Review: The Illusionists Will Challenge Your Definition Of 'Impossible'

Posted on 8 December 2015

A good magician will leave you curious as to how the tricks worked, sparking debate among family members on the journey home. An amazing magician, however, will leave you awestruck, planting a seed of thought in your head, what if that really was magic? Seven of these incredible magicians come together in The Illusionists, a showcase of the best magical talent in the world. They are all so different yet they all complement each other perfectly with their brilliant acts. Eyes will widen, jaws will drop and your definition of “impossible” will be challenged.

It’s safe to say that Jamie Raven has had a pretty amazing year, going from obscurity to the final of Britain’s Got Talent to headlining a hit West End show in such a short space of time. He has impressed millions of the British public, as well as counting Richard Branson and Simon Cowell as fans. Despite his sudden rise to fame, his act remains simple yet baffling. His lovely nature makes him a pleasure to watch and he more than holds his own among the other illusionists, many of whom are well respected within the magical community.

Den Den, aka the Manipulator, is so technically gifted at his craft that he has recently been awarded the prestigious ‘Gold Medal Award of Honour’ by the Society of American Magicians. His understated but breathtaking manipulation of paper leaves the audience spellbound. All eyes are fixed on his hands as he fluidly transforms simple cards and envelopes into different colours and sizes before the audience’s very eyes. You get the impression that his incredible skill and grace has captivated not only the audience, but the other Illusionists and respected magicians all over the world. There are no gimmicks or frills here, only sheer talent and maybe even real magic.

The Inventor’s (Kevin James) act makes use of the show’s ensemble of dancers the most, creating some of the most visually exciting moments of the show. This exciting performance only added to the mindboggling nature of his madcap tricks, which I still can’t get my head around two days later! The Trickster (David Williamson) was the comedy magician of the night, relaxing the audience with his hilarious interactions with various audience members (including my own brother) yet always bringing out the best in them. The Illusionist that really had the audience on the edge of their seats was Ben Blaque, aka the Weapons Master. The feats he achieved with the help of a few crossbows were absolutely astounding and the silence in the theatre, in anticipation for his most dangerous stunt, was deafening. I would have loved to see more of the Escapologist; he only really performs in the opening sequence and would have added so much to the show.

Arguably the most impressive act came from Colin Cloud, the Deductionist, described as a real life Sherlock Holmes. He demonstrated the art of mentalism and amazed the audience with his ability to read minds and make astonishing predictions. He has bucket loads of charisma and charm, winning the audience over almost instantly with his incredible first demonstration. From there he shocked the audience more and more, leaving them speechless.

This show has so many jaw dropping moments; it is such a fun and exciting night out. It was really family friendly but still had lots of tension. I would highly recommend The Illusionists to anyone with an appreciation for really impressive illusions. Before you go, make sure you’re ready to be amazed because these world class Illusionists will blow your socks off!

By Harriet Hards

Harriet has spent all her sixteen years singing non-stop to musicals such as Mary Poppins, Les Mis and Cats. Her hobbies include writing on her blog, acting and making obscure references to West End lyrics, much to the annoyance of her friends and family.