When you escape it’s “Man against machine”. The audience never feels like you are taking advantage of them.
The strait jacket or other confinement are devices. The drama is “Man against machine”. It’s a theatrical plot line where a person is restrained. The drama occurs when they escape. Sometimes the good- guy is restrained, sometimes the bad- guy. In both opposing cases it’s not na “Us against them” scenario. The theatre generated revolves around the device and wheather the actor can or can not escape (and the good or evil that comes from it).
In a live show, the people doing the restraining may or may not be members of the audience therefore the struggle is not connected to personality. The struggle is related to the ability of the person to escape. Because the struggle is not personality oriented it can not be considered an “Us against them” scenario. Adding a penalty is yet another layer or sub-plot. The penalty may be self- imposed such as hanging from a burning rope. If the performer does not escape in time, they fall on their head. Again there is no “Us against them” motivation so theatrically speaking, the struggle is “Man against machine”.
Escapes may begin with a challenge but the audience comes-over to your side when they realize you are trapped. In the case of select tricks, the only way the magic can happen is if the magician looks good but the audience does not. Many sucker tricks work that way. Incidentally I perform sucker tricks at parties all the time so I’m not degrading them. I’m saying that adding an escape, shows the audience you are not taking advantage of them.
Oh, you might be… But the perception is that you aren’t.