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Review: Man of Steal at Trafalgar Studios


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"It makes me feel a bit sick", says the innocent, slightly green, victim to James Freedman after being called onto stage following his most precious belonging having been stolen from him.

James Freedman stands before us, not to be mistaken for a different kind of superhero with slick back black hair and underwear over his trousers. Joined by him are two slightly nervous looking audience members, consciously checking their pockets every now and then as Freedman teaches them how to avoid pickpockets, identity thieves and thugs.

Described as an expert in stealth crime and acknowledged as one of the world's best pickpockets, James Freedman brings his show Man of Steal to Trafalgar Studios for six weeks only to educate the masses on how to avoid falling victim to fraudsters and pickpockets alike. He tells us how the next 70 minutes will change the way we think; quite a bold statement to live up to. There was an immediate sense of the ominous before the show had began, with eerie music and the knowledge that one member of the audience has already had their "most precious belonging" stolen from them, and trust me, it's impressive. See the show as a non-fiction way of avoiding our beloved previous resident of Drury Lane; Oliver Twist.

The elegance that Freedman would pickpocket was pretty, well, beautiful in its own simple qnd elegant way. An art, as such. We learn about Freedman's honest beginnings and how he ended up working closely with the police and other special security services right educate and inform on crime prevention, social engineering and fraud.

The biggest applause, however, must go to Lizzy, an unsuspecting member of the audience who joined Freedman for a large majority of the show. Her humour to the situations she was put in were Oliver Award-winning deserving.

You don't want to mess with the only person to have successfully picked the pockets of the Mayor of London, the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Governor of The Bank of England. Man of Steal makes you want to live your life as a hermit to ensure nothing gets inevitably stolen.

Cover your pin, don't keep your phone in your back pocket and see this show.

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