Magician David Key has an alter ego for his younger audiences – The Great Armando. Armando is clearly well travelled, and carries with him an intriguing suitcase of magical surprises. Upon entering the theatre, young audience members were invited to sit on mats at the front so they can be extra close to The Great Armando, and have the magic happen right in front of their eyes! The Great Armando opened the show with his vibrant personality and a story about birthday parties, accompanied by clever rope magic.
Throughout the show, there were opportunities for audience members to shout responses to / at Armando, as well as chances for younger audience members to help create some magic. A personal favourite was a shared task to help Armando make a birthday cake, with various children making some wild suggestions (mustard?!) along with the usual cake ingredients and helping Armando to put all the ingredients into his magical cake pan. If you think children’s magic shows are all plain sailing, then guess again as Armando’s crazy adventures led him to juggle swords and glimpse fire (all safely of course – Armando is well trained and responsible). Armando is a genuinely lovely performer and goes to great lengths to ensure that everyone is welcome and having a great time at his show. Many times I was surrounded by happy faces, and the sound of laughter (including my own). I left the theatre feeling happy and blessed to have seen such a fun show. Sharing laughter and the joy of magic with friends made this show memorable.
Verdict: Fantastic family show suitable for very young children and up. A pleasant and entertaining show for adults, while Armando will have the children transfixed by his fun magic and excitable personality. Armando himself acts like a ‘big kid’ at times, which adds to the fun atmosphere of this show. A great show for all ages – travel with Armando on a fun, magic journey.