During the past six years, a Maltese couple have been making a name for themselves and for Malta in various countries around the world, with their magical performances. Illusionist Brian Rolè and his partner Lola have been providing magic and illusion shows in countries such Mexico, Dubai, India, Spain and many others. They have performed in luxurious hotels such as Le Royal Meridien in Mumbai and The Emirates Towers in Dubai and in high-standard dinner show theatres such as Es Foguero in Spain and have been seen by thousands of people
At the moment, Brian Rolè and Lola are performing on the Grand Voyager, a Spanish clientele-based cruise ship, cruising between Venice and Istanbul on a weekly basis. We caught up with Brian and Lola and asked them to share their experience with our readers
“We have been performing on a professional basis since 2000 and since then have achieved many of our main targets, one of which was actually performing on a cruise ship. Getting to this point was not easy, but it is very rewarding. We are so happy that we have persisted during times that were not easy at all. The offer to provide our performances on a cruise ship came to us when we least expected it. Last February we were performing in Es Foguero, one of the biggest dinner shows in Mallorca. There we were performing to about 1,200 people per show on a daily basis. It was there that we were seen by a producer who invited us to perform on the Grand Voyager cruise ship for the whole summer season. We did not think twice about accepting this offer, as this had been our wish for a very long time. Magic and illusion shows have mainly shifted to the cruising industry during the past few years and an opportunity to break into this industry does not come that easily, especially with so many high-standard professional acts to compete with from all over the world. The ship is lovely and offers a fantastic service in all aspects. It is the fastest cruise ship in the world and has was also used during the filming of Boat Trip, the feature film featuring Roger Moore.
We boarded the ship last March and the first couple of cruises took us to Valencia, Palma De Mallorca, Monte Carlo, Naples, Tunis, Civitavecchia, Calligari, Livorno, Bari and Malta. Since last April we took on the weekly course that leaves from Venice to Istanbul and vice versa via Dubrovnik, Corfu, Athens, Santorini, Mykonos and Rhodes. Being the first-ever Maltese artists to board the vessel, we were very welcomed, as Malta seemed to be one of the favourite destinations of all the crew members. In fact, everyone praised Malta highly as last year, Malta was one of the ship’s weekly destinations and everyone on board had the opportunity of tasting a little of the Maltese hospitality. Many of the crew name places and people we all know well and consider Valletta as one of the loveliest places in the Mediterranean. I do not blame them as Malta offers if not the most, definitely one of the most, spectacular and magical port entrances of all the Mediterranean, as we have witnessed for ourselves. Unfortunately we do not visit Malta on a weekly basis this year with the Grand Voyager; but its sister ship, the Grand Mistral, does, bringing in over 1,000 Spanish tourists to our island.
We, on the other hand, get to visit the places mentioned above, while at the same time perform our shows for about 900 guests who are mainly Spanish. Each week we get to perform four different types of shows: our main grand illusion family show, a children’s show, a late-night show and we also perform in a variety show with all the other artists and dancers. It is an indescribable sensation to perform for people who you will meet on several occasions and who you will share time with during the whole week on this floating hotel. The magic does not happen on stage only as we are asked to show some magic tricks several times each day when socialising with the passengers. Malta also seems to be very popular with all the Spanish guests and almost everyone mentions the “infamous” time when Malta was defeated by the Spanish in football by 12-1. Actually, during one particular cruise, the Spanish player who scored the 12th goal was on board, and we had the opportunity to do some magic for him!
One of the busiest positions on board must definitely be that of the cruise director’s. Mr Carletti is the person who coordinates all the activities for the guests apart from other things and he also presents the main shows in the theatre. He does a good job in providing a well-balanced programme for the guests of the Grand Voyager. He has visited Malta on several occasions during the past and has a passion for the place. He also loves to mention that we come from Malta during his presentation before our shows in the theatre, which to us is significant as it is a great honour.
In the past, we have performed in many hotels and resorts and theatres all over the world in parts of South America across Europe and in parts of Asia but this “adventure” seems to top everything we have previously experienced. We admit that travelling with our magic shows may be a bit restricting at some times, especially when you miss family and friends and, of course, your country, but we intend to keep on performing magic as it is our true devotion and passion. It is also very rewarding when in return people appreciate the artistic value of one’s performance. This will not be the last time that we will perform on a cruise ship; in fact, we wish to perform on other luxury liners. But we will leave the true magic of nature and destiny to take its course, and we are looking forward to wherever it may take us in the future.”