Hollywood with people
Matt Hollywood with people

Make Your Event Stand Out By Hiring Matt Hollywood

At the Gold Coast, we have our own illusionist who puts on the wow factor for events –  Matt  Hollywood. For anyone who has seen his live shows at Sanctuary Cove and Broadbeach, you’ll know him to be witty and clever and be very, very slight of hand.

Now, Mr. Hollywood has branched out into event entertainment. Whether that means an intimate gathering of 15 people or a larger event with 600 guests, he rolls up with illusions and tricks to stump and beguile. This is the type of stuff people remember for a long time.

His roving show consists of magic packages (the ultimate ice-breaker) where he strolls amongst guests with mind-blowing close-up magic. Plus he does stage shows suitable for sit[1]down dinners. He also does other performances where he’ll take your guests on an unforgettable journey of comedy and magic. I have witnessed the show he puts on, and he is definitely worth considering for your next event.

Matt Hollywood’s Shows

Matt Hollywood is very experienced at this game. He has performed at countless events across the globe, made countless television appearances. He has performed at theme parks, special functions, and more, as well as having his own show. But the best thing about his performance is always his natural X-Factor. He’s just so funny.

Magic and Illusion have been around for a long time, for a good reason. It beguiles even the staunchest grump. Matt Hollywood delivers his fast-paced action-packed show with mind[1]blowing performances at almost every type of function, from conferences to business functions, private parties, weddings, corporate events, and more. He’s definitely worth having around.

Brett Marks of the Noah Group recently said, “Having Matt Hollywood at our event was the best decision we ever made. We have already sold out for next year. His show is mind-blowing but also the funniest thing we have ever seen. World Class.”

If you are seeking a close-up magician for a cocktail function, pre-dinner drinks entertainment or simply to rove the crowd with some classy card tricks, floating objects in the air, making things disappear, and mind-blowing close-up style magic that is a guaranteed hit at any event, then he’s your guy.

All this has led me to the conclusion that I want to hold a ridiculous bash when Covid goes the hell away. And I know the type of entertainment I will be having at this party to end all parties. The people in my life better start sucking up to me fast if they want an invitation! ■

To book Matt Hollywood for your event, call 0412 662 442 or log on to matthollywood.com

SILVER SHITBOXERS: Story of Greg and Louise

SILVER SHITBOXERS: Story of Greg and Louise

Greg Canning (56) & Louise Canning (57) have signed up for the Shitbox Rally for a  second time this year. Even though Greg works for Channel Seven as their building services manager, Louise is a store manager for Wallace Bishop. Greg fills us in on how he and Lou are preparing for the Autumn event.

Silver Shitboxers and their love for princess theme
Even the car is a princess

Our Journey for Participating in the Shitbox Rally

We first heard about the Shitbox Rally about five or six years ago. We just thought it sounded like fun! The kind of event we had to be a part of. We applied and didn’t make the cut the first year…or the second year, or the third year. This was due to the limit of 250 teams per rally, which is easier to manage from a logistics perspective.

Princess day celebration among Silver Shitboxers
Princess Day – everyone had to dress like a princess!

We were finally accepted to take part in the 2019 10th anniversary rally, travelling from Perth to Sydney via Uluru. The fact that it was the tenth anniversary of the rally held a special significance for us. It was the tenth anniversary of Lou’s breast cancer diagnosis as well as her ten year work anniversary. The rally was the first and only 10-day rally. What a marvellous 10 days that rally was! There is still a waiting list, but now, with two  shitbox rallies each year, getting yourself onto a rally should be somewhat quicker.

We are currently raising as much money as we can for the cause, which hasn’t been helped by the Covid situation. We’ve really had to think outside the box to come up with options that don’t require gatherings or group type activities.

Silver Shitboxers taking part of the vibrant rally
Greg and Louise’s buddy group of cars

Fundraisers by Silver Shitboxers

One of our current fundraising activities has Lou making all shapes and sizes of beautiful dreamcatchers which  we offer for sale. I’ve been creating all manner of decorative laser[1]cut and engraved items from candle holders and lamps to welcome signs, cake toppers and personalised Christmas decorations. (Check out facebook.com/2craftypirates. The products are beautiful, and all profits go to cancer research.)

We are busily preparing ourselves and the car for the rally as the date is rapidly approaching. One item we really need before we go is a replacement windscreen. That might sound like a strange requirement but ours has a long crack across the middle and if you lose a windscreen on the rally, your rally is over…You’re not going to find a spare where we go! We also need to prepare a list of required provisions for the trip. Drinking water is an example. We need plenty in case we’re stuck by the side of the road for hours due to a breakdown. But water supplies are heavy and take up space, so too much isn’t going to help anyone.

Silver Shitboxers enjoying a formal party
Formal night at Uluru

Silver Shitboxers on the Go

We will be travelling in groups of seven or eight cars. THE golden rule of the rally is that if a car in your group breaks down the whole group stops and everyone stays together until the problem is resolved. While we most of us aren’t mechanics, there is always one person in each group that does have these reasonable mechanical skills and some essential tools. There are also support teams travelling as part of the rally. These teams have 4WD vehicles, car trailers, and more well stocked toolboxes for when breakdowns occur. Once they arrive on scene, if they can’t get you back on the road in 20 minutes or so, it’s onto a trailer with your Shitbox. You have to find a seat for yourself in another team’s car. Your Shitbox goes to the triage at the next overnight stop.

Crafty Markets – to raise money for the Cancer Council

Rally participants come from all walks of life and span a very broad range of ages and experiences. On the last rally, we had a couple of young guys from Yinarr (apparently that’s pronounced yeah‑nah) in Victoria. There was a lovely couple from Kandos who have since retired, with the rest of us ranging through our 40s and 50s. It is a very broad constellation of people.

The car we are using is the same VZ Commodore Wagon we drove in the 2019 rally. We call her “Pearl.” While it doesn’t sound like a car you’d be able to buy it for under $1000, when you see this car, you’ll realise why. People think that everything that has been done to this car we did ourselves, because we are entering it into the Shitbox Rally. She looks like a crazy painted shitbox should, but, that’s how we bought her! All we did was put our sponsors’ stickers on her!

Our Car

Mechanically speaking, she’s okay. I had to replace the cam chains in her after the last rally but, she’s a good car. Let’s face it, she made it through the last rally…All 5150 kilometres of it. We did tear the exhaust system off on day four, so it was rather loud going from that point on. This included the drive home from Sydney to Brisbane! All cars have to be roadworthy too, which is a tough call for cars worth $1000 or less.

Louise car surfing

The rally is such a rewarding event – the people that you meet are absolutely sensational. The sites, and experiences are sensational too. Before we did the 2019 rally, I struggled to get Lou in a car to drive anywhere more than an hour away! She hated driving! We would drive five minutes down the road and she’d say, “Are we there yet?” Once we did the rally, she was converted! We have since driven up to the Whitsundays and back a couple of times, and even chosen to drive rather than fly to Sydney twice!

During the 2019 rally I really “let myself go” for effect to try to look like a pirate. I am normally clean-shaven with a short back and sides. By the end of it I wore a bandanna and had a plaited beard. My hair turned red, courtesy of the red dust that the Outback is made from.


The scenery and vistas are amazing. You see a  lot of wildlife out there – emus, kangaroos, camels. There are no hotels where we go. It’s all camping. Normally we camp where there are some sort of facilities. So basically, you drive all day, you get to your overnight to stop, fill up the car, and set up then tent, sleep, then get up for breakfast! And do it all again! Moreover, there’s often nothing but open spaces, and delightful scenery from the start of each day to the next overnight stop. And, of course, there’s the odd “Code Yellow” (10 hours a day in a car I’m sure you can work it out!). It all adds up to a wonderful experience. ■

To donate to Greg’s Team, go to autumn2021. shitboxrally.com.au/2-pirates. All the money goes to cancer research. Let’s beat this shitshow of a disease!


This year, the Shitbox Rally Autumn will be held 22-28th May. Half the field will be travelling from Alice Springs to The Gold Coast via the Gulf of Carpentaria. And shortly afterwards, the other half of the teams plus the organisers and officials will set off from Gold Coast on the reverse route. The Spring Shitbox Rally runs from the 9th-15th October 2021, travelling from Mackay to Darwin.

Read more articles about Silver citizens of Gold Coast by clicking here.



Welcome to the whole bag of crazy that is the Shitbox Rally. It’s a super-fun way to raise money for charity. This year, the event finishes up at the Gold Coast. And then, it starts from the Gold Coast again just a few days later!

Shitbox Rally
Cars participating in the Shitbox Rally

This is not a race. It is a challenge to drive cars worth just less than $1,000 across Australia via some of the Outback’s most formidable roads. This is all in the name of raising money for cancer research.

Sea of Cars Participating in the Shitbox Rally
Sea of Cars Participating in the Shitbox Rally

The founder of the Shitbox Rally, James Freeman, started the event after losing both his parents to cancer within 12 months of each other. His amazing idea has now turned into a wildly expanding spectacle. Says Freeman, “In every rally, we drive to – and through – the Outback. But for Shitbox Rally Autumn 2021 we are starting there! This unusual route has us starting in the centre of Australia, travelling North initially to Karumba on the Gulf of Carpentaria before heading South East for the long drive to the Gold Coast.

Participants of the Shitbox Rally
Cars participating in the Shitbox Rally

Fifty per cent of the route is unsealed with plenty of river crossings to keep the teams challenged. Even the sealed road sections will be interesting and incredibly varied – from the red earth of Central Australia, to the Devil’s Marbles, to National Parks and to the mountainous terrain of the Great Dividing Range. There are plenty of challenges, plenty to see, and a huge amount to experience in just under 4,000 kilometres and seven days.”


The route in 2021 will cover over 3962 kilometres. In both the out and back legs, there will be 250 teams of 2, driving their wildly-decorated shitboxes. There will also be around 50 support personnel, who each pay their own way to make the rally a reality. All will traverse some of Australia’s dustiest, most iconic outback roads for seven days of fun, dust, and sweat. They will also be dressing up in some outrageous costumes – not just at night, but all day! Participants spend the entire day in costume. That’s breakfast, driving, repairing, and, if there’s a pub at the end, they are in costume for that as well!

Shitbox Rally Location
Area where Shitbox Rally starts

This event is officially endorsed and supported by Cancer Council. Fundraising records continue to be broken year after year by the rally, with more than $20 million donated to Cancer Council since the event began in 2009.


Interesting in applying? If you don’t like to get your hands dirty, or spend any time away from civilisation, this rally is not for you. This is a challenge for those who want to get their teeth into something meaningful and crave something different. Remember, you could be in the middle of Australia, miles from anywhere, trying to fix a split radiator hose with duct tape, string and pliers. You will be dirty, dusty, and maybe muddy…but you’ll still have a smile on your face, and you won’t be alone. There will be no motels, few showers, and you’ll be camping at every night. So you’ll need to bring plenty of wet wipes as well as your own tent, sleeping bag and mattress or swag. It’s  an adventure in the true sense of the word.

Senior participants of the Shitbox Rally
Trouble in Paradise

Each team is made up of a car with two drivers. Back seats are kept clear so they can carry passengers when other shitboxes don’t manage the entire journey. That said though, the support crews will do absolutely everything within their power to get as many cars as possible to the finish line. The cars are an asset, donated by all the teams, and sold at a public auction the day after the rally ends.


The Shitbox Rally is not a race; however awards are given at the end of the rally. There are awards decided in the early stages – such as the coveted “least likely to finish” trophy.

Happy Participants of the Shitbox Rally
Vibrant and youthful participants

There’s an award given for the team (or individual) who is deemed to have gone the furthest above and beyond what would normally be expected the “Spirit of the Rally.” And there are awards for the highest fundraisers. For more information Jump onto shitboxrally.com.au. While you’re there, check out some amazing videos of past rallies. If you’re into social media, you can follow the action on Facebook  and Instagram with the tag @shitboxrally. ■



Looking for a night out with old-school showmanship and theatrics? Then this magic spectacular at Sanctuary Cove is for you.  

Bored of the cinema? Can’t find anything on streaming services to watch? TV boring? Then do something new! Matt Hollywood’s Illusions Magic Show is something different and fun! And now is a great time to go, before international tourism reignites again and you have to fight every man and his lorikeet to get a seat.

Magic and illusion shows have been around a long time. And there’s a good reason why. Humans have always been fascinated by trickery. It is a performing art that never loses its appeal, even in high-tech 2020.


Magic is as Old as the Hills

History tomes are dotted with stories about travelling magic shows and tricksters enthralling crowds with their shenanigans throughout the ages. But it reached a crescendo in the late 19th‑century, when “the Golden Age of Magic” gripped the imagination. Magicians like Harry Houdini achieved widespread commercial success. This kind of magic show became a mix of Broadway theatre, spectacular, and amazing illusions, all rolled into one. In fact, the genre has marched intact into modern times, and even thrived on TV, with people like Derren Brown and David Blaine becoming wildly popular.

During the 19th and 20th centuries, many people freaked out by magic shows associated the industry with the devil and the occult. So, many stage magicians simply capitalised on this, and used the devil in their advertising for their shows. It only added to its popularity.

In recent years, magic shows have gone absolutely stellar in Las Vegas. Illusionists such as David Copperfield still reign supreme in the city (although his show has been put on hold due to Covid-19).

If you want a slice of this magic spectacularstyle show on the Coast, then you can. Master Illusionist Matt Hollywood puts on quite the show at Sanctuary Cove and now at Broadbeach every week. This performance covers all the big‑ticket magic items, such as levitation, sawing people in half, disappearing tricks, and audience interaction. He also chains himself to dangerous things which makes you feel genuinely worried about who will tell his mum that he didn’t make it.


Magic VIP tickets

We here at Silver Magazine were invited along to the show as VIP guests to check it out and report back. While we would love to tell you about all the things that happened, we kind of can’t, because it would ruin the surprise.

What we can say is this. The show is very much of the variety of old-school entertainment that is hard to find these days. The kids in the audience absolutely loved it, especially when they were asked to help with tricks and illusions. Adults were dragged into the show, risking things like watches and wallets, much to their delight. It seemed like Matt Hollywood was trying to get to every single person in the audience with his skullduggery.

The biggest draw of the night, however, is Matt Hollywood himself. Looking like a charismatic magic Ken Doll, he’s witty, confident and never acts like he’s under pressure, despite being chained to something that might actually scalp him in front of Gold Coasters looking for a thrill.

Many celebs have been to Matt Hollywood’s show here at the Coast. So much so, that there’s a discreet celebrity and VIP entrance available. So you may even get some people-spotting done on the night.

Matt also does private events. Whether you are having a small intimate gathering for 15 guests, or a larger and more elaborate corporate event for 600 guests, then he can put on a roving magic show that will blow all your other Christmas parties or events out of the water. Can someone please hold one of these events and invite us, thanks.

With the school holidays upon us, grab the grandkids and check it out!  


The show is now on every Friday & Saturday night at 6.30pm at Sanctuary Cove and every Wednesday at The Roosevelt Lounge in Broadbeach. Bookings are essential.



or call (07)5577-8999.

Enough indoors stuff! Now let’s get outdoors!

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