The Illusionists – Review

The Illusionists: Shaftesbury Theatre, London

Reviewed 15th July 2019



Having smashed box office records around the world this mind blowing show is back in London on its latest World Tour. The Illusionists features seven of the worlds most incredible illusionists: James More, Enzo Weyne, Yu Ho-Jin, Adam Trent, Chris Cox, Paul Dabek and Jonathon Goodwin. After wowing audiences The Illusionists are back for a strictly limited run for Summer 2019.

Packed with tricks and stunts that’ll have the audience’s mouths hanging open this production is a perfect evening out for those wanting to see something slightly different in London. Not only are the tricks impressive but the interaction with the audience and the quick-witted gags make this magical act stand out from the crowd.

Paul Dabek’s comic touches are hilarious. Clearly this is going to be a family friendly show but Dabek manages to pitch his comedy just right to suit everyone’s tastes and his speed of wit is brilliant. Dubbed as ‘The Trickster’ he also almost acts like the host on several occasions, a role which suits him as he certainly is an audience favourite.

Yu Ho-Jin’s slight of hand is equally impressive. The close up cameras which follow the illusionists around throughout the show really allow the audience to see every detail of his intricate act. Winner of many accolades, including the Grand Prix in Manipulation, it is easy to see why he is classed as one of the world’s greatest and whilst he may receive slightly less stage time his work is equally as impressive as some of the more dangerous stunts.

Chris Cox, well known on UK Television, is outstanding as ‘The Mentalist’. His mind-reading skills are so impressive that most audience members will leave with headaches trying to work out how he did it! Picking seemingly unknowing audience members (the people chosen in the performance reviewed were either all Oscar winning actors or had not been prepped before if their reactions are anything to go by) and reading their minds is nothing particularly unusual for a magic show but the accuracy and detail to which he performs this feat mixed in with his geeky sense of humour works brilliantly on the large stage.

Throughout the show the vivid lighting and use of digital screens brings this magic show to the 21st century. It is bright and vibrant – perfect to entice a new generation of magicians. Adam Trent utilises the technology the most as ‘The Futurist’ but all of the talented performers use it to their advantage. In fact, Enzo Weyne’s attempts at using the technology to ‘reveal’ the secrets behind the magic actually allows him to create even more of a showcase.

Seen on Britain’s Got Talent, Jonathon Goodwin creates nail-biting tension during his dramatic stunts and, another former BGT contestant, James More stuns with his large scale illusions.

A unique blend of different styles of illusion, humour and stunts The Illusionists is a perfect evening out. Perhaps an evening away from the typical musicals and plays which dominate London’s West End, this is sure to attract a wide range of people and should certainly be on your must see list for this summer.

The Illusionists is on at the Shaftesbury Theatre until the 1st of September 2019. For tickets and information click here.

Photo Credit: Official Illusionists Website

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