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Wonderville: Magic and Cabaret

Cabaret is not just the name of a highly successful musical and film, but according to my good buddies at Wikipedia is a form of theatrical entertainment featuring music, song, dance, recitation, or drama. The performance venue might be a pub, a casino, a hotel, a restaurant, or a nightclub with a stage for performances. The audience, often dining or drinking, does not typically dance but usually sits at tables. And if you want a fine example of the artform I can highly recommend that you take a trip to Wonderville: Magic and Cabaret in its new home on London’s Haymarket.

Wonderville: Magic and Cabaret
Wonderville: Magic and Cabaret – Photo credit Mark Senior.

What will you get when you arrive? Well, first you will enter the wonderful bar that has the feel of being there forever waiting to be discovered – full credit to Designer Justin Williams there. Once you pass into the auditorium, the excitement increases. The walls are festooned with magicians and performers from a bygone age and at the end there is a stage with red velvet curtains ready to part and provide a good three hours of entertainment. On my visit, our MCs were the delightful Desmond O’Connor and the truly gorgeous Chastity Belt. After wowing us with their vocals and banter, they introduced the rest of the acts. There were magicians; Billy Kidd – someone that really knows their way around invisible playing cards (trust me its impressive – Marc Oberon – whose work with random members of the audience was amazing – and fresh from Britain’s Got Talent‘s The Matricks, wowing us as they did Simon and friends. I love magic, and even when I know how a trick is performed – which I did in a couple of cases thanks to Breaking the Magician’s Code: Magic’s Biggest Secrets Finally Revealed – I still watched spellbound, and despite what my companion, the lovely Samantha was suggesting the only plants in the audience were sat on the side in pots.

But it wasn’t all illusion and, in addition to the above, we were treated to the sword swallowing antics of Snookie Mono, the hair-raising gymnastics of Tara Talland and the, well I can’t really describe it but it was a brilliant, performance of Abi Collins. Not just that but during the interval, there was close-up table magic brought to us by Fay Pesto. Marvellous.

How do I sum up Wonderville: Magic and Cabaret? It was an amazing, good old variety show of the kind that used to be so familiar on a Sunday night on the television, but with real people performing in a real place with a real and highly appreciative audience. I was entranced as I walked in and equally entranced the entire time. The hosts were glamorous and highly entertaining, the acts were spectacular, the ambience friendly and the overall experience simply awesome. If you only go to one variety spectacular this year, then make sure Wonderville: Magic and Cabaret is the one.

5 Star Rating

Review by Terry Eastham

Five acts will take you on a trip ‘to a place of wonder’ (Broadway World) as we bring you a breath-taking display of magic and cabaret that will entertain, delight and amaze. Don’t miss this fresh spin on one of the greatest historical art forms.

57-60 Haymarket (Formerly Planet Hollywood)
St. James’s, London SW1Y 4QX

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