Review: Impossible at Sunderland Empire
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“THE LIMITS OF THE POSSIBLE CANONLY BE DEFINED BY GOING BEYOND THEM INTO THE IMPOSSIBLE” Arthur C Clarke
Until Saturday 27th February 2016
The art of entertaining a crowd through the use of magic is as old as theatre itself. A collection of six very talented artists combine to produce a mesmerising collection of interactive pieces.
Opening up with a brief history of magic there is a quick illusion in which appears someone may have had spikes through them. Quickly the tone of the show is set in the next piece as Ben Hart asks for three volunteers from the audience to come on stage and lend him a ring each. Now I have seen 3 rings provided by a magician being joined together in a chain but never 3 pieces of jewellery provided by the audience. Helping the audience see the action close up are a number of screens which came in handy.
Jonathan Goodwin’s first routine involved a member of the audience trying to bend a spanner before he did so in a eye-watering way. He would later go on to pull of some bigger stunts that will leave a big impression on both the younger and older members of the audience. His spectacular work definitely came under the heading of “don’t try this at home”.
Each act involved at least some members of the audience and was served with a large helping of humour. The show remains firmly family friendly entertainment.
Lee Thompson had a trick that involved the whole audience simultaneously involving the envelopes on everyone’s seat at the start. It was a clever exercise that put a smile on the face whilst making you scratch your head wondering how he’d pulled it off. All are good signs of a great illusionist.
Chris Cox calls himself a mind reader and he was able to involve volunteers from the audience to illicit surprising reactions. Josephine Lee put her agility from her dancing experience to good use in a number of quick paced illusions whilst Magical Bones combines hip-hop with the fascinating world of card tricks.
The first half literally finishes with a bang which had the audience in deep discussion during the interval coming up with their theories as to how it was pulled off. This set the stall for a faster paced second half.
The show has real cliffhangers and pulls off illusions without the use of camera tricks. The performers have a great sense of humour and bring the audience along with them without ever making anyone feel like a fool.
A combination of friendly audience engagement and high quality illusions make Impossible a stunning show for all ages.
Impossible is produced by Jamie Hendry Productions and is directed by Lloyd Wood with scenic design by Andrew D. Edwards, lighting design by Howard Harrison, video design by 59 Productions, sound design by Gareth Owen and original music by Ryan Martin.
Suitable for ages 6+
This review was written by Stephen Oliver for the North East Theatre Guide from Jowheretogo PR (www.jowheretogo.com). Follow Jo on twitter @jowheretogo, Stephen @panic_c_button or like Jowheretogo on Facebook www.facebook.com/Jowheretogo
Read the original North East Theatre Guide preview: http://nomorepanicbutton.blogspot.co.uk/2015/11/preview-impossible-at-sunderland-empire.html
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Impossible comes to Sunderland Empire on Tuesday 23rd – Saturday 27th February 2016. Tickets are £16.90 - £48.90
Box Office: 0844 871 3022*
Groups 10+: 0844 871 3042
*Booking fee applies