Reviewed by Dottie Rood
This show is part of the Liverpool Theatre Festival 2023 and is being performed ahead of a run at The Edinburgh Fringe. It is suitable for 5-year-olds and upwards and is advertised as a family show. It is produced by Bill Elms. There are a variety of shows at this venue running from Thursday 20th July to Sunday 30th July and was performed at St Luke’s Church in Liverpool. And what a beautiful setting to hold any shows! St Luke’s Church (also known locally as St Luke’s Bombed Out Church due to the events of World War 2) is a stunning venue and although it has no roof the rest of this derelict church is very interesting and inspiring to be inside.
No roof means you have to think about what the weather is going to be like, we were very fortunate to have fine weather for most of the show with just a spattering of rain towards the end (we had taken coats and umbrellas as advised!).
The staff were very friendly and helpful, even helping me to ‘scan’ for our drinks and snacks. When the show started we had been told (over the mic) that it might be evil Gareth who came out first, we were told he would have a colourful waistcoat and black hat and yes, he did come out first! He got the audience very excited using lots of expressions and evil laughs, the children were made up especially when he stole and hid Magic Gareth’s unicorn! Oh No! It reminded me a bit of a pantomime with all the shouting and booing!
The ‘magic’ that evil Gareth performed was ok and did have my Granddaughter gripped but I hoped there was going to be ‘better’ tricks when Magic Gareth appeared. After lots of boos, hisses and a promise to return evil Gareth went behind the set and, yeeah, Magic Gareth appeared!!! He kept the audience captivated with the promise of someone going up on stage, audience participation and boundless energy. Did he perform ‘Magic’? yes but not as much as I had expected.
As an adult I was impressed by his number trick however I thought it might have been a bit lost on younger children but it is a family show so all in all it was impressive. It had lots of audience participation as we had to catch and throw a soft dice and shout out a number from the ones written on a board, everyone enjoyed this. Gareth then did an egg trick, a trick with an adult (balancing a cup full of water on his head!) and then the Big Balloon!!!!!!
WOW! Although this probably wasn’t strictly ‘magic’ it was fun (and a bit scary!) to watch. Magic Gareth put his head inside a massive (massive!) balloon and made a balloon dog, very impressive. The show was linked by how many lives we had (represented by red heart balloons) and if a trick went wrong Magic Gareth popped one.
Evil Gareth did appear again (to lots of boos) and reminded us about the unicorn he had hidden!
Eventually Magic Gareth found the box his unicorn should have been in BUT! It had disappeared! Oh No!
Its ok Magic Gareth found it in his magic box! Hooray!
This show was 45 minutes (although on the web site it had stated 13.30 to 15.00?) which I felt was a bit short, maybe it was due to the rain? Overall it was enjoyable and entertaining but at £12 per adult and £10 per child is it good value? I’m not really sure.
I would recommend the venue and Magic Gareth was personable, if the show had been a bit longer I would have rated it higher.
St Luke’s Church (Bombed Out Church) Leece Street Liverpool L1 2RT
For more information please contact: www.liverpooltheatrefestival.com