REVIEW: Mind Mangler: Member of the Tragic Circle – Apollo Theatre – London


“Mind Mangler: Member of the Tragic Circle” is a tour de force of comedic brilliance that captivates audiences from start to finish. Written by the dynamic trio of Henry Lewis, Jonathan Sayer, and Henry Shields, the minds behind the global sensation “The Play that Goes Wrong,” this production introduces audiences to the hilariously chaotic world of The Mind Mangler.

Originally debuting at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2022, “Mind Mangler” has since embarked on a successful UK tour and wowed audiences in New York in 2023. Its arrival at the Apollo Theatre marks a triumphant return to the West End, where it continues to garner rave reviews from audiences.

This riotous comedy follows The Mind Mangler, portrayed masterfully by Henry Lewis, as he attempts to stage a spectacular comeback in his West End debut two-man solo show. From the moment the show starts, the audience is swept into a whirlwind of side-splitting mentalism acts that quickly spiral into delightful chaos.

One of the show’s standout features is its impeccable use of improv and audience interaction. Lewis and Sayer effortlessly engage with the audience, weaving their responses seamlessly into the fabric of the performance. Whether it’s reading minds, revealing audience secrets, or simply bantering with spectators, their comedic timing is impeccable, eliciting uproarious laughter at every turn.

The high-quality comedy writing in the show is a testament to the creative genius of Henry Lewis, Jonathan Sayer, and Henry Shields. With their extensive experience in crafting comedic masterpieces, the trio delivers a script that is sharp, witty, and endlessly entertaining. Each line is meticulously crafted to elicit maximum laughter, blending clever wordplay with absurd situations and unexpected twists. The humour is both intelligent and accessible, appealing to a broad range of audiences and ensuring that no joke falls flat. Whether it’s clever banter between characters, hilarious misunderstandings, or clever callbacks, the comedy writing in “Mind Mangler” keeps the audience engaged and delighted from start to finish.

The incorporation of audience secrets into the act adds a clever and interactive layer to the performance. Watching The Mind Mangler navigate through the hilarious revelations while maintaining his composure is a testament to the performers’ quick wit and improvisational skills. It’s a unique twist that keeps the audience on the edge of their seats, eagerly anticipating each revelation.

But “Mind Mangler” is more than just a comedy – it’s a spectacle that seamlessly blends illusion, comedy, and technical elements to create an unforgettable experience. Under the expert direction of Hannah Sharkey, with effective set design by Sara Perks, costume design by Roberto Surace, and lighting design by David Howe, the production transports audiences into the world of a desperate illusionist.

In conclusion, “Mind Mangler: Member of the Tragic Circle” is a must-see theatrical extravaganza that delivers laughs, thrills, and surprises in equal measure. With its masterful comedy, ingenious audience interaction, and seamless integration of illusion and technical elements, it’s a show that appeals to audiences of all ages. Don’t miss your chance to experience the magic – grab your tickets now and prepare to be amazed!

Mind Mangler: Member of the Tragic Circle plays at the Apollo Theatre until 28th April 2024 where it will then commence a UK tour.

Photos throughout from Pamela Raith






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