Review: Magic Goes Wrong. Curve Leicester

This reviewer finds Magic Goes Wrong (on tour) magic consultant Ben Hart’s programme notes, to be the perfect summing up of this most utterly hilarious show. So with no tricks up my sleeve, no playing card wonders to perform or mind-bending (mind mind mind) illusions to aid me, I conjure up Ben Hart’s words and, sleight-of-hand, place them on this page, as if by total magic. Ben Hart speaking of working with Mischief theatre. ‘It is a factory of wonders, where we dream up the most excellent magic that will then be performed with such exquisite carelessness and incompetence (much of which Goes Wrong) that it comes full circle and transforms into a completely new kind of excellent.’

Photo credit: Pamela Raith.

This ‘new kind of excellent’ is magicked up through the combined genius talents of Mischief Theatre and Penn & Teller with the consummately entertaining comedic and showmanship skills of the brilliant cast. Magic Goes Wrong runs at Curve Theatre until Saturday 24th July. Don’t miss it. That would be very wrong.

Photo credit: Pamela Raith.

Just when we, thoroughly entertained, audience members think the dotty tricks on stage are going disastrously awry, complete with regular fatal casualties, they often work out to be truly magical illusions. This show is so good and so cleverly constructed it becomes super spoiler alerts time even to describe the constant flow of funny acts and how they are done. This reviewer finds himself constantly laughing his socks off throughout the whole two hour performance and it’s rare that I find anything that seriously funny on stage whilst also losing my lower undergarments. I was on row G seat 7 if the cleaners find them. They are dark blue with a magicians’ doves design on them. Not to be mistaken for real doves – although they did fly.

Photo credit: Pamela Raith

The Magic Goes Wrong UK Tour cast seen tonight in this physical comedy extravaganza are: Daniel Anthony (Mickey), Valerie Cutko (Eugenia), Sam Hill (Sophisticato), Kiefer Moriarty (The Blade), Rory Fairbairn (Mind Mangler), Spitzmaus (Jocelyn Prah) and Chloe Tannenbaum (Bar). Typical of Mischief Theatre shows many of the technical and camera people are placed or dragged into the frantic action throughout and become members of a larger cast, often to comedic effect or health and safety gone mad. All the fantastic cast have great rapport with this audience particularly if their name is John or know somebody called John who works indoors or outdoors or is a judge. Or if your great great grandfather worked outdoors and knew somebody nearby or in another country called John or Johan whose favourite colour was beige. “I knew that.” (The ‘amazing’ Mind Mangler). Mind mind mind.

Photo credit: Pamela Raith

Mischief Goes Wrong is directed by Adam Meggido; the set is designed by Will Bowen with costume design by Roberto Surace. Movement director on this show is Ali James.

Photo credit: Pamela Raith.

So, if you want to witness a tall lady sawn in half, gasp at The ‘I Feel No Pain’ Blade snatching cheese from large mousetraps with his bare hands and mouth, see German show woman Bar change entire costumes in rapid succession, have your mind mangled by The Mind Mangler (mind mind mind) especially if your name is John, see spectacle after spectacle go spectacularly wrong (or maybe even right), be on the edge of your seat as famous illusionist Derren Brown makes his way to the theatre for a special appearance or, quite simply just want a bloody good laugh, then head to Curve for Magic Goes Wrong this week. You can’t go wrong. It’s live theatre and by the conjuring power of my Dad’s old magic wand – “abracadabra!’ it’s BACK!

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