Magic Goes Wrong – Bord Gais Energy Theatre – Review
Dates: 10 – 14 May 2022 at the Bord Gais Energy Theatre
– Age Guidance 11+
Welcome to the ‘Disaster in Magic Charity Fundraiser’ appearing in Dublin for one night only! This collection of performers hopes to raise as much money as possible, to help those poor unfortunates who have suffered when magic tricks go wrong! For the fundraiser, they have brought together an impressive star-studded line-up. The MC on the night is Sophisticato (Sam Hill), who will dazzle you with his amazing card tricks. There is also the Mind Mangler (Rory Fairbairn), who can read your very thoughts. The Blade (Kiefer Moriarty) is a master escapologist and will take risks no other man would dare! Prepare yourself to be dazzled and amazed! At least that’s what is meant to happen, but sometimes these things don’t go according to plan. Sometimes, Magic Goes Wrong…
This is a new production by the team of Penn & Teller along with Mischief Theatre Company. Penn & Teller are American magicians who have been performing together since the 70s with their irreverent, comedy magic, often revealing the secrets behind how their tricks are performed. Mischief is a theatre company that came to fame with The Play That Goes Wrong. Mischief is also responsible for The Goes Wrong Show, Peter Pan Goes Wrong and A Christmas Carol Goes Wrong among others, so you can see they have something of a formula. In combination with the magical talents of Penn & Teller, they’ve applied this formula to the world of magical cabaret.
From early in the performance, it is obvious that magic plays second fiddle to the comedy gags. There are moments where their magic tricks work but it’s generally a surprise when things go according to plan. Their comedy shtick is to put together a collection of second rate performers and watch the mayhem unfold. The body count is quite high in this, as various members of the cast and crew are dragged off stage when things go horribly wrong!
For fans of Penn & Teller, this is quite different from their act and style of humour. This production is clearly aimed at a family audience and the gags are safe and a touch wholesome. With the obvious exception of one scene where a woman is cut in half, there is very little sinister or macabre. For an adult audience, there are enough gags to keep you pleasantly entertained, even if it lacks a degree of sophistication. While the age guidance for the performance suggests those over 11 years of age, it would actually suit a considerably younger audience depending on how savvy the particular child is. If you’re looking for a night of light entertainment with a magical twist, this will suit your mood!