Review By Rosie Niven
If you’re a living, breathing human being, I’m sure you’re familiar with the 2012 hit movie that swept the nation and captured the hearts of people everywhere: Magic Mike. You may even be familiar with the 2015 follow-up (just as raunchy) sequel Magic Mike XXL. The movies plunge us headfirst into the raucous world of male stripping, guided by Mike Lane (of the aforementioned Magic Mike). Whilst the plot left a fair bit to be desired, the half-naked men that graced our screens for 110 minutes captured the attention of many across the globe.
Luckily for us, the magic of Magic Mike has returned, but this time in the form of the immersive spectacular Magic Mike Live, where “you can have anything you want - you just have to ask…” Based on the hit movies, it takes all the bits of Magic Mike that we loved and spins it into an experience fit for 2021.
The Arcadia Spiegeltent has been decked out to the nines for the occasion, and you could feel the excitement in the air as people of all ages (as long as you’re over 18) took their seats around a large circular stage in the centre, waiting for the magic to begin. Fake, hot pink money placed on each table for you to show your appreciation for each performer adds a fun touch. However, when the performance starts, and a sleazy Rik Brown waltzes onto the stage to accost the audience and make jokes about ‘dry holes’ and aggressive penetration, you’d be forgiven for thinking that you’d accidentally wandered into a buck’s party in full swing. Especially when an uncomfortable audience member is dragged onto the stage and wildly thrusted upon.
As the audience held their breath and looked at each other uncomfortably, the woman on stage jumped up and assumed her rightful position as the emcee - and, as we all breathed a sigh of relief, turned the show on its head and explained to us that she’s sick of men thinking they know what women want. She knows what she wants, and she wants to share it with us. She wants to know what we want, too.
This is the strength of Magic Mike Live: it is a show by women, for women, and this is clear from the moment that emcee Amy Ingram takes to the stage. She speaks with us, tells us that she wants this night to be special, and that we all deserve to have what we want. The graphic language is removed and the audience starts to become really vocal about the kind of man they want, as if they’ve never been asked and someone is finally handing them the mic. Ingram is captivating and keeps the audience in the palm of her hand as we help her find her dream man. A performer with less charisma would have struggled to contain the crowd.
Aside from gifting us 15 incredibly good looking men (and believe me they are), Magic Mike Live brings together a troupe of performers with fantastically varied talents for a variety show that will have you captured from start to finish. Whether you’re looking for a dazzling tap performance, an impressive acrobatic display, a killer drum solo or some sultry vocals, you’ve come to the right place. This is one talented ensemble.
More than anything, Magic Mike is a night of fun, laughter, and a whole lot of sex appeal. You’ll walk in excited and leave with a huge smile on your face. Take your friends, take your partner, take your mum (I did, and she absolutely loved it) and go enjoy a night at The Arcadia in the capable hands of Ingram and the entire Magic Mike Live ensemble. You deserve it.