Magic Goes Wrong, now playing at The Apollo on Shaftesbury Avenue, is exactly the joyful, funny and uplifting experience we could all do with right now.

The show is full of variety and plenty of laughs. Centred around the magician, Sophisticato, who is holding a charity fundraiser magic show in memory of his father and other dead victims of magic tricks, the show is full of calamitous and failing tricks that only add to the death-in-magic victim toll.  Absolutely brilliant is The Mind Mangler, a mentalist.  His broken bottle and paper bag routine is hilarious and genuinely gripping.  He commands the show and his shouty demeanor is very amusing.  My 10 year old cousin remarked, “he doesn’t try to be funny, he doesn’t think he’s funny, but he actually is just so funny!”.

There is comedy and fun but with magic and real illusions – not everything in this show goes wrong.  It may not be quite as good as Mischief Theatre’s original The Play that Goes Wrong, but it is just the lift that everyone needs at the moment.  In amongst the fun and fluster and chaos, the audience is kept engaged by high stakes magic and danger. For a show with a lot of death and mention of death – dead doves, a woman sawn in half, guts, accidental gun shots, dead assistants and lots of talk of dead relatives, it is full of laughs. The Mind Mangler’s chats with audience members about their jobs are so clever and amusing.

Christmas was present in the pantomime style audience shout-outs.  Covid was present in the cast interaction with the mask wearing audience, “Yes you, the lady in the mask”. I thoroughly recommend this funny, chaotic show, which with its bright set, bold costumes and colourful scene changes makes a fun and entertaining evening of magic.  It even made us forget we were wearing masks.