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Review of James Freedman: Man of Steal at Trafalgar Studios

James Freedman - Man of Steal. Credit Nobby Clark
James Freedman – Man of Steal. Credit Nobby Clark

Man of Steal is not your typical West End show as it has no acting; no singing and no dancing, however don’t let this put you off. This is a one man show starring James Freedman and whilst this is not a typical show, James Freedman is a showman in all sense of the word.

James Freedman, ‘an honest thief’ sets out to tell you all about the underworld of pickpockets ranging from the ‘traditional’ pickpocket crimes of lifting a wallet out of a pocket to the more modern ways of committing these crimes. Whilst it sounds like it could turn into a dull safety talk from your local neighbourhood watch team it is far from that due to James’ charisma and talent for trickery.

The show is interspersed with storytelling so you get an insight into James mind. However, a lot of it is practical demonstration and audience participation, think magic show but with the magician telling you it’s not magic and revealing how he performed the tricks. His rapport with the audience was great, dealing with quips from the audience as well as any good stand-up comedian could.

The show ran at 75 minutes with no interval and on the whole I was captivated throughout. The only section that dragged slightly was the routine that ran with him pickpocketing several items from a dummy. It was impressive for the first few minutes. However this section could have been shorter as we quickly got the idea that he has fingers that dance. This however is only a small niggle.

This is a great show for people that don’t typically go to the theatre, maybe for those that enjoy stand-up or magic shows and want to see something a bit different. It also gives you food for thought afterwards and I have found myself thinking about all I carry in my purse as a result.
Three and a half gold stars

Review by Sarah McPartlan

Persuader. Showman. Thief.
Freedman will steal a whole lot more than you might expect.
Funny and fast-fingered, this unique and extraordinary show exposes how the bad guys really work, sharing a life-time spent studying hustlers, street criminals and con-men. Hailed a genius in his field by Derren Brown, stealth-crime expert James Freedman is the only man to have picked the pockets of the Mayor of London, the Chancellor and the Governor of the Bank of England. No wonder then that his hands have been insured for £1 million….

Running Time: 1 hour 15 minutes (no interval)
Age Restrictions: Suitable for all ages
Show Opened: 26th May 2015
Booking Until: 4th Jul 2015
Evenings: Monday to Saturday 8.00pm
Matinees: Thursday to Saturday 2.30pm

Friday 29th May 2015

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