Monday, 13 February 2017

"Strangers: A Magic Play"
The Lofthouse, Lace Market, Nottingham.
I think that I can honestly say that I've not seen magic and theatre linked in this way in the past. Magic itself is a type of theatre and these four individual scenarios all have two themes running through them; magic and strangers.
I'm not going to go through the four scenarios, because I don't want to spoil the plays for anyone who wants to see "Strangers". Two of the scenarios involve the environment of a public gathering, and these are where the typical image of the magic performance is shown, including a certain amount of audience participation.
There are card tricks shown on a table and on the stage, both of which are pretty impressive, especially to someone like me who loves the whole mystery of magic. My only advice on the card trick shown on stage is to have the area better lit. Not sure if this was an option in the Lofthouse space but you'd be able to see the cards that were being held. I had to really peer to see the outcome of the trick and I think a little more light on the cards would have had a more instant impact. Great trick though!
The other two, and again I'm going to try not to give any spoilers here, use magic in a more story based theatre way, The first on the desert island may turn a stomach or two but is effective in what it was trying to achieve.
The last story contained more of a standard magic routine wrapped in a story-line. It also had a feel of the supernatural, which I loved, well that was the way I saw it. I'd love to tell you what the story line was but, like a good magician, I do not want to reveal what happens.
As I said, for me this is a new concept combining the two are forms and they work really well together. Joe Strickland, a finalist in the Magic Circle Young Magician of the Year, has pulled a cracker of a show, like a proverbial rabbit, out of the hat and given both theatre and magic a nice twist. 
We were advised at the end that this show was part two of a work in progress production, and that's a brave thing for any production to say, but a wonderful thing to have experienced and to see the growth of the piece.
It's part two because Joe and the rest of the cast, Louis Nabil Djalili, George Waring, Kate O'Gorman, Natalia Gonzalez and Lois Baglin have already taken "Strangers" to the Edinburgh Fringe and received a really good review, so if you don't want to miss a piece of theatre with a difference, and you don't want to travel to Edinburgh to see it, pop down to The Lofthouse on Warser Gate in The Lace Market.
"Strangers: A Magic Play" is on until Wednesday 15 February 2017at 7.30pm. Tickets are only £5.00. Go get them before they vanish as well!

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