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  • David Robinson

Mind Mangler: Member of the tragic circle

Alexandra Theatre

Runs until 29th May

***** Five Stars “A magical journey from the sublime to the ridiculous”


Yet another incredible show from Mischief Comedy production company. I can honestly say I laughed out loud for the whole spectacle, as did the entire audience. The performance shares DNA with other Mischief Comedy pieces. Anyone who has seen and appreciated their work will not be disappointed.

We are invited to an evening with the tragic circle’s most infamous initiate, the Mind Mangler, played by Henry Lewis, whose magical marvels promise much and deliver little. He is “supported” by his stooge, played to excruciating perfection by Jonathan Sayer.


The mastery of this show lies in Lewis’s sublime ability to connect with an audience. It quickly becomes impossible to discern what is pre-rehearsed and what is improvised. It feels fresh, alive. The mistakes are raw, hilarious, painful, and then a trick unexpectedly becomes a flawless piece of magic, and we are reminded that all the buffoonery is their best illusion.

This performance was truly a lesson in audience interaction. Upon entrance to the theatre, before the curtain, the audience are encouraged to get involved by trying to crack the code of a safe on stage, or writing ‘a secret’ on to a card, then placed in a box. There is an air of permission in the room. The show begins and Lewis steps it up further, encouraging interaction and involvement to the extent that the room becomes more intimate, more connected and the audience feel ownership over the show; it’s now “theirs”. As the show culminates, it feels as though they have become another character in the story. This whole dance, led by the talented Henry Lewis is also supported by the simple yet genius addition of cameras, capturing close-ups, cut aways and audience reactions. Gillian Tan’s work as video designer is the icing on the cake.

I have already encouraged my friends and family to go and see this show. I say the same to you. Go. Laugh uproariously. Be thoroughly entertained.


Miriam Sarin

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