Film

Magic Mike Live is the stage show for women, by women

Opening tonight, we find out why Magic Mike Live is anything but just another strip show.

When the film Magic Mike opened back in 2012 little did anyone know that it would become the phenomenon it is today. Directed by Steven Soderbergh and starring Channing Tatum as a labourer by day and stripper in a lo-fi club by night the film became such a runaway hit that a sequel followed in 2015 and when a Vegas show was announced in 2017 the hysteria was palpable, with tickets sold out pretty much immediately.  And that same hysteria has now crossed the pond – Magic Mike Live London opens tonight. But for anyone expecting oiled up six packs and Ginuwine’s “Pony” on repeat, think again.

Conceived by Channing Tatum Magic Mike Live is very much about putting women first. In fact, most of the creators involved are women, working to squash tired stereotypes about women, sex and the male gaze. “There’s been a long history of clubs that have been made for men that women were not allowed in,” says production designer Rachel O’ Toole, “and this is made for women. It was really important to have a space that was not designed by a man for a woman. There is nothing wrong with women having a night out and there is nothing wrong with women having a really fantastic place to go for that night. Men have had these places for a long time and I can’t think of one place for women to go that is of this level.”

Even the audition set up was mindful – each dancer was vetted by a diverse board of women to ensure that every woman present felt comfortable in their company, a process that was important to co-director and choreographer Alison Faulk. “Every single element of the show has a lot of care and thought in it,” she says. “There is a lot of empowerment in this show. One of the coolest things that Chan(ning Tatum) always says is that he wants the show to give women more of what they truly want, and when they leave allowing themselves the permission to ask for more in life. This is about women feeling that they can voice what they want, and not feeling bad about it.”

Watch the full interview and go behind the scenes of Magic Mike Live in our video above.

Magic Mike Live opens tonight at the London Hippodrome. For more information visit the website.

28 November 2018