The Naked Magicians
Samuel Klingner Entertainment
Twelfth Night Theatre
March 5 – 13 2015
Reviewed by Xanthe Coward
On Thursday night a full (super) magical moon seemed the appropriate big picture setting for the return of The Naked Magicians. Chris Wayne and Mike Tyler have been touring the countryside since their debut (and return season) at Brisbane Powerhouse last year, attracting all sorts of capacity audiences. This “tweaked” incarnation of the show though, reflects a very particular brand of entertainment; one to which I hadn’t expected these guys to stoop, but one which seemed ENTIRELY appropriate at this rather dilapidated venue. If you’ve seen these guys before, it’s a slightly different show. (If you’ve seen these guys before, you’ll know to DRINK FIRST!). If the bar had stayed open after the show and the boys had come straight away to meet their adoring fans, and not just those with VIP tix (as much as I appreciate the value of the gimmick) they might have continued last Thursday night to build their apparently vast and very diverse fan base. But I overheard some unhappy punters leaving right away, disgruntled due to the fact that there was no opportunity to buy drinks or meet the boys.
I understand the bar at Twelfth Night Theatre is run by vollies…as is the bar at many smaller independent venues, and they don’t do themselves any favours by electing to close early…or to demand cash only.
It’s so important that we leave a venue wanting to come back to it!
It’s a gross disservice to the artists and producers to cut short such an exciting theatrical event, killing the atmosphere and heading home before the night is over! For some, this was their one-night-out for the week and like the worst one night stand, it ended prematurely. In stark contrast – and I do hope some of you make the trip up our way to see that I’m right, for Cruise Control in April, and for various events during Noosa Long Weekend Festival – the vibrant atmosphere at Noosa Arts Theatre is always so social it’s difficult to say no to the drinks and activity after a show! Just you TRY to go straight home! It’s one of the main reasons Sam and I love working there. It’s currently being renovated again to better suit the needs of its ever-growing theatrical family and subscriber base. The volunteers who take the tickets and work the bar there have such energy and enthusiasm, and there is ALWAYS opportunity to top up our glasses and continue our conversations after the show. In fact, the vibe at Noosa Arts Theatre is a little like La Boite wants to fashion back. JUST SAYIN’. ANYWAY.
The Naked Magicians. At Twelfth Night Theatre. (There’s no other theatre like it!). Here it is in a nutshell.
IT’S STILL FUNNY! AND THE MAGIC IS STILL GREAT! The tricks are still really good, and if you know how they’re done DON’T TELL ME. I enjoyed the show again, but there were times when I wish I’d had more to drink. Of course, this might say more about the last 2 weeks of my life than it does about the show…
This time the humour is base and it’s just not my bag, baby. This sort of humour appeals to the lowest common denominator and along with all the porn that’s still foolishly made by men but not made for women, you’re either gonna’ laugh uproariously in genuine delight, or cringe. Overall, the show lacks the sharp wit and boyish charm of the original season, and perhaps some of its naivety. I can’t quite put my finger on it (“Don’t put your finger there!“), but it’s almost as if advice from their audiences has been taken too literally (“Put your finger THERE!“). THERE IS CERTAINLY MORE NAKEDNESS. But is it too much? I guess it depends on which BITS you consider to be the most entertaining.
It’s as if all the cute “Hey girl…” moments have been taken out of the mix and we’re left with the end of the night last ditch drunken efforts to impress. Still impressive is the magic itself, the management of the audience participation (always difficult!), and the easy, bold banter between the boys and the unsuspecting audience members who find themselves on stage and a part of the show.
I don’t believe the sudden success of The Naked Magicians was ever wholly attributed to their nakedness, remember; they got a lot less naked the first time ’round! Originally the show was punctuated by a whole lot more old world gentlemanly (magicians’) charm, and contemporary, cheeky “sleeves up, pants down” confidence. We still get this in abundance from Chris, and from Mike not so much. Did somebody tell him two nice guys is one nice guy too many?! WHY WOULD THEY DO THAT? I walked away wondering why must we perpetuate the myth that locker room antics are an appealing form of entertainment? But then I guess there are those who love their nipple tassel twirling too…
This show is actually as much about audience manipulation as it is about magic and nakedness.
It’s fun, it’s crazy, it’s funny, it’s still a bit sexy, and in the end, it really is a great, stereotypical girls’ night out, if you like that sorta thing. I’m really a big fan of these guys, don’t get me wrong, but I’m a little disillusioned on this occasion. Others appear to LOVE the slightly crass, outrageous ending that just didn’t do it for me. But that’s just me. I’m keen to see what comes at the end of THIS flashy tour. I’d LOVE to see these guys make it big overseas. I know they’ll be a hit in New Zealand (May 12 – 16 2015)! And maybe a Las Vegas residency is next! But before I’m completely convinced, it might take another pair of eyes yet, to cast a glance over their bits and make ‘em all fit a little more, er, neatly…
The Naked Magicians are so excited to be coming to a theatre near you. Go check out these guys for yourself with a great big group of gorgeous friends and have some fun! I hope the venue and the boys look after you!