Georgia Crowther, Maheni Arthur and Chris York
Collective Theatre

Listing details and ticket info...

Kit Young Credit: Hana Kovacs
Kit Young Credit: Hana Kovacs
Kit Young Credit: Hana Kovacs

Stockroom, the latest configuration of what was Out of Joint, describes itself as “dedicated to script creation and new approaches to playwriting.” It is set up to support writers, providing free desk space and encouraging joint creation. This production is the first in a new venue in the Hornsey Baths complex and is the joint work of Georgia Crowther, Maheni Arthur and Chris York and directed by James Hillier.

It is a magic show in both senses featuring a magician who claims to come from “a long line of mentalists, conjurers and illusionists”. He presents all those skills from card tricks to cutting a member of the audience in two—but it isn’t only a magic show; the title is significant. There is an implicit questioning of the interaction of magician and audience, his control of them. How does the magician influence their decisions and behaviour, if indeed he does. And what about other forms of influence, those online self-made celebrities with their multiple followers who call themselves influencers?

As the magician sketches in his family background, talks of past magicians, Houdin, Houdini and his own family, he informs us that he is going to present us with a trick that his grandfather planned. It was devised as his act’s finale but actually never presented because it was deemed too risky, until the nephew tried it, a nephew to whose memory this magician now dedicates its performance.

In fact these three writers don’t really delve into the role of the influencer, the power over others’ minds, and there is only a minimal measure of plot, but the illusion and legerdemain is skilfully executed and Kit Young’s performance is captivating. It is he who makes this an enjoyable evening, assisted by some of the audience. This isn’t a matter of just choosing a playing card: do you have a secret for his special powers to discover and reveal to the audience, would you like to take part in a seance? Some will be called up for surprising involvement but be reassured no genuine punter will come to harm.

This is designed as entertainment, it doesn’t offer deep drama but enjoyment.

Reviewer: Howard Loxton

*Some links, including Amazon,,, ATG Tickets, LOVEtheatre, BTG Tickets, Ticketmaster, LW Theatres and QuayTickets, are affiliate links for which BTG may earn a small fee at no extra cost to the purchaser.

Are you sure?