Theatre Review: Wonderville

Five incredible acts. A vaudevillian journey of illusion. 

Synopsis

Wonderville gives a fresh, dynamic and thrilling spin on one of the greatest historical art forms, magic. Five acts will appear at each performance and showcase their incredible talents.

The acts are the multi-award-winning Mind Reader and TV star Chris Cox, star of Britain’s Got Talent’s Josephine Lee, stage illusionists Young and Strange and Magic Circle Champion Edward Hilsum

Maz Olayiwola and Symoné are the 5th act, each playing selective performances during the run. Maz is an international hula hooper and Symoné combines hula hooping, roller skating and dance, they both currently hold a Guinness World Record with their hoop troupe, Marawa’s Majorettes. They will be joined by special guests at each performance.

Review

There are many different types of magic. A lot of them depend on what we choose to believe.

And I choose to believe in the magic of theatre. The smell of the greasepaint, the roar of the crowd. The anticipation of curtain up…

Wonderville provides us with all this and more. It’s a collection of some of the world’s greatest acts, combining acrobatics, magic and illusion to thrill and delight people of all ages.

It’s really quite special. No matter how much you scrutinise the performances, it’s almost impossible to figure them out. Transitions are so fast it’s like real magic and every trick produces gasps and shrieks of joy.

Some of them perhaps take too long to get to the climax, which detracts from the overall performance of the trick; others are so unbelievable your brain convinces you it’s a setup!

You may have seen hula hooping before but Symoné does it while oozing style on roller skates and Kat Hudson does things with a calculator that will have you wondering why you ever found maths boring.

Young and Strange use all manner of sharp implements to saw people in half and Edward Hilsum summons true emotion from the audience as he shares his magic with a small boy. Meanwhile, Emily England shows a subtle charm as she plucks cards out of thin air, before performing beautiful acrobatics.

Chris Cox is a born showman, keeping us on our toes and the show together. Can he read minds? Probably not… did he shock those whose minds he read? Absolutely. Is it still show-worthy? Hell yeah!

It’s not the first production I’ve seen this year, but it is unique and wonderful. I left feeling as though my heart had grown three sizes during the show. Beautiful, heartfelt and absolutely magical.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Note – Josephine Lee was unable to perform due to injury.

I was provided with tickets and a programme by Kevin Wilson PR. All opinions my own.

Originally written and reviewed for West End Wilma.

For more theatre and book reviews, please follow @Paradise_Library on Instagram.

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