Pros: The entertaining stream of magic tricks coupled with the humorous narrative.
Cons: A few communication hurdles with audience members who didn’t speak English, but this was funny in itself really…
So, the best place to stage time-travelling nineteenth century magicians is obviously Wilton’s Music Hall – where else? The suitably moustachioed and ‘wardrobed’ Morgan and West are, as they say, spiffing fellows striking an immediate rapport with the audience. Staying in character they deliver a series of card tricks, mind reading, sleight of hand, needle swallowing and a sawing-in-half.
Starting with the ‘Biscuit Index’ – with its comical but controversial set of rules – you can also look forward to such tricks as the ‘Hope and Fear Cards’ and the ‘Balloon Handcuffs of Death’. A particularly good ‘Guess the Money in the Glass’ trick was my favourite, closely followed by the time travel paradox.
Most of the act requires assistance from members of the audience, not necessarily picked from the front row. There is nothing horrendous, difficult or embarrassing though, so there is no need to panic if you do get selected. However, some unexpected snags arose at this particular performance as there were obviously quite a few foreign visitors in the audience; a couple of them were chosen to assist and had difficulty understanding what was being said to them. An interesting added layer of complexity, extra laughs and another hurdle to overcome, ending with West just putting one of them in the ‘too difficult’ drawer.
Complemented by the costumes, props and a soundtrack that fits so well you hardly notice it, the conceit of being nineteenth century time-travellers allows for family friendly playfulness throughout. In fact, I think it could be taken even further. A few more Leonard Sachs style speeches could elicit more ooo’s and ahhh’s from the audience and would not be at all out of place.
Don’t expect a huge budget production or super-flashy ‘events’. This is more of a constant flow of well-presented and delivered magic tricks combined with gentle humour and accompanying patter from a very professional double act.
Created, Written and Performed by: Rhys Morgan and Robert West
Additional Direction: Polly Burton
Music: Kevin Macleod and Liam Welton
Booking Until: 28 April 2018
Box Office: 020 7702 2789
Booking Link: https://www.wiltons.org.uk/whatson