Wonderville ★★★★

Wonderville opens in a permanent home in London’s West End after a smash-hit season in 2021 – The Recs’ mind is truly boggled!

With so much doom and gloom in the world, wouldn’t it be great if there were a venue that you could lose yourself in a world of awe and illusion? As if by magic, suddenly Wonderville has appeared in London’s West End. 

This is one of those shows that gets better and better the deeper you get into it – there are three acts. By the end of Act Two, we were totally gripped, wide-eyed and mouth gaping! Advertised as boasting a changing cast each night, we cannot guarantee who you will see when you watch this mash up of magicians, circus acts, aerialists and vocalists, but fear not, as the talent as a whole is strong, and if you are lucky enough to see Chastity Belt, Marc Oberon and The Matricks, prepare to be truly impressed!

Photos by Mark Senior

Chastity Belt, one of the MCs of the evening, is a real show stealer and its fair to say that she more than makes her presence felt, bringing charisma and energy to the room. Her audience interaction is fantastic and her stunning vocals are a total highlight and an utter pleasure to listen to. She also has the looks and the costume changes to go with that of the glamourous sequin laden host that you wish for from a magic and cabaret show. What a star!

The magical talents that Marc Oberon presented were, quite honestly, beyond that of ‘magic’. His stage trickery, mind-reading and card skills are nothing other than unbelievable to behold. There is simply no reasonable explanation to what he was able to perform without the help of some kind of higher power. Our mind was truly BLOWN. The Matricks rounded off our show with a very impressive series of Paul Daniels and Debbie Magee style illusions, with not one but two magician’s assistants seemingly appearing and disappearing from inside an array of different boxes, with a finale that sees one of the assistants defy gravity and hover mid-stage apparently without the aid of wires or lifting apparatus. Your guess is a good as ours!

The venue is still somewhat haunted by its previous leaseholder and it’s fair to say a little more dressing and renovation would have increased the level of atmosphere and really set the stage for these brilliantly talented acts. The production is also a tad ‘caged’ by its new venue due to the elongated room, and at times it longs for all the action to be in the centre of the audience rather than in a proscenium arch configuration. The reason this becomes problematic at times is because some of the acts are magicians performing close-up magic and circus acts who perform pieces on the floor of the stage, and so an amount of leaning in and craning of necks can be expected for those sat at the rear of the ground level. Top tip, book the upper levels or at the front of the action!

All in all, Wonderville is a great night out with plenty of opportunity to socialise with your friends and family pre-show and during the two intervals, so if you’re looking for something a bit more eclectic and relaxed than a West End show, this is for you!

Like a rabbit from a hat, we have managed to conjure ★★★★ (4 stars) for Wonderville 

Wonderville Tickets

Wonderville hosts performances Tuesday - Sunday evenings at 8pm, and Saturday & Sunday matinees at 3pm.

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