Impossible

Comedy, Magic
  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • 3 out of 5 stars
(18user reviews)
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 (© Helen Maybanks)
1/5
© Helen Maybanks

Ben Hart

 (© Helen Maybanks)
2/5
© Helen Maybanks

Josephine Lee

 (© Helen Maybanks)
3/5
© Helen Maybanks

Josephine Lee

 (© Helen Maybanks)
4/5
© Helen Maybanks

Jonathan Goodwin

 (© Helen Maybanks)
5/5
© Helen Maybanks

Magical Bones

This old school magical extravaganza returns

No doubt magic has come a long way since the days when Copperfield and Daniels were household names, but there’s little in the way of supporting evidence in this behind-the-times hodgepodge of spectacle and trickery. That’s not to say returning West End extravaganza ‘Impossible’ doesn’t have its ‘wow’ moments, just that the familiar-feeling routines played out by its line-up of wise-cracking men and mostly silent women don’t deliver much you won’t have seen before.

The format has been adjusted for modern attention spans, at least – seven performers share the stage, whose acts range in tone drastically, with no cohesive theme uniting them. One minute whimsical, Derren Brown-ish mentalist Chris Cox is making dodgy knob gags (in between some impressive mind-reading stunts), the next daredevil Jonathan Goodwin is hanging upside down in a flaming strait-jacket.

Easily the weakest link is ‘Britain’s Got Talent’ winner Lance Corporal Richard Jones, whose close-up card tricks may work on Saturday-night TV, but in a West-End stage show simply get dwarfed among the bigger, flashier set-pieces. Recognisable though his face may presumably be, his presence feels clumsily tacked-on.

Still, though the format is clunky and the tricks well-worn, the fact remains that if you’re not somehow awed, impressed or at least surprised by the sight of a blindfolded man crossbow-ing balloons off of someone’s head, or a terrified volunteer being apparently teleported across stage, you’ve presumably been through some very difficult shit. As a great man once said, you’ll like it – not a lot, but you’ll like it.

By: David Clack

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Average User Rating

3.4 / 5

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Staff Writer

I have always waited for a show that will usurp the magic I saw in a theme park in the south of France when I was a child. A piglet LITERALLY disappeared in front of my eyes. close up, no table clothes, no set, nothing. Where did it go? 


Sadly this show did not measure up to that, I could see the fake legs and and thumbs where the handkerchiefs went - I was sat on the front row so not a lot got by me. However, I did enjoy the show overall. The spectacle of making a convertible disappear when my friend had been brought on stage to witness it was impressive. He now thinks he is in the Magic Circe and wont tell me how it was done!


Some of the tricks were properly impressive especially those that we did ourselves in the audience. Overall I would say go and be entertained in that old fashioned variety night way and try your best to suspend your disbelief. Oh and don't sit in the front row.

Tastemaker

As a child, it was always my dream to watch a live magic show and I wish Impossible had made me feel like that kid again, eyes and mouth open in awe of the tricks and sorcery.


A lot of the tricks performed felt dated and predictable - from the 'Saw a Man in Half' to the 'Straight Jacket in Water' act. From someone who grew up watching any magic show I could find, the tricks failed to astound me. Sabine reminded me of something from a Las Vegas cabaret show with the unnecessary strobe lighting and dramatic music, which did not distract us from the fact that her act was just odd.


With regards to Lance Corporal Richard Jones, I am not entirely sure how he won BGT, considering his card tricks wouldn't be out of place in a school playground and he even managed to mess one of them up! Despite him supposedly being the biggest act of the night, it was thoroughly disappointing.


However, some tricks left me questioning (still to this day) 'how?'. Chris Cox's energetic mind reading acts were entertaining and kept the whole crowd engaged as he bounded around on stage like a hyperactive pet dog that had eaten lots a bag of Skittles. Magical Bones; the break dancing magician was a little cheesy at times but it worked to his advantage whilst adding a modern spin to his tricks. 


For the price, it's good value for money and great for kids, and only sit near the front if you love a bit of audience participation!

tastemaker

There was a bit of deja vu in this year's Impossible show with 40% repeated from 2015. Once again Ben Hart performed a creative piece against a whimsical setting. I do love his routines to music. Chris Cox amazed with his "Q&A" mentalism though he does appear as if he's finished all the red Smarties before coming on (totally hyper). Jonathan Goodwin was breathtaking once again but would have been cool to see one new stunt for 2016. Still he provided a great break of magic when he was on stage whilst freaking the audience out. 


I was excited to see BGT's winner Richard Jones on stage however on my night he seems a little off form. He revealed some elements of his tricks and I can't help thinking the trick he did for the little kid was more suited for a corporate function. Still he was very debonair in his uniform.  Magical Bones was a fresh face and though the hip hop/ magic marriage has been done by others, his take was really cool.


It was great to see Josephine Lee and Sabine van Diemen join the Impossible Crew - go girl power! However both seemed to majorly lack a real onstage persona that the guys had. Plus two blondes doing large illusions -  it would have been nice to see two female magicians doing different styles of magic. Still they did deliver in glamour and thrills. 


Overall Impossible 2016 was great in places and not so in others. If you are new to Impossible and want a great magic show, lots of bang for your buck and want to get stuck in with audience participation then this is your show. If you are a hardened Impossible fan and want to see it again then this is your show too. 



Tastemaker

MAGIC! The last time I saw a magic show, I was 15, on a camping site with my parents and the guy was more of a nanny for the kids whose parents wanted a bit of alone time during their holidays than a crazy mentalist. So, I was rather excited to go and see Impossible.

Verdict: overly dramatic, spectacular, interactive and impressive! Okay, some of the tricks were very easy to find out... But that was only a very small portion of the entire show. People like Ben Hart or Jonathan Goodwin are absolutely astonishing! I won't give out any of their acts because that would be spoiling it but I truly recommend going while it's on. Book your tickets!


Thanks to the masked magician who showed all the secrets behind magic I found it really hard to actually enjoy and appreciate the show. I found the tricks basic and nothing special (well apart from one very impressive and scary trick that involved a member of the audience and a lot of electricity) and lacked any real wonder. I think if I was a child and hadn’t watch the bloody secrets show I would have been a lot more impressed. But even though it was still a great night out and if you've got kids I’ll strongly recommend you take them they will seriously enjoy it and will leave scratching their heads wondering how it was done.

Tastemaker

The show features and impressive ensemble of magicians and daredevil acts with a mixed bag of offerings, but one thing's for sure, as an audience member it would be 'impossible' not to enjoy yourself! (sorry I couldn't resist).


While many of the acts aren't really pushing the magical boundaries, they are all great showmen and the performances are polished, and the show runs along at pace in a quick fire style darting between different set pieces and disciplines.

Whatever your preference there will be something for you but as ever with variety personal preferences will dictate that some will be enjoyed more than others, but as a whole the show is well produced and impressively produced. Another nice touch at the end is also that the stars of the show gather outside at the front of the theatre to meet their audience so if you want to say hello and grab a snap don't run off! 


A standout performer who falls firmly into the daredevil camp is Jonathan Goodwin and his contribution to the show is a real treat. So in summary if you have no interest in magic and such like then this show is probably not for you, though you might be pleasantly surprised, but if you are a fan of an illusion or two I'd firmly recommend getting yourself down to the Noël Coward Theatre pronto! 

Tastemaker

Very much a mixed bag, this shifted from the awe-inspiring to eye rolling throughout.  The different acts were to it's advantage, keeping the pace high and style varied - alternating between comic mind-reading (from the stand-out Chris Cox) to escapology.  Compared to the slick and performances of the more seasoned acts, the on-stage inexperience of the BGT winner Richard Jones did show - a couple of neat tricks but it felt awkward and he didn't quite have the skills to make an ineffective on-stage volunteer work to his advantage.


The crowd at the show I attended seemed a bit subdued strangely, almost as if they were waiting for permission to applaud.  The stage of the Noel Coward theatre isn't ideal for a show like this; too large for close-up tricks (despite the videoscreens) and too small for Vegas spectacle but it kind of mostly worked.  

Tastemaker

I am not the biggest fan of magic, but must admit I did enjoy the Impossible show. This show has everything and more you could expect form a magic show. A good variety of acts and performers, they even managed to squeeze in some audience magic. Chris Cox, the mind reader, was definitely the crowd favorite. A good night out and great for the family!

tastemaker

As I am usually not too keen on magic tricks, I went to this show slightly sceptic but ended up having a very pleasant time! 
Being able to see 6 different performers in 1 show makes it so much more accessible for any kind of public. (In this show you will be given the opportunity to attend very classic but quite remarkably executed tricks, mind reading performances, illusions, escapes...)
A very rich 
program for a very entertaining show!

I really enjoyed Magical Bones and Chris Cox for their great energy on stage.
I quite liked Lance Corporal Richard Jones as well for his very heart warming performance.
My favorite was definitely Ben Hart, very hypnotizing magician / illusionist, who creates absolutely fabulous acts (he makes a girl from the public disappear on one side of the stage and reappear on the other side!!!!).

The  show lasts for 2 hours 30 including a 10mn interval. 

It is a family show but beware of the Harry Houdini aficionados who might be a bit more creepy...

tastemaker

A huge must see show that everyone should at least experience. Be prepared to see a show full of magic tricks, death defying performances, impossibilities, and mouth-opening action. I wasn't expecting the Impossible show at the Noel Coward Theatre to be in any form like this. I have never been to see any magical sort of show. I did find it completely extraordinary and quite scary with some of the performances.

Some performances are not for the faint-hearted, but it was such an astounding, spellbinding evening at the Impossible show. It was extremely captivating throughout and I couldn't believe how some of these performances were actually possible. It's the power of magic I guess. The show had the mind blowing mind-reader Chris Cox, magician Ben Hart, Magical Bones, Daredevil, escapologist Jonathan Goodwin, Sabine Van Diemen, and illusionist Jessica Lee. Let's not forget the appearance of Lance Corporal Richard Jones. His performance was fascinating. The interaction with the audience was incredible and it felt like we were a big part of the show. It's definitely a show to go and see at least once. Thank you to all the performers at the end who came outside to greet and take photographs with everyone who attended the show. It was a night to remember. #TOTastemaker Love MD.

tastemaker

With a family member in the Magic Circle I had high expectations of the Impossible show. For the last few years I have become a connoisseur of Magic critiquing various card tricks, coins disappearing and reappearing and freaky mind reading. So what would the Impossible hold last night?

It was well put together and flowed well even though by nature its fragmented with separate artists doing different types of magic. All the performers has certain themes to what they displayed from dare devil acts, card tricks, etc. There is audience participation so if youre up for it and want to be on the stage, sit in the stalls. If you don’t want to go on the stage but participate, Chris Cox the mind reader needs suggestions which you can do by asking the usher close to you.  If you get picked youll be asked to verify your answers. Simples. If you don’t want to get involved / picked on upper circle and dress circle is where you should sit! Its good fun for all ages and I would thoroughly recommend to all.

Best bit: Christ Cox with the mind reading, Magic Bones for the hip hop appeal and jokes and Ben Hart with his billiard balls. Another thing of note, at the interval everyone round me started to talk about how excellent the performers were and even shared mints. Made everyone smile J

Worst bit: Actually the women magicians used sex appeal to make their acts more interesting. I felt it was just a bit OTT and gave them less credit for what talent thy actually had.

Summary: Good fun and a conversation starter. Take a date! Will deffo get rid of awkward silences! 

tastemaker

The Impossible show with it's Mind blowing Mind-reader Chris Cox, boundary breaking Magician Ben Hart will leave you spell bound and wanting more. The first half of show was energetic and lively, from hip hop dancing, crazy card tricks and disappearing £20 notes street Magician Magical Bones will leave you questioning what you saw, is it possible? Is it magic ? or just an intricate illusion. Lance Corporal Richard Jones the winner of Britain’s Got Talent 2016 made a brief appearance which felt more like a gap filler than a masterful performance. The show also featured Daredevil and Escapologist Jonathan Goodwin who entertained with his death defying performances and dare I say it chiselled physique. Cutting-edge Conjurer Sabine van Diemen and grand illusionist Jessica Lee each act bringing the art of old magic with a fresh perspective. Overall a great Interactive performance worth seeing, fun and entertainment for the entire family. Stop reading and get booking .

Staff Writer

the Impossible's crew makes it happen in front your eyes in London's west end... burning men, sitting on a bed of nails,classic magic cards tricks and disappearance are a few of those classics magic tricks you will witness at this show. Although some of the tricks are well known and backdate to classic magicians like Carter and Houdini' back in the days, there is still an element of surprise on stage as the production is outstanding and very professional.This is a very entertaining show to watch - not always relaxing as it will get your adrenaline's high! Must see if you want to dazzle with magic!

Tastemaker

I have seen quite a few magic shows, but I think this must have been one of the most disappointing ones I’ve been to. The illusions were often carried out in a sloppy way, which meant we could see quite clearly how it was done.

We were sat in the front row in the grand circle (2nd floor) and were able to see every trap door and every false bottom. I think the show is probably nice for kids, as they won’t notice these things as much, but I would recommend that you make sure you’re sat at a lower level and not too close to the stage.


I absolutely LOVE magic shows, so was very excited to see the posters for 'Impossible' appear around London. Having now seen the show, I'll admit that it fell slightly short of my expectations, but was still very enjoyable and kept me talking about it to my friends and family for a good few days afterwards.


I tend to feel a bit bad for modern magicians simply because technology is so advanced, which means that it's much harder to wow people than it used to be, but there were many tricks in this show that didn't rely at all on props and explosions and were utterly baffling to me (and the people around me)!


The trick that involved everyone was cool, but a little long and laborious considering that little people made up a good chunk of the audience, but the big and dangerous feats were absolutely spectacular. Loved the guy that did the mime too!


The only other thing I'd say is that, like the official reviewer, I was disappointed that a large-scale show such as this would continue the very sexist trend of using tiny, heavily made-up women in tight clothes as assistants to an all-male cast. I get that assistants need to be petite and flexible, but this really jarred with me.


In general I'm a fan of most things magic-related, simply because they're enjoyable. If you watch this with a view to trying to catch them out and work out the tricks, then you'll spoil it for yourself a bit as a lot of the tricks are run-of-the-mill. As a whole though, there was a great mix of stuff in there and the atmosphere really made it for me. 

The music, lighting and set have been done really well and the evening feels exciting and pretty dramatic at times - it's also laugh-out-loud funny in places. Great show for kids and adults - entertaining, engaging and a fun evening out.

Staff Writer

I have a love/hate relationship with magic. On one hand, I commend anyone who puts time and effort into a craft and does it well. On the other, there aren't many new magic tricks being created meaning you basically see the same show over and over again. And, unfortunately, Impossible is exemplary of my feelings.


This show is packed with the same tricks you see at any show but the pageantry and showmanship is spot on. Though there were a few slip ups and I was constantly tense that I'd be pulled up on stage (being sat in the second row), the set design and cast are amazing. And seeing as I know how most of the tricks are done, I still really enjoyed it... except one act which involved iPads - there are just some places modern technology doesn't belong.


It's a great show to take your kids to as they'll be wowed and possibly inspired and it's a fun night out if you're an adult too. Just, maybe, don't book the seats next to the steps on the second row...


I'm not a big magic fan. I like to think I can suss it all out and nothing will get past me. Last night at Impossible I found myself in the front row right by the stage. I knew their was going to be audience participation and pretty much everyone in the front row (except me and my colleague) got chosen. I think my face probably gave me away as a miserable cynic to be avoided by magicians at all costs. There are certainly some benefits to sitting that close. Namely, you can see exactly how a lot of the tricks are done. If you want to be totally baffled by it all then avoid the front 4 rows of the stalls. There are some stand out moments and I have to say I was surprised at how much I enjoyed the evening. What I loved is the difference in age of all the Magicians and although the young ones look hipster cool and funky the middle aged ones are still desperately trying to cling on to their youth with bouffant hair, false tan, tight tees it made there sections feel a bit cabaret but with age comes experience and they provided some of the real stand out trickery. All in all a great show to go woth friends, or family. Everyone will enjoy.