Culture24 Listings Pick: The Magician's Box at the Museum of English Rural Life, Reading

Chosen by Ben Miller | 17 September 2010
A photo of three people with horses in a country setting
Award-winning theatre company Mad Dogs and Englishmen Theatre Company head to the Museum of English Rural Life in Reading
In Victorian times, the eccentric and intriguing John Joseph Mechi won fame and notoriety for his razor strop, which could polish and sharpen blades on knives and skin scrapers. Charles Dickens reckoned this mysterious enigma was a magician, and he went on to become an Alderman of London with a spectacular emporium on Oxford Street.

Based around a Victorian kaleidoscope, this production by the award-winning Mad Dogs and Englishmen Theatre Company tells the true story of his attempt to chance his luck in agriculture. It celebrates the 150th anniversary of the Royal Agricultural Benevolence Institution Mechi founded and, judging by the reviews it has received so far, seems to have brought much of his theatrical charm along for the ride.

Suitable for over-8s. Performances on Monday (September 20 2010), 2.30pm and 7.30pm. Tickets £15/£12, call 0118 378 8660 or email merlevents@reading.ac.uk
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