Impossible, currently playing a very limited run at the Noel Coward Theatre in London, is a superbly confusing display of illusions and tricks. Even for a bit of a cynic, like myself, the show is undeniably impressive. The great thing about Impossible is that it features all sorts of tricks – from cards, to mind-reading, to large stunts (and a lot of fire). So, whether there is a specific sort of “magic” that you particularly enjoy, or if you want to see a bit of everything and decide what you like later, this show will do the job. It is fast-paced, exciting, and confusing – perfect!
Level of Disbelief ★★★★★
I am always a bit sceptical with magic shows on a large stage because, often, the acts are buried under such elaborate staging that everything feels like a cheap stage trick. Impossible is not like that; the tricks are not at all buried – they seem so straightforward (and yet, clearly, they are not), which makes them both impressive and incomprehensible. There are, of course, some tricks that seem more “impossible” than others. Magical Bones, Chris Cox, Jonathan Goodwin, and Ben Hart are absolutely wonderful to watch, and I remain utterly bewildered by their tricks. The other three performers were a little bit less impressive, and I certainly wasn't as blown away by their magic. On the whole, however, I spent most of the show in a state of disbelief.
The performers in Impossible are not only talented magicians; they are also great at engaging with the audience. Chris Cox seems to be as much a comedian as a magician, and this brings a really nice tone to the show. All of the performers are charismatic, and involve the audience just the right amount.
There is a level of cheesiness in the show – for example, a slightly strange narration running throughout – which gets a tiny bit frustrating, but it is soon forgotten when you become immersed in the performances. As I have mentioned, there are lots of different sorts of tricks, and these are distributed well, so that there is a change of style every few minutes. This keeps the pace up, and keeps the audience engaged.
My personal preference is for tricks that involve as little staging as possible. However, the illusions that do involve staging are visually very impressive – there really is a lot of fire in the show, with some casual teleportation thrown in … Sometimes I felt that there was a bit of unnecessary staging “fluff”, but that may just be because I prefer the “street magic” style that was used in other parts of the show.
The “Wow” Factor ★★★★
Some of the tricks performed in Impossible really do live up to the name of the show. I was left reeling from several of the tricks, and completely “wowed”.
Would Most People Enjoy It? ★★★
If you want to see a magic show, this is a good place to start. There is a bit of everything, so most people will find something in the show that they enjoy. However, if you really are very cynical around the area of tricks and illusion, then you might not enjoy this show (or, in fact, any other magic show).
Price of Seats ★★
Seat prices for Impossible seem to be quite divided – you can either go for seats that are very cheap (at around £15 – £25), or you can spend £50 – £70 on better seats. Since there is a lot of close-up magic, it is definitely worth getting the more expensive seats if you do want to see Impossible – however, that does make it quite an expensive show.
Overall, Impossible will leave you feeling confusing, intrigued, and a little bit mind-blown. If you want to go and see a magic show, and you don't mind spending a bit of money on the seats, then this show is absolutely the perfect one for you. You can catch Impossible at the Noel Coward Theatre until the end of August.
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