Vaudeville Theatre – until 30 August 2020
Guest reviewer: Cameron Sykes
Mischief Theatre’s newest show Magic Goes Wrong is a spellbinding show that leaves the audience wondering what will happen but also how. Theatre under the premise of a charity magical variety show indulges audience members with classic illusions. The David Blaine-type magic is daring, with mind reading, along with some acrobatics, all creating a well-rounded production that would not be half bad as an actual magic show.
We begin with an audio introduction and safety warning by co writer Penn Jillette which as you would expect is filled with jokes (offensive amounts of glitter). Then the show begins properly with a parade of the stars including ‘The Blade’, ‘The Mind Mangler’, Bar, Spitzmaus, The Great Sophisticato and guest for the evening Eugenia Banks.
The first trick of the night is one created by Sophisticatos’s father, the original Sophisticato, in which this show is in his honour, “masochist on fire”. The trick goes well until ‘The Blade’ loses his trousers and can no longer partake in the dance routine and they forget to unlock Sophisticato from the apparatus.
The next trick is the mind mangler who we quickly learn is a fraud with his heightened senses where he can taste a name, smell a job, touch the dead (or Gwyneth Paltrow) and have x-ray vision. His tricks are spaced out during the night and he is assisted by Brian (his flat mate) as an audience member and the actual audience on occasion.
The next act is ‘The Blade’, a David Blaine-type who wows audience’s with his threats of daring and stupidity in equal measure. There’s knife throwing (with a cameraman in the way), stabbing a card out of the deck (with his hand in the way), removing cheese from mouse traps, catching a bullet in his teeth and holding his breath under water during one of Sophisticato’s card tricks. All of these go horribly wrong for him as he ends up needing help in more ways than one.
The final act is the European double act Bar and Spitzmaus the gymnastic contortionist. They are half siblings of Sophisticato (possibly) with one good one and one not so good making each the perfect foil for the other. They also assist the other magicians with their tricks, resulting in some accidents.
The final of the first half is a more safety conscious version of sawing a woman in half that doesn’t end the way you would expect
The show continues though with more acts from Sophisticato and his father’s prized albeit deceased doves. The Blade and his shenanigans, Bear and Spitzmaus then perform a quick change act and The Mind Mangler shows of his x-ray vision to almost disastrous results
In summary Magic Goes Wrong is a brilliant masterpiece that Mischief and Penn and Teller should all be proud off and is easily worth all the critical acclaim it has received so far.
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