Review Roundup: Mischief Theatre's MAGIC GOES WRONG
The world premiere of Mischief Theatre's Magic Goes Wrong, the new collaboration from the creators of The Play That Goes Wrong and magicians Penn & Teller, opened in the West End yesterday, January 8, at London's Vaudeville Theatre.
Created with magic legends Penn & Teller, Mischief Theatre conjure up an evening of grand illusion in Magic Goes Wrong. In the next 'Goes Wrong' comedy to hit the West End, the original Mischief company play a hapless gang of magicians presenting a charity event. Mischief Theatre's Magic Goes Wrong is directed by Adam Meggido.
As the accidents spiral out of control, so does their fundraising target!
Let's see what the critics are saying...
Brian Logan, The Guardian: "...the evening remains entertaining, and under Adam Meggido's direction the performers' comic and slapstick skills are on fine display. Lewis's 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."
Nick Curtis, 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.
Natasha Tripney, The Stage: Thanks to the efforts of magic consultant Ben Hart and director Adam Meggido, not to mention the skill of the performers, there are some genuinely impressive individual moments - a water tank stunt stands out - and there are amusing video cameos from Derren Brown and David Copperfield. But it's hard to shake the feeling that Penn and Teller left unchecked would have taken certain routines to even greater extremes. And, while it's often funny, it never genuinely dazzles or amazes in the way that the best magic shows can. But, 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.
Alex Wood, What's On Stage: The Mischief Theatre juggernaut trundles inexorably onwards - with a new TV show tickling audiences on BBC One, the comedy caper company continues its West End residency at the Vaudeville with a bout of hoodoo tomfoolery. Whereas last year's new play Groan Ups felt like Mischief delivering something a bit left-field (a linear narrative plotting the different stages of a school gang's life) Magic Goes Wrong is the company back with its tried-and-tested formula with a show that does exactly what it says on the tin.
Charlie Wilks, BroadwayWorld: There's frantic dancing, jazzy effects, multiple costume changes, dead doves (fake ones, don't worry), cracking lights, glitter, a rubbish stooge, and a few - many - on stage accidents, as well as many other things. However, and perhaps best of all, not every magic trick actually goes wrong. There are moments when someone disappears and then rejoins you somewhere else, and you think 'how did they get there?' It's really exciting stuff, and it's clear that some of that Penn & Teller magic has rubbed off.
Photo Credit: Robert Day