The troupe of seven tricksters cover the full spectrum on magic - from sleight of hand to escape artistry. The show is a high-octane variety show format, with a generous helping of enforced applauses, cheesy jokes and audience participation. If the likes of Britain’s Got Talent and X Factor turn your stomach, be warned.
But even cynics and nay-sayers will be wowed by the variety and quality of magic. It’s entertaining for all the family, and especially exciting for the kind of children who relish a chance to go up on stage and assist in a trick.
In the course of the show we see The Futurist, The Showman, The Daredevil, The Unforgettable, The Manipulator, The Trickster and The Mentalist. Together they demonstrate the full breadth of trickery, from delightfully simple shadow puppet shows to potentially fatal feats. An on-stage camera zooms in on the action, projecting everything on the big screen to ensure everyone gets a chance to see
Highlights include mind reading from The Mentalist, aka Chris Cox, who disarms with a goofy charm before reeling off the name, address, occupation and secret crush of total strangers from the audience. Adam Trent (The Futurist) and Paul Dabek (The Trickster) remind how skillful bamboozles depend on the ability to charm and raise a laugh, while the more squeamish on-lookers will want to watch through their fingers as Jonathan ‘The Daredevil’ Goodwin confronts fears and phobias.
But the most astonishing act of the evening is also one of the most understated. The Manipulator, Yu Ho-Jin has nothing more than a silk scarf and a pack of cards, but he weaves an enchanting act full of surprises. His deft finger movements are like an artful ballet as he magics up more and more surprises. It’s hard to describe and even harder to work out how he does it, but the effect is hypnotic.
|What||The Illusionists, Shaftesbury Theatre review|
|Where||Shaftesbury Theatre, 210 Shaftesbury Avenue, London, WC2H 8DP | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Tottenham Court Road (underground)|
06 Jul 19 – 01 Sep 19, Start time Sunday 18:00; Matinees on Thursday and Saturday at 14:00, Sunday at 14:30
|Price||£27 - £125|
|Website||Click here to book and for more information|