There’s something about magic which even after you feel you’ve ooh’d ahh’d at enough dodgy card tricks and hidden penny routines to last you a lifetime, being asked to pick a card, ANY CARD from a deck of playing card still makes your inquisitive radar bleep. I for one watched Baby Houseman get sawn in half in Dirty Dancing and was amazed that she managed to learn how to walk afterwards, let alone do that damn lift. The truth is that magic and illusions will always be captivating to audiences of all ages and they have been for years.
A night at the theatre to watch a magic show may sound like something you’d entice a child to eat their greens with, but Impossible takes you on a two hour trip through the history of magic, exploring the different eras and complexities of different acts which have been around and kept audiences fascinated for hundreds of years.
Not only is the show extremely informative (who knew for example that Michael Jacksons “anti gravity leaning shoes” worn in the Smooth Criminal video were inspired by a technique used by magician Bert Easley in the 1950s), it’s also extremely funny. The audience participation segments in particular raise quite a few laughs (despite their selection process causing me to slink as far into my chair as I possibly could or find my shoes alarmingly interesting) and you’ll definitely leave thinking “I must know how they did that!”
The illusions themselves (made up of card tricks, mind readings and escapology routines to name a few) are performed by six performers whose routines are perfectly polished and as individuals have evidently invested a lot of time and care into their respective craft. Not only are the performers acts astounding to watch in terms of the complexities of the performance, their presence on stage is captivating. I think “catching flies” is the phrase that would be used to describe my stance throughout the entirety of the show.
The utterly charming Ben Hart’s billiard ball/sleight of hand routine styled like a silent movie highlighted that sometimes the most simple magic tricks can be the most captivating. He’s joined by mind reader Chris Cox for the classic “how did he do that?”/”how did he know that” moments which certainly raise a laugh from the audience members.
Jonathan Goodwin, “the daredevil” has skills which need to be seen to be believed. These spectacles have no tricks or gimmicks, they’re routines which involve true peril and as such the audience fell silent as he performed a fiery take on the infamous Houdini straight jacket routine… Only suspended on a wire… upside down… Whilst doused in fuel and set alight. The only way to extinguish the engulfing flames is to escape the constraints of the jacket to use the nearby fire extinguisher. His following act consists of him using a bow and arrow to burst balloons… Atop the head of the bravest woman in the world. Expect to hear a pin drop and subsequently expel a resounding sigh of relief.
Street magician Magical Bones brings the show hurtling from the history of magic from sideshow acts into the current day with his hip hop style musical card trickery. He explains that when it comes down to it, despite the all singing and dancing stage tricks, ultimately people want that first hand experience of watching a magic trick in motion which is why magic has come 360 degrees. Getting up close and personal with a street magician is about as real as it can get.
Impossible is a great night out for people of all ages, it will enthral the kids, mind boggle granny and leave your boyfriend/girlfriend watching in bewilderment. The show runs at the Regent Theatre in Stoke until Saturday 12th March and tickets are available online or via the Box Office.