Thursday, February 29

Magic Goes Wrong – Birmingham Hippodrome

Mischief Theatre is back and back with a bang, literally, well a puff of smoke in this case. Their new show Magic Goes Wrong has arrived at The Birmingham Hippodrome where much havoc is being caused.

Right from the start as you wait in your seat for the show to begin the actors break the fourth wall, (a trademark of Mischief Theatre) and are already up on-stage causing chaos. The resultant effect is bursts of laughter from the audience.

This show is centred around a magic fundraiser, and everyone has an act. Every character manages to reel you in, testing all your emotions. But of course, nothing runs smoothly and there is blood, sweat, and tears. Amongst all the drama and farce there is still a clear narrative to the show which is easy to follow.  The story is fantastically written, it’s not surprising considering that magic legends Penn and Teller had a hand in the devising of the show with Mischief Theatre, they’ve added their magic touch.

There’s something for everyone in the form of the magicians. There’s an edgy, daring magician named The Blade, The Mind Mangler, who’s known for his mentalism, among many more. The show is excellently led by Sophisticato, an illusionist who performs grand illusions and Dove based acts, which don’t always go as planned.

The show is full of slapstick comedy though at times this becomes repetitive, and the jokes become monotonous. Arguably, perhaps a punchier, shorter show with more refined tricks would be a better option. The scripted gags are sometimes a little forceful, whereas the physical comedy is genuinely hilarious.

There is also a lot of audience participation. This highlights the skills of the performers being able to ad-lib, working off what the audience does. As well as this there is genuine, real magic occurring on stage, which is mesmerising, leaving you guessing as to how they did it. This I think is the sign of a good magic show, you can’t quite believe your eyes.

This show is a real crowd pleaser and there is some impressive magic at the core. The end of the show is quite poignant, ending with a moment of reflection, which brings an underlying warmth to the end of the performance. At times, it’s baffling, wildly entertaining, and disastrous, but always funny. It seems that Mischief Theatre has done it again and created another comical spoof of a show.

Magic Goes Wrong continues at the Birmingham Hippodrome until Sunday 29th May and tickets are single at the following link

Reviewer: Priya Gupta

Reviewed: 24th May 2022

North West End UK Rating: ★★★★