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August 9th, 2015 | by lidia

Phil Jupitus swaps wisecracks for spiritual matters as Arthur Conan Doyle, writer and believer of life after death. In a real-life encounter, Doyle met world-famous magician Harry Houdini. The men became friends, sharing a curiosity of all things mysterious.

While Doyle staunchly defended an afterlife, Houdini saw only trickery behind life’s ‘miracles’. Friendship soon soured as sleuth and sceptic slugged it out in what became an infamous public feud and one neither man’s reputation could afford to lose.

Impossible tells the extraordinary story of two great men’s egoic joust. Alan Cox’s slippery Houdini is excellent, but Jupitus is the show’s heavyweight box office draw. His pipe-suckling purveyor of spirituality is both affable and amusing.

A thought-provoking period piece, ornamented by a perky support cast and some authentic magic tricks deftly performed by Cox. Leaving the audience with the Sherlockian task to unravel the mystery of humankind’s immortality alone.

Words: Mark Johnstone

Impossible, Pleasance Dome, 5-31 August (not 17), 1.20pm