Could It Be Magic? at Wilton’s Music Hall
Could it be Magic? is the newest comedic venture of writer and comedy actor, Paul Aitchison. It is a play centred around a bizarre magic competition, where Aitchison, playing all four acts in the competition, blends comedy with impressive magic tricks all culminating in a grand finale.
Those who are familiar with the works of Tommy Cooper will immediately notice where the inspiration for the main character, Reg Kettle, comes from. With a green fez and magic tricks that seemingly go wrong at times, the slapstick nature of his routine is evocative of Cooper’s style and grace.
The dynamic range of characters that Aitchison embodies in this one-man show, under the direction of Owen Lewis, is testament to how good his acting skills are. Unfortunately, the borderline misogynistic personas of each of these characters and the overtones of general crassness risk leaving the audience feeling uncomfortable in their seats. It is evident that this show is not aimed at the fainthearted, but through making light of the #MeToo movement and sexual harassment, it moves from being a refreshing piece of comedic theatre to something that misrepresents issues prevalent in today’s society.
That being said, where Aitchison’s talent as a magician shines is through his character of Zantos Thorne. Behind the moody and offensive guise of Zantos lies a rather phenomenal illusionist, whose tricks baffle the mind. The caricature of this particular character very quickly falls away, and viewers are left with a very gifted individual whose magic wows and shocks all present.
Overall, Could it be Magic? has great potential to be a show for all the family, but for the slapdash vulgarity spattered throughout. The throwaway jokes about serious issues hinder the effect greatly and make it difficult to enjoy what is otherwise a brilliant magic display. With some refinement, it would be something of which to be proud.
Photo: Geraint Lewis
Could It Be Magic? is at Wilton’s Music Hall from 1st February until 5th February 2022. For further information or to book visit the theatre’s website here.