THEATRE REVIEW | The Illusionist live at Shaftesbury Theatre1st December 2015
America and Britain’s Got Talent has quite the same format and it’s this bi-coastal variety TV show that springs to mind and also celebrates the essence of The Illusionist.
The Illusionist recently opened on Broadway in New York and currently running simultaneously with a different batch of Illusionist’s in London’s West End. I was accompanied by someone who was going to make this show her first Broadway experience and how rapid did any excitement dissolve and replaced with disappointment as the show came across as a highly, taut, expensive and stretched variety show.
Audience participation was relied on and the faces on the unlucky chosen were illusions of willing victims that seemed as though they were not embarrassed to be on stage but more so embarrassed to be associated with some of acts.
Ok, so despite the show being a glamorised magic show (thanks to the heavy advertising and prestigious theatres that house these shows), there were a few steals to be had. The Anti Conjuror shocked the audience by regurgitating a few razor blades that were strung through a piece of floss, ‘’how did he do that?’’, muttered the audience whilst covering their children’s eyes.
Technology was revealed on stage by The Futurist and his acts with bright technology and perfect timing were very welcomed – finally something decent and suitable for the kids in the audience.
No magic show is complete without someone escaping from something – The Escapologist made sure that was served up whilst being hung upside down in flames (of course).
The Trickster continued to blow fresh air throughout the whole show with his adult focused comical one liners and had the kids muttering ‘’what does that mean?’’. The Trickster certainly left the stage with the adults wanting more.
Good seats are important to view this show so everything on stage is beamed onto a screen for everyone that sits say beyond the 10th row in the orchestra. What’s the point of sitting beyond this and more so what’s appealing with going to a theatre to watch a screen?
The Illusionists create their standalone performances so don’t expect them to interact together. The show doesn’t offer anything that most viewers haven’t seen before.
I did leave the theatre thinking ‘’how did they do that…how does a show like this become Broadway worthy?’’ – that’s magic!
The Illusionist live at Shaftesbury Theatre, London & Broadway, NYC, 14/11/15 – 03/01/16