Following the huge success of two films inspired by his real-life experience as a stripper, Channing Tatum has devised a live dance experience, Magic Mike Live. Originally performed in Las Vegas’ Hard Rock Hotel, the stage show takes its overall aesthetic from the hit movies (along with some voice-over from Tatum and obviously a lot of male flesh) but leaves behind any character or plot reference.
As the show begins, it feels very much like a cheesy night out at a strip show, David Morgan’s emcee giving a misogynistic attitude to the audience as he riles us up and introduces the men of the hour. However, that is all very quickly washed away when Morgan is replaced by Sophie Linder-Lee, who claims the show as an empowering evening for women, the men no longer symbols of toxic masculinity, but tools to bring immense pleasure to the ladies of the Hippodrome. There follows a loose story about teaching Mike, a gooey-eyed waiter, to dance so that he can make women feel special …
The choreography by Alison Faulk, Teresa Espinosa, and Dreya Weber is physically remarkable, featuring trending styles of dance along with more classic performances – there is even an incredible tap routine by Matt Jordan which redefines sexy. Already staged in the round, the show’s advertising promises “360-degree entertainment” and it honestly stays true to its word, with thrusting groins managing to find you no matter where you hide in the theatre. Performers make use of every available space from the elevating rostra to the upper balconies, even the guests’ tables aren’t safe as dancers take them over with their rippling abs.
The incredible use of acrobatics raises the bar even further as the boys are joined by Josie Scamell — an exceptional dancer who adds a different kind of feminine energy to the show than Linder-Lee’s comic stylings. During one very unexpected moment in the show, the boys even crack out their instruments (musical that is), with Ross Sands leading the vocals in a dramatically different moment of the night.
You can’t help but feel a little dirty in the Hippodrome’s unique Magic Mike Live Theatre, its intimacy and dimmed lighting giving the impression of a sleazy strip joint. The show’s erotic nature and cringy narrative lend themselves exceptionally well to a hen night – which is undoubtedly the main clientele of these evenings. But with more to get involved in on the night, such as learning to play cards and enjoying snacks and drinks at the cabaret-style tables, it really is an opportunity for a great evening out with the gals no matter what you are celebrating (with husbands and boyfriends most definitely left at home)!
Magic Mike Live is now playing at Hippodrome Casino London. For more information and to book tickets, visit Magic Mike London Website.