This show has been on the list for nearly two years. I was kicking myself that I didn’t go the February before last to see the original cast performing but fingers crossed for when it returns to the west end. The tour commenced early this year while the main cast were running movie night live and around various outdoor theatres in southern England. This tour was in Liverpool at the Empire theatre, bit more of a quiet matinee but the audience was hilarious.
Most mischief shows have a little bit of a story line of the show being a production of another company and each actor is playing a character who has issues or problems. If you really want a sweet story, check out Peter Pan goes wrong. This production starred Daniel Anthony (sarah jane adventures!!!), Valeria Cutko, Sam Hill, Kiefer Moriarty, Jocelyn Prah, Chloe Tannenbaum, Ishbel Cumming, Rory Fairburn, CJ Field and Jay Olpin.
The first half had me in hysterics. I will warn you that there will be spoilers so if you don’t want any then stop reading and come back when the run is complete. The show’s back story is that the lead magician Sophisticato (Sam Hill) recently lost his father due to an accident to do with magic and the show is trying to raise funds for accidents in magic but they aren’t the best magicians. However, these tricks are anything but mediocre. The first BDSM trick involved The Blade (Kiefer Moriarty) squeezing through Sophisticatos body but leaving him trapped in the contraption.
The mind mangler played by Rory Fairburn comes on the stage with his several mind reading senses which are both creepy and entertaining. The mind mangler has great chemistry with the audience. Trying to get the jobs out of a Wednesday matinee crowd who are mostly unemployed or retired was very entertaining whilst being trolled by the rest of the directing team. The running joke being that he couldn’t find a john despite it being the most common name then the whole audience saying that was their name too late. To demonstrate his skill Mickey (Daniel Anthony) comes on stage as the slightly obtuse friend who fails to demonstrate the skills but keeps the audience entertained with his answers.
The Blade comes on stage and he is the dangerous act (with those enchanting eyes, it’s no surprise.) with his German assistant Bar (bear). She doesn’t quite understand his lead and ends up stabbing him and over time his demonstrations result in more and more injuries which freaked me out. However, for the water trick they needed audience participation and guess who got chosen to go up (Thanks Jay!). The other girl seemed freaked out too. The act was a card trick with an escape from a water tank. I had to say my name was John while Sophisticato actually got my name wrong. I had to read out the times of the stop watch while the other girl had to choose cards and write her name despite not having a pen that worked. After 7 minutes the blade had drowned but had the card in his mask. No idea how and I was standing right there. Heads up to CJ for helping me with the mic.
The show escalated in drama with the saw trick being explained but resulting in the death of the host and the dancers continuing to use props to perform rather than doing it themselves. They were very funny but the highlight was The Mind Manglers meltdown when he wasn’t able to know which bag had the glass in it and some very unhelpful audience members guessing which one to slam his hand down on. The final trick the disappearing act of the pharaohs made us all think that Sophisticato had been killed. But alas like all of their tricks; they succeeded. The whole show is a balance of comedy, chemistry and careful skill. You have to admire the co ordination and creativity it took to produce this show. While I don’t think it is as strong as the originals it entertained me and I am looking forward to seeing it again in the west end and would recommend it.