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Nicola Wright

Review: MAGIC MIKE LIVE at The Hippodrome Casino

Magic Mike Live Arriving at the specially refurbished theatre space at London's Hippodrome Casino, I was greeted by an enthusiastic young man eager to know if I was excited for what I was about to experience. My honest answer was ...I wasn’t sure.

I had heard that there may be some audience participation,and I certainly had no desire to be plucked on stage and humiliated while hoards of women squealed with delight at my embarrassment!

Having not seen 'Magic Mike', the film based on Channing Tatum's early pre Hollywood career, I was vague about the plot which this production is based on. Tatum wrote, directed and produced the stage show and he kindly left a little piece of himself with us, as the voice of the spirit animal, a unicorn, who speaks to the female compere character Sophie (Ellie Clayton).

The rather flimsy story, begins with Sophie, (very much 'one of the girls') a dissatisfied audience member, who we witness having a somewhat underwhelming experience at an outdated male strip show, 'I didn't want a bunch of sexist archetypes slapping their dick in my face'! Frozen in the moment Sophie speaks to the audience asking what women really want in a man, something that the largely female audience were happy to answer as loudly as they could. This prompted an introduction to twelve millennial ideals of men, who very quickly proved that they could be the answer to our dreams for the night. Having established that not only were these men extremely attractive (with abs one could do the washing on), they were also all multi talented dancers, musicians, and acrobats...everything apparently we women want!

As if by magic, having spoken to her unicorn spirit animal, asking for a beautiful young man who will fulfill our consensual desires, Michelangelo appears...in Sophie's crotch! A naive waiter, Mike (Sebastian Melo Taveira) as he becomes known, is persuaded to be initiated in the art of seduction and having armed us with a safe word 'unicorn', he will give women what they want and what they deserve. Mike has the cast of twelve, to help teach him all the skills he will need and the show becomes a series of brilliantly choreographed dances, along with a rousing boy band number and of course lots of hot bodies on show plus the much promised audience participation.

After watching one stunning piece of choreography of Mike writhing about with one lucky 'audience member' (Hannah Cleeve) in a rain filled container, Sophie shouts, 'I want that for me, I want that for all of you'! And let's be honest, by now that is what the audience wanted too, as the stage was cleared of water spillage, we were treated to a variety of up close and personal experiences, the lap dances provoked squeals of delight and laughter, the odd touch or smile caused hearts to flutter, and nobody felt the need to utter the word 'unicorn'.

Tatum has certainly created a piece of high energy entertainment, and praise to the choreographers, Alison Faulk, Teresa Espinosa and Luke Broadlick for creating such varied dance styles, who would have thought that a tap routine could get one so hot under the collar?

Magic Mike is pure fun, by the end my cheeks were aching from laughing and whooping with the rest of the audience, it is the perfect night out with a group of friends, whatever your generation.