Mischief Theatre's Magic Goes Wrong at the West End's Vaudeville Theatre, December 2019. © Robert Day

REVIEW ROUND-UP: Magic Goes Wrong at the Vaudeville Theatre

In Features, London theatre, Native, Opinion, Plays, Quotes, Reviews, Ticket recommendations by Emma ClarendonLeave a Comment

We round up the reviews for the second production in Mischief Theatre’s year-long season at the Vaudeville Theatre.

London Theatre.co.uk: ★★★★ “The show is unashamedly silly but also affectionately celebratory of a kind of variety theatre that may have long vanished – but makes a welcome return here.”

The Guardian: ★★★ “Under Adam Meggido’s direction the performers’ comic and slapstick skills are on fine display. Lewis’ repeated botched exits are droll, Henry Shields channels John Cleese to fine effect as the evening’s MC – and there’s real magic to enjoy alongside the tomfoolery. A fun night out, then – even if the chainsaw that slices Sophisticato’s mother in two is the closest it ever gets to a cutting edge.”

The Stage: ★★★ “Though it doesn’t hit the highs of some previous Mischief outings, it remains a solidly entertaining show, from a company evidently keen to test itself, and, for once, there are a few sweet instances where everything goes right.”

The Times: ★★★★ “It’s a magic show. It starts going wrong. It keeps going wrong, for more than two hours. There, that’s taken care of the plot of this gloriously silly evening.”

Evening Standard: ★★★ “There are some great lines and laugh-out-loud moments, but it would be easier to find an ace in a rigged deck than a trace of subtlety here. The overall tone is lazy, matey, let’s-have-a-laugh bants. Mischief is so adept at developing rapport with an audience, it works anyway. As Paul Daniels used to say: that’s magic.”

Time Out: ★★★ “That said, if it’s not a work of genius, then Mischief are fundamentally operating within their comfort zone, unlike their misguided recent stab at dramedy, Groan Ups. If you enjoy watching flustered English people get more flustered as stuff goes wrong – and let’s be clear, that is literally their entire shtick – then Magic Goes Wrong sees them pulls the trick off once again.”

The Telegraph: ★★★★ “This is the latest wheeze from those incorrigible scamps Mischief – fringe whizz-kids turned theatrical world-leaders in the art of comic incompetence.”

The Upcoming: ★★★★ “Under Adam Meggido’s direction the tight ensemble manages to keep up the careening, farcical atmosphere (cleverly belying their clear focus and skill) but it’s Shields and Lewis who really raise the rafters. While Shields brilliantly channels John Cleese for his strained impresario, Lewis’ highly sensitive medium has all the best spontaneous interactions and provocative exchanges with the audience.”

London Theatre1: ★★★★ “For some, Magic Goes Wrong may prove too silly to be all that enjoyable. That said, the rapport established and maintained with the audience is excellent, and contributes much to the show’s success. Business as usual for Mischief Theatre in this ridiculous and assured production.”

Magic Goes Wrong continues to play at the Vaudeville Theatre.

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Emma Clarendon
Emma Clarendon studied drama through A-Level before deciding she was much better suited to writing about theatre than appearing onstage. She’s written for a number of online publications ever since, including The News Hub and Art Info. Emma set up her own blog, Love London Love Culture, in April 2015 and tweets at LoveLDNLoveCul.
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Emma Clarendon on FacebookEmma Clarendon on InstagramEmma Clarendon on RssEmma Clarendon on Twitter
Emma Clarendon
Emma Clarendon studied drama through A-Level before deciding she was much better suited to writing about theatre than appearing onstage. She’s written for a number of online publications ever since, including The News Hub and Art Info. Emma set up her own blog, Love London Love Culture, in April 2015 and tweets at LoveLDNLoveCul.

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