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Review | Mind Mangler Member of the Tragic Circle | Palace Theatre Manchester | 15/05/2024

‘Mind Mangler Member of the Tragic Circle’ is hot on the heels of ‘Peter Pan Goes Wrong’ as the latest Mischief Theatre show to tour the UK. This time we find ourselves at a (comedy) magic show performed by the Mind Mangler, an overconfident and underperforming magician. Although perhaps less slapstick than previous Mischief Theatre shows, it is wonderfully silly and perhaps the company’s best show yet!

From the moment you step into the auditorium you are very much aware how audience participation is going to play a huge part in proceedings. Audience members are given a card to write both their name and a secret on, which are then collected and emptied into glass bowls for later use when the Mind Mangler (Henry Lewis) performs his mind reading trick! This is just one of the moments which relies heavily on improvisation. With both actors being masters of comedy, moments of audience participation are seamlessly weaved into the shows narrative. From the many shots fired at the Directors Assistant in the audience to impressions of a ‘Shovelnose Guitarfish’, this audience had a unique experience of the play exclusive to this evenings performance.

Both actors you hear me say? This might be a show about a one man magic show, but there are in fact two of Mischief Theatres founders staring in this show! Poking fun at the often staged elements of magic performances, Jonathan Sayer plays The Stooge. When first brought to the stage as an alleged audience member, we are very much in on the joke when we see ‘audience member’ written across his t-shirt. Sayer is very much the heart of the show as the lovable stooge, stealing every scene he is in with the equally hilarious Henry Lewis.

Amongst the stage failures there are some impressive pieces of magic. Mixing things up with the unexpected, the audience are engaged form beginning to end. The trick at the end of the show was brilliantly head scratching, and sent the audience home genuinely wowed after 2 hours of pure unapologetic silliness.

‘Mind Mangler Member of the Tragic Circle’ is a guaranteed fun night out, littered with smiles, belly laughs and hilarity throughout. You can catch it at Manchester’s Palace Theatre until Saturday 18 May 2024.

Note: My ticket was gifted. Irrespective of whether a show is gifted or bought, I always ensure that my reviews are fair and based on my honest opinion alone.


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