Thieves do have a certain romantic allure, do they not? Especially those pesky pickpockets that smoothly operate in a an urban enviroment, going in and out without notice. That is, when they are not practicing their craft on you or those you care about. That conflict is the crux of Man Of Steal, a show in which James Freedman details his lifelong obsession with the craft of pick-pocketing and thieving.
He is in his own words an honest thief, who uses his skills to help others and raise awarness of the many dangers around. He does so by dazzling us with his skills, with brilliant sleight of hand and misdirection. It would be a shame to spoil the tricks that he does with the audience, not to mention the actor makes us promise at the end of show not to.
There is a bit of menace underneath everything. We are exposed to all sorts of dangers, and Freedman does a great job of detailing the fresh ways thieves are coming up with to grab our information and money, he does it with a dry wit and just enough personal anecdotes to pull us in. He is talking about serious things in the real world but at no point does it feel like a school lecture, which the subject does lend itself to.
The problem with writing about a show like this, almost anything will be spoiling the magic of it. Freedman is at his best when interacting with audience members he brings on stage, showing a gifted eye for people that will make good sports on stage, and then playing for all they are worth.
Cover your pin, be careful and don‘t be a mark. A simple and neccesary message that sounds far to dry for the fun that this show is. You will be dazzled, a bit crept out and subtly impressed. James Freedman is a tresure of knowledge and skill, but lets be grateful that he is on our side of the law. 4/5
Review written by Ingimar Sverrisson.
Man of Steal is currently showing at the Trafalgar Studios until Saturday 4th July. For more information on the production, visit here…
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