Wrong Is The Magic Word: Magic Goes Wrong At Vaudeville Theatre

Magic Goes Wrong, Vaudeville Theatre ★★★★☆

Franco Milazzo
By Franco Milazzo Last edited 30 months ago

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Wrong Is The Magic Word: Magic Goes Wrong At Vaudeville Theatre Magic Goes Wrong, Vaudeville Theatre 4
Image: Robert Day

Not many theatre productions  are renowned for doing an 'appearing act' but Magic Goes Wrong at the Vaudeville Theatre does just that.

With this recent addition, Mischief Theatre's 'Wrong Brothers' (artistic directors Henry Lewis, Jonathan Sayer and Henry Shields) now have three simultaneous West End productions. Alongside The Play That Goes Wrong (Duchess Theatre) and The Bank Robbery That Goes Wrong over at the Criterion, this latest outing follows a similar winning formula: a farcical plot sees a cast of incompetents attempt to carry out a project doomed to fail. Rumours that a fourth production is currently ongoing at the Palace of Westminster are, of course, unfounded.

Image: Robert Day

In this latest instance, a (very) amateur conjurer calling himself Sophisticato takes over his father’s wand to put on a charity fundraiser in aid of victims of magic tricks. Assisted by a 'Mind Mangler', a pair of East European tumblers, a dangerously dumb daredevil and pre-recorded cameos from David Copperfield and Derren Brown, the scene is set for a comedy of epic proportions.

This latest 'Wrong' ’un is in collaboration with celebrated American magicians Penn & Teller. They don’t themselves appear here but their signature style is apparent throughout with surprisingly sly sleights of hand mixed in with grander illusions. Among the hilarious displays of rank idiocy, there are a fair number of breathtaking tricks worthy of more serious magic shows like The Illusionists

Mischief Theatre may have a formula but its shows are far from formulaic. The vaudevillian streaks of slapstick, pratfalls and straight-faced japery make for an entertaining evening while Penn & Teller’s subtle but noticeable contributions lift this more than a few notches above the average West End comedy.

Magic Goes Wrong, Vaudeville Theatre, 404 Strand, WC2R 0NH. Tickets from £20, booking until 30 August 2020.

Last Updated 23 January 2020