Raising the bar with their dare-devil stunts, jaw-dropping feats and irresistible comedy genius, Mischief’s Magic Goes Wrong comes to Milton Keynes this week. Created with magic legends Penn & Teller, Magic Goes Wrong is Mischief’s biggest and most daring comedy catastrophe to date.
I love a bit of magic. I have travelled to Vegas to see Penn & Teller and I know that they are veterans of magic. I also love comedy so I was looking forward to seeing this show with huge expectations. We are asking actors to perform magic that is another skill in itself and takes decades to perfect. Oh, in that case, it might go wrong.
Sam Hill plays Sophisticato who is our host for the telethon which is also being streamed live on the magic channel. Poor Sophisticato. His dad passed away and his dad’s last wish was to have his wand snapped in two at his funeral. Sophisticato wants to keep the wand and deliver his dad’s magic. But things do not always go well for him. His doves are missing and he is trying to keep the show going and raise money for ‘Disasters in magic charity fundraiser’. Sam is excellent in the role and we feel empathy for him in doing his best on the stage.
The Mind Mangler played by Rory Fairbairn can taste your name and smell your job. His style of magic is my personal favourite. Rory is mesmerising in his role and I especially enjoyed the bag and glass trick which has Penn and Teller’s hallmarks all over it. The Mind Mangler delivers it beautifully with audience participation. Let’s talk about the audience. Firstly, my top tip is get to your seat early. You may be asked to help look for doves or be asked (as we were) for filmed reactions by saying ‘Oh yes wow!’ And you will you will definitely be told there are no stooges in the show. We are hoping Derren Brown will join the telethon later. How exciting. I’ve been on stage with Derren Brown. You also may get pulled up on stage in this show. You will certainly be picked on if you are front row…and hopefully called John.
The Blade played by Keifer Moriarty is the added danger in the show. Think Green Day meets dangerous Brian (Connolly). He may get injured during his risky tricks but the show must go on. The two German sisters (Chloe Tannerbaum and Jocelyn Prah) do a lot of posing and come on to music that could only be inspired by Kraftwerk. I found myself leaving the theatre saying Ya Ya so they have a huge influence on the show.
For Penn, what makes Magic Goes Wrong is the combination of magic and comedy. “It's a full magic show and a full comedy show happening at the same time.” Teller explains that there is a deeper, more unexpected layer to the show (and yes he can talk!): “What's interesting to me is how well the show reflects the actual culture of the magic world. It’s mostly populated by well meaning, very nice amateurs. And there is a great, heart-tugging beauty about that to me. The poignancy of the magic trick that isn't quite achieved, where your aspirations are to behave in a godlike manner, and instead you're slapped in the face by reality - I think that's such a beautiful thing. That's what this show is about. It's about the sweetness of friends who love magic.” I have seen a few of Mischief’s other successes including The Play That Goes Wrong, and The Comedy About A Bank Robbery. This show is the best Mischief show yet. Yes, I know I say this every time but it’s true. You really will laugh out loud. Its genuinely funny. In fact, this show makes you laugh so hard, you will be crossing your legs wishing you hadn’t had another drink in the interval. This show offers guaranteed laughs with added magic.
Magic Goes Wrong will be playing at Milton Keynes Theatre until Saturday 23 October 2021