Magical homecoming

By Ashleigh Fielding | posted on October 13, 2018

ALBANY product Alannah Woods will make her debut hometown performance with national Irish dance-magic act Celtic Illusion next month after spending 10 years away studying and singing across the country.

Woods graduated from Great Southern Grammar in 2008 and was accepted into the WA Academy of Performing Arts in 2010.

After completing her Bachelor of Music in Classical Performance (Voice), she pursued further musical theatre and dance studies in Melbourne.

It was there that the chance of a lifetime fell into her lap.

“I’ve been in an amateur production of Anything Goes and Strictly Ballroom,” Woods said.

“When I was finishing Strictly Ballroom, I saw an ad on Facebook for a singer with Celtic Illusion.

“I messaged them and they sent me a song to learn, and within 24 hours I got the job.

“So, a week after finishing Strictly Ballroom, I was on the road again!

“It’s my first professional contract, which is pretty exciting.”

The 26-year-old said she performs four songs in Celtic Illusion, two in the first act and two in the second act.

Her early songs embrace a storytelling format and her later songs act as an introduction to an illusion.

“They are fantastic people,” Woods said of the Celtic Illusion cast.

“They’re all really lovely.

“We’re like a little family.”

Celtic Illusion director, principal male dancer and lead illusionist Anthony Street said Woods replaced a singer who was retiring from the show.

He said the company was working on developing Woods’ role to become more than just a singing one.

Street is the mastermind behind Celtic Illusion, premiering his show in 2011 after wanting to make his dream of creating a magic show and a dance show simultaneously come true.

“I was intrigued by a magician at a local fair when I was eight years old, and I’ve loved magic ever since,” Street said.

“Then when I was 14, I found a video of Irish dance and I watched it every day.

“I thought I might not have time to live both dreams of magic and dance, so I combined the two.

“I have to pinch myself sometimes… it’s such a one-of-a-kind show.”

Street said his ultimate goal is to see Celtic Illusion become comparable to the likes of Cirque du Soleil.

Woods aspires to move to London in the next couple of years and make it on London’s West End, and one day, Broadway.

Celtic Illusion will perform at the Albany Entertainment Centre on November 8 and tickets can be purchased via the AEC Box Office.