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Magic Goes Wrong - Theatre Royal Nottingham Review

Magic does indeed go wrong in Mischief Theatre's touring production which has arrived at Nottingham's Theatre Royal as part of a UK and Ireland tour.

Magic Goes Wrong sees Mischief team up with legendary magicians and showmen Penn and Teller and it's a match made in heaven as hilarity meets really clever trickery. It takes real skill to make things believably 'go wrong' whilst also at times pulling off some superb tricks too.

Magic Goes Wrong. Photo by Pamela Raith

The premise of the show is fairly simple. We're guests at the Disasters In Magic Charity Fundraiser which is hosted by Sophisticato, who is wanting to pay tribute to his father who was killed by his props that fell on him. It's chaotic and disastrous right from the get-go as numerous calamitous things happen.

Undoubtedly the first act feels the weaker of the pair. The routines by each magician feel bigger and more comfortable after the interval and that makes the whole thing tick along at a much smoother funnier pace. That said the ending of act one (which I shall not spoil) is massively outlandish as the biggest disaster occurs. 

That disaster could derail the whole evening but is very quickly brushed away as 'the show must go on' for the charity - although ultimately the show is losing money rather than gaining it! Some of the things that go wrong are hilarious, some don't always land but it's undeniably funny throughout.

Sam Hill as Sophisticato. Photo by Pamela Raith

Sam Hill's Sophisticato is just about in control of the proceedings especially as the night goes from disaster to disaster. Hill's delivery is superb and allows for the humour to flow around him. Rory Fairbairn's Mind Mangler grows as he explores tricks using his 5 senses, the highlight of the evening is his second act trick that features a large amount of audience participation.

Keifer Moriarty's fantastic The Blade is fearless and keeps on going despite the endless injuries his body endures. Chloe Tannenbaum and Jocelyn Prah impress as duo Bar and Spitzmaus who are often over the top in their delivery but are constantly fun to watch.

It takes an endless amount of skill to make the magic look effortless whether things are going wrong or right. The cast has a tremendous amount of work to do in pulling off the tricks and getting the things to go purposefully wrong but also at times pulling off great feats of magic. It's joyously bonkers and fantastically funny.

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Magic Goes Wrong continues at Theatre Royal in Nottingham until Sunday 3rd April. Tickets are available The tour continues thereafter with dates currently booking until May 2022. Visit Mischief Theatre's Website for details.

Chloe Tennenbaum as Bar. Photo by Pamela Raith

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