Now that we all live in the future and can summon an infinite parade of willies and foofs with just a few lazy swipes of our thumb, on-stage nudity doesn’t carry the giddying air of scandal it used to.
The Naked Magicians feels like a cabaret show from the pre-internet era, the sort of hotel bar entertainment your mother would drag you to during a package holiday to Santa Ponsa because you’re too young to go to the bar with dad, and would you stop complaining because this is her holiday too, and no she does not have 200 pesetas for Time Crisis because you’ve used them all, and would you please just sit still for ten more minutes so she can catch a glimpse of some Chippendale dong.
But the nudity here is really just a vehicle for a relentless slew of rude jokes, as standard magic tricks are given sexy new twists: iPhones are wrapped in condoms and smashed with hammers, a sex doll becomes a glamorous assistant, an inflatable penis is bounced around the audience to choose volunteers and psychic messages and transferred between twerking bums. Even when fully clothed Chris Wayne and Mike Tyler are hugely endearing characters, their disarming brand of puerile comedy easily compensating for their pretty basic magic skills. It’s all very good fun, and pure hen party fodder.
Derren Brown this most certainly isn’t, but then Derren Brown doesn’t flash you while escaping from a strait-jacket to disco tunes. Not publicly at least.