Wonderville: Magic & Cabaret
Rating: ★★★
Venue: Brand New Haymarket Cabaret Venue
Cast: Desmond O'Connor, Chastity Belt, Billy Kidd, Marc Oberon, The Matricks, Fay Presto, Abi Collins, Tara Talland and Snookie Mono 

Following a smash-hit season at the Palace Theatre last year, the producers behind Wonderville: Magic & Illusion bring the next chapter in the Wonderville story – Wonderville Magic & Cabaret. The show will take residence on Haymarket in its own cabaret venue just 2 minutes from Piccadilly Circus.

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. 

A year after Wonderville at the Palace, Wonderville has returned to the West End. This time in a brand new cabaret venue, in the heart of London. Where Planet Hollywood used to reside, Wonderville now takes centre stage. With a selection of 50 acts to choose from, it's unlikely you'll experience the same show twice! Who you'll see on the show of your choosing is a mystery, and all part of the magic.

Firstly, let's talk about the venue. I was gutted to see Planet Hollywood go, but this new intimate venue in the centre of London is absolutely gorgeous. As it is so compact, you really feel involved in the entirety of the show, wherever you may be sitting. With many acts weaving in and out of the tables, and encouraging audience participation, it's easy to get lost in the magic

One thing I will say about the venue is that it doesn't feel quite big enough for the acts it's trying to showcase. For example, Tara Talland and her gravity defying aerial act was exceptional; however, she was performing the act on a table in the middle of the room. Because of the lack of space, I didn't feel it did justice to how good the act was.

The highlight of the evening for me was Chastity Belt. One of our MC's for the evening, she was everything you could ask for from a cabaret host. While her voice is exceptional, and she had several showstopping numbers throughout the evening, it was her personality that bowled me over. She was sexy, witty and had the audience under her spell almost immediately. Her outfits are also worthy of a mention because her many sparkly outfit changes throughout the night didn't go unnoticed. 

Another standout performer of the evening was Abi Collins, who I've had the pleasure of seeing before. Her stage name, Ritzi Crackers, is very apt as she's absolutely bonkers! Crawling haphazardly across tables and pulling audience members up on stage to aid with her hula hooping act; she's absolutely hilarious, and my only complaint would be that I wished she had a longer set!  

Considering it's penned as a magic show, you'd think the magic would be the star of the show. However, that wasn't the case; for me, at least. When looking at the other acts of the evening, the magicians paled in comparison. While Billy Kidd was hilarious, and Marc Oberon offered a few good card tricks; the magic just felt a little underwhelming. The Matricks were the closing act of the show, and I found myself feeling deflated at the lack of originality.

In a show that lasts two hours, split into three half hour acts, with breaks in between, it did feel very stop-start. This meant that it felt quite clunky at times. 

Although there are improvements to be made, I appreciate that it is a new venue, and a new show, so I'm hoping it continues to improve throughout the run. I'd be interested in returning and seeing which acts I was met with next time. Saying this, I can not imagine the show without the jaw-dropping Chastity Belt!

The show is a lot of fun, and it's safe to say that the stars of the show are the MC's and variety acts. I'd recommend the show for those acts alone! If you're looking for a night full of frolics, laughter and a little sauciness, this is the show for you.

You can buy tickets to Wonderville: Magic & Cabaret here

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