Magic Mike Heads to the West End

Whether you’re a fan of male dancers or not, there’s a good chance you’ve heard of the Channing Tatum-starring franchise Magic Mike. Now approaching its third iteration (Magic Mike’s Last Dance was announced in 2021), the two movies to date have grossed $294m worldwide, making it one of the most popular films about entertainers since The Full Monty introduced the world to the appeal of the adult stage show. 

A Birthday Celebration

Magic Mike actually takes its cues from an episode in Tatum’s own life. The Step Up (2006) star worked as an entertainer and dancer in Florida before being cast in a music video for Ricky Martin at the turn of the millennium. “Chan Crawford” actually pitched the idea for Magic Mike himself. However, the 2015 sequel Magic Mike XXL seems to have taken a few more liberties with the source material. 

As a franchise, Magic Mike has expanded way beyond Hollywood movies. In 2021, American Network HBO created a reality show loosely based on the film entitled Finding Magic Mike. It had roughly the same format as Sylvester Stallone’s boxing series The Contender, which pitted contestants against each other in various events until a winner was found. 

Due to its off-screen potential, it was almost inevitable that Magic Mike would find its way onto a physical stage, eventually. Initially, Magic Mike was slated for a Broadway appearance, but that spin-off doesn’t seem to have materialised yet. The West End of London has had more success, though, greeting the show on July 13th, as part of the beginning of a birthday celebration at The Hippodrome Casino. 

Roulette

The Hippodrome Casino describes itself as an established part of West End life and, after ten years of sitting on a corner in London’s Leicester Square, it’s easy to see why. Currently, the largest entertainment venue in the UK, The Hippodrome Casino is one-half of a business that also includes the online casino of the same name. The (physical) casino was opened in July 2012 by Boris Johnson, who was the Mayor of London at the time.

Of the casino games that the operator has available, the two most popular are roulette and the slot game Lucky Lady’s Charm. Hosting around 14m customers since 2012, with an average of 30,000 a week, The Hippodrome Casino has a ready-made audience for its Magic Mike performances – and, in fact, it recently became one of the fastest-selling shows in West End history.

The Hippodrome Casino also holds sports events and poker tournaments and has a 100-seater Heliot Steak House on site. Self-contained eateries and a rooftop terrace that looks out over the West End provide customers with the opportunity to socialise before shows like Magic Mike. The Hippodrome Casino offers VIP experiences too, which include food and beverages. These packages can be themed around Magic Mike and can last an entire weekend. 

Overall, the Magic Mike franchise has grown from rags to riches echoing Channing Tatum’s life to a global phenomenon in just a decade since its first outing. 

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