A new venue has opened in the West End.
Wonderville, the show of magic and illusion, was one of the first to reopen the West End, last summer, after the pandemic, at the Palace theatre. During its run, 25,000 people watched the show.
This year, Wonderville moves to a brand new venue, where audiences are immersed in a purpose-built intimate cabaret table seated, just one minute from Piccadilly Circus.
The theatre, the bar and the café have been nicely designed by Justin Williams. Justin is a graduate of Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts and has been nominated for seven Off West End Awards for Best Set Designer* and was a shortlisted finalist in 2020. The MCs Desmond O’Connor and Chastity Belt move around the tables, but if you want a good view, choose carefully your seat, because from some areas the stage can be barely seen.
The venue is open as a café and bar all day long, with performances every night from Tuesday to Sunday.
The press night featured acts from Billy Kidd, Matricks, Fay Presto, Marc Oberon, Tara Tailand, Snookie Mono and Abi Collins.
Creative Director Laura Corcoran and Magic Consultant Chris Cox have tried to create a show where magic and cabaret combine together, for a night of escapism and fun, but not really achieving it. It has overall more of a “talent night feeling” than a “West End show feeling”.
Some of the “mind reading” by Martin Oberon was quite well done and he had a good stage presence but the show doesn’t deliver the "mesmerising" night of entertainment promised.
Many people were amused and a few of the tricks were well done, which did demonstrate the obvious talent and experience of some of the acts. If you like this type of production you’ll probably enjoy Wonderville, but definitely don’t go with high expectations.
Wonderville has an initial booking period to 30 October.
Photo: Mark Senior