REVIEW: THE NAKED MAGICIANS (Trafalgar Studios) ★★★★
This one does what it says on the tin.
Fresh off the stages of the Edinburgh Fringe, these two well ahem… developed Australian men take to the stage in various stages of dress to perform a little magic.
The evening starts with a warm-up comedian to entertain and stir up an already lively and well-liquored crowd. Maureen Younger’s self-deprecating style is the perfect pairing for this show and its audience. A mixture of honest and frank realisations about sex, language and adulthood there’s no doubt that this is a show geared entirely to an audience of a certain age.
An unexpected 15 minute intermission is announced between the warm up and the show. As most of the audience has already acquired their drinks and voided bladders it’s a strange place for a pause.
Eventually the show kicks off and much to the surprise of the audience, the magicians take to the stage fully clothed.
A few introductions and disclaimers before the evening kicks off. First up is by no means a new trick, the concept of prediction is a classic piece of wizardry. This performance enlarges the sensation by audience members tossing an augmented inflatable penis to create ‘porn star’ names from lucky (?) audience members. In case you’re unfamiliar with creating a porn name, you simply combining your first name and your street to achieve a desired namesake.
As predicted, porn names such as Hugo Bray and Penny Morton starring in The Levitating Dildo achieve raucous laughter from the audience. This performance is one clearly directed to straight ladies and gay men. There’s no room for prudish attitudes or children here as the magicians perform tricks such as escaping a ‘straight’ jacket with innuendo fueled tongue-in-cheek competitiveness offers a change of pace to an otherwise familiar set.
While magicians Mike Tyler and Christopher Wayne do indeed take off all of their clothes, I should remind you this is not the Chippendales. I assure you there is full frontal nudity, but like all good things, you just have to wait for it.
The swagger and charm of the performers is clearly evident and the presentation of an oversided octopuslike appendage keeps the audience in good spirits. However for the show to be a success, audience participation is essential and the performers choose individuals who are clearly going give them the biggest bang for their buck.
From the cautious volunteer from the front row who watched in horror as he was potentially responsible for the destruction of his own mobile phone right in front of his eyes, to the girl spellbound by a rope as if seeing magic for the first time. It’s these good humoured locum entertainers who make the show. For without the engagement and the raw adult overtones the standard routine tricks wouldn’t hold.
Overall a good spirited evening of adult entertainment. Whatever you do, just be sure to stick around for the titanic finale.
Reviewed by Roma Small
THE NAKED MAGICIANS plays at Trafalgar Studios until 24 September 2016