Steele Edge: Martial Arts Illusion Show

Steele Edge: Martial Arts Illusion Show bills itself as “a dynamic fusion of physical excitement and visual wonder” but it’s more of a bizarre fusion of vague ‘oriental’ stereotypes, slow motion fight scenes and mediocre magic.

Just when I thought we might be about to see a genuinely spectacular reveal, the show ended.

Opening with a choreographed display by two, admittedly talented martial artists, the show takes its first dubious turn when Jason Steele and Joanne take to the stage. Steele himself makes for an impressive enough presence; he’s tall, handsome and wearing a fabulous robe. His assistant Joanne however is dressed in what I can only assume they found by Googling “Chinese Wig” and setting the results to ‘Price Ascending” before pairing the results with a silk bathrobe. In today’s climate of cultural sensitivity, it’s an outfit that would get her banned from every student union costume party in the country. I guess they spent the entire budget on weaponry and the fantastic Chinese Dragon that appears early in the show.

We are then subjected to a series of illusions that draw polite applause except for the routines featuring swords or sharp sticks where the audience is genuinely concerned that Steele might actually hurt someone. Not due to the inherent danger of the trick – it’s just that you can imagine it going wrong pretty easily.

A card throwing bit simply shows that, for tonight at least, Steele isn’t actually very good at throwing cards and he has to send the one audience volunteer of the show back to his seat with polite, disappointed applause.

One major illusion draws laughs when the foot of the hidden assistant is clearly spotted as he climbs into place. It’s not the first time an illusion is spoiled by bad stagecraft but it’s the most blatant.

I don’t doubt that Steele is an accomplished stage magician but this show is a terrible vehicle for his skills. Too much emphasis on the theme means that the illusions take a back seat to the muddled fight scenes and overbearing soundtrack. The finale feels in need of a better trick and just when I thought we might be about to see a genuinely spectacular reveal, the show ended. I did like the dragon though.

Reviews by Frodo Allan

PBH's Free Fringe @ CC Blooms

Edward Hilsum: Silver

★★★★
PQA Venues @Riddle's Court

Westdal and Hayward Need Work

★★★★
Laughing Horse @ Cabaret Voltaire

MARVELus: Improv the MARVEL-verse

★★★★
Underbelly’s Circus Hub on the Meadows

Rouge

★★★★
Gilded Balloon Patter Hoose

Bubble Show: Milkshake and the Winter Bubble

★★★★
Just The Tonic at the Caves

Twonkey’s Ten Year Twitch

★★★★

Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Donate to Theatre MAD now

Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £600,000 to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
Donate to Acting For Others now

Performances

Location

The Blurb

Martial arts illusionist Jason Steele creates a dynamic fusion of physical excitement and visual wonder. Prepare to be amazed at the grand illusions, appearances, vanishes, transpositions, sleight of hand and sophisticated oriental magic. Be in awe of classical weaponry forms, skill, speed and accuracy. Enter into the world of the secretive ninja warrior assassin. The Steele Edge show is the ultimate in martial arts illusion, suspense and excitement for the whole family. A visual show performed entirely to music. A truly unique show not to be missed! Debuting at this year's Edinburgh Fringe.

Most Popular See More

Mamma Mia!

From £18.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Come From Away

From £18.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Pretty Woman: The Musical

From £18.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Moulin Rouge! The Musical

From £30.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Cinderella The Musical

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

My Fair Lady

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets