The Hippodrome Casino – booking until October 2019
Reviewed by Claire Roderick
Fit young lads dancing around with their shirts off? What’s not to like?
After the success of Channing Tatum’s show in Las Vegas, Magic Mike comes to London ready for the party season. Before you get your knickers in a twist, Tatum only appears as the disembodied voice of the host’s imaginary spirit animal – the unicorn. The show doesn’t attempt to recreate the plots of the films, instead there’s a wafer-thin thread of a story as the host gives young waiter Michelangelo (Sebastian Melo Taveira) lessons in how to please women. Frankly, this doesn’t matter, as the dance moves of the men on stage, and prowling around the audience are all we’re here for. And the less clothes, the better. There is a lovely piece about consent and permission, with the host reminding the audience of the safe word “Unicorn” (of course!) if they ever feel uncomfortable, which highlights how far shows like this have come, alongside the cliché ridden introduction involving themed strippers and silly string that makes you squirm until Sophie and her magic mike take control.
The production is as slick and smooth as the dancers’ chests, with the guys showcasing their fabulous moves in a wide mix of styles before finally whipping off their trousers and giving a few lucky ladies what they want with lap dances involving dryhumping ranging from gymnastic to comedy gold.
The host, Sophie Linder-Lee at the show I saw, is determinedly British in her humour and innuendo, which jars a little with the swish US origins of the show, but she knows exactly how to get the crowd whooping while the guys prepare for the next set. The highlight of the show is an erotically charged dance duet from Melo Taveira and Hannah Cleeve performed under a cascade of water. Although this didn’t go down well with the entire audience. As the woman next to me said “I didn’t pay £125 quid to watch HER have all the fun!”
The prices are eye-watering for a 90-minute show, but Magic Mike is sold out for months, and new dates have been added, so this is obviously perfect girls’ night out material. The bucket sized cocktails help the atmosphere in the brilliantly designed space, and the men move around the upper gallery too so those in the (not that) cheap seats get an eyeful too. If you fork out for a VIP table or the front row, you are guaranteed lots of attention and most probably a lap dance.
If you’re looking for the full Monty, you won’t find it here – Magic Mike is raunchy fun but has an underlying sweetness about it, especially with the angelic Melo Taveira taking centre stage. A great, safe, night out with the girls