Preview: Penn & Teller at the Hammersmith Apollo
Published 23 June 2010
Legendary illusionists Penn and Teller will be performing at the Hammersmith Apollo this July. The American magicians will be gracing the stage for a five-night run at the Apollo for what will be their first set of tour dates in the UK since 1994.
The pair have been performing together for a very long time – around 4 decades – and their CV of past runs and shows are testament to their brilliance. This includes their performances at The Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino, which spanned almost 10 years – making them one of the longest-running and most cherished shows in glitzy Las Vegas, ‘outselling every other resident magician on the Strip and earning them the accolade of the single best show in Vegas by the Los Angeles Times’. In addition, their critically-acclaimed US Showtime TV series, ‘Penn & Teller: BS!’ has been nominated for 13 Emmys and is the longest-running series in the history of the network. David Letterman, veteran US talk show host, had once described them as ‘evil geniuses’ and their fellow magicians often rate them as the best magicians in the world.
To call them magicians is slightly mis-selling the Penn and Teller pair. Not only do they perform some of the most stunning and mind-boggling illusions many people the world over have ever seen, they also tell great stories, debunk conspiracies and tickle the audience with their black humour. For this reason, they simply are in a league of their own. Forget Paul Daniels or Derren Brown; they even give David Blaine and David Copperfield a huge run of their money. Whilst they are all capable of carrying off good illusions, Penn and Teller possess a certain edginess and bucket loads of charisma. The unusual pairing adds to their uniqueness with talkative Penn standing at a gigantic 6 feet 6 inches tall, about 9 inches above quiet Teller, who performs mainly in mime.
Many of their tricks and illusions don’t fall under ‘magic for magic’s sake’ – a lot of Penn and Teller’s work has a message due to their strong skepticism, libertarian views and atheistic beliefs. However, many of the tricks they perform are just for the fun of it. Check out Teller’s Shadow Trick on YouTube, an absolutely graceful and astounding illusion for a taste of their skills.
Having seen the pair perform on TV since I was little, I became besotted with the pair and found it such a shame that their presence in Britain has been few and far between over the years. However, the announcement of their upcoming tour has reignited my fire for magic and I defy you not to see them! Even the most fantastical adjectives do not do Penn and Teller justice. Quite stunning is an understatement. If their TV shows are anything to go by, their few London gigs at the Hammersmith Apollo are a must-see. And on that note, I’ll be booking my tickets for their show before you can say Abracadabra!
Penn and Teller
Dates & Times: 14th – 18th July 2010, 7:30pm
Venue: HMV Hammersmith Apollo
Ticket Prices:£36.00 – £42.50
Official tickets for the show available from Ticketmaster here: http://www.ticketmaster.co.uk/Penn-Teller-tickets/artist/2651
If tickets are sold out for the event from TicketMaster, you can find secondary tickets from Viagogo here: http://www.viagogo.co.uk/searchResults.aspx?SearchText=penn%20&%20teller
Or from Ticketmaster owned GetMeIn here: http://www.getmein.com/comedy/penn–teller-tickets.html