Jaw-dropping illusions on a tricks rollercoaster

Have your say

The Illusionists

Opera House, Blackpool

It’s one thing for a performer to raise rapturous applause from a 3,000 capacity venue…

But it’s quite another to stun that same venue to silence, performing something so monumental and jaw-dropping that almost every audience member holds their breath.

But both of those things escapologist Andrew Basso did to the Opera House, Blackpool, on Friday night.

As the Italian was handcuffed and suspended by his feet over a tank of water, preparing to perform the famous Houdini water tank escape the more than 2,300 audience members fell silent.

Basso is The Escapologist and just one of seven world-class magicians starring in The Illusionists: Witness The Impossible, which sells itself as the world’s greatest magic show and doesn’t disappoint.

His performance is just one of a rollercoaster of tricks in the show – currently on a UK tour following sell-outs in Dubai, Sydney and Mexico City – which producers hope to next year take to Broadway.

The Illusionists, also including one of Britain’s leading mind readers, Philip Escoffey, The Mentalist, and The Inventor, Kevin James, who has created tricks for David Copperfield, played to a tough crowd as members of Blackpool’s Magic Circle sat just a few rows away.

They only impress though, with a fast paced show featuring comedy with magic from The Trickster, Jeff Hobson, gothic and gross tricks from the The Anti-Conjuror, Dan Sperry and The Inventor making it snow inside in a spectacular finale.

Together The Gentleman and The Enchantress, Mark Kalin and Jinger Leigh, wow with a trick linking three audience members’ rings together before letting them melt away from one another.

And alone Kalin masters a beautiful billiard balls sleight of hand trick. The show brings the age old art of magic firmly into the 21st Century with a full live rock-band (who do their own disappearing act too), backing dancers and the addition of close-up filming of the show, played live on screen above the stage.

The Illusionists is at the O2 Apollo in Manchester on Friday and Saturday night. Don’t miss it.