57-60 Haymarket (venue)
18 August 2022 (released)
18 August 2022
Wonderville promises 'magic, mystery and the unexpected' and this it delivers in spades, clubs, diamonds and most importantly hearts.
After Wonderville Magic and Illusion ran at the Palace Theatre in 2021, it now takes up residence in a purpose built intimate cabaret venue right in the centre of London. Designed by Justin Williams he has created a space that has old music hall charm and takes you on a journey of discovery as soon as you enter the foyer bar.
From the moment that our 'hosts for the evening' Desmond O'Connor and Chastity Belt move amongst the tables belting out Queens's 'It's a Kind of Magic' there is the realisation that this is going to be an evening where the familiar is given the Wonderville twist. Chastity Belt has a wonderful voice that soars and sparkles as much as her diamante covered costumes her rendition of 'Life on Mars' at the end of the evening being a highlight. Her ease and fun with the audience is matched by O'Connor's exuberant confidence and charm.
They linked and welcomed variety of acts that truly encompass what Variety is. There were the delightful invisible card tricks and playful engagement with the audience from Billy Kid, who was the first of the magic acts. Followed by the mind reading cleverness of Marc Oberon and the more dramatic prop led illusions of the slick Matricks.
Interspersed and adding to the delights were the variety acts which began with the creative multi-hoop spinning of Amazi. Then Snookie Mono, putting the seduction into sword swallowing. And in the later part of the evening, table 13 was cleared for the hair twisting aerial acrobatics of Tara Talland, followed the hilarious contortions of Abi Collins as her alter ego Ritxy Cracker. Her drunken clambering over a balcony rail and her hoop act with a far from reluctant member of the audience, will stay in the memory for a very long time.
Special mention must be given to Fay Presto who moved amongst the tables, during the intermissions doing enthralling, if not original close up magic, in her own indomitable way. It is in fact the closeness and inclusion of the audience to the evening's entertainment, that makes this such a fun night out.
With different acts and hosts appearing through the run, Wonderville should hopefully get audiences attending more than once and become an established event that everyone wants to flock to. For sheer entertainment Wonderville Magic and Cabaret is difficult to beat.