Review: Wonderville (Palace Theatre)

I’ve been a fan of magic most of my life. I love the spectacle and implied danger of big illusions, and admire the skill of the close-up experts.

In Wonderville, which has been delayed in opening and retitled from original publicity, you get a full-scale magic and variety show which should please most people.

There are no tricks or routines which are really that new – appearing doves, sawing a woman in half, and card tricks all play their part.

MC and mindreader Chris Cox is delightful, and his skill is quite baffling, with audience manipulation at the fore on a screen and through the use of suggestion cards collated before the show.

Young and Strange with Chris Cox

Both he and accomplished double act Young and Strange have comic chops: the latter particularly impressive in a Vegas style set of routines to pulsing 80s rock dramas apeing those huge spectacle shows.

Amiable Edward Hilsum brought out the birds plus a range of other tricks relying on the appearance, disappearance and transformation of objects. His charm and diversionary tactics made his magic faultless.

Josephine Lee – who sadly injured her knee in act one and had to sit out the remainder of the show – is billed as “the greatest female illusionist”, and she has a showy, sparkly personality.

Elsewhere on the bill was Symone, one of two alternating record breaking hula hoopers, and guest Emily England, who mixes elementary magic with circus contortions to the accompanying music of Ella James.

Josephine Lee

At Sunday’s afternoon show, two children participated in routines with Cox and Hilsum, which gave a bit of cuteness to proceedings. This show may be more suited as a whole to older children, but it is pitched well to interest all ages.

Wonderville provides good, solid entertainment delivered with enthusiasm. Taking up temporary residence in Harry Potter’s London home, the Palace Theatre, the show is on until 30 August as part of NIMAX’s Rising Stars festival and can ve booked here.

Image credit: Pamela Raith

LouReviews received complimentary tickets to review Wonderville.

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