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Wonderville Magic & Illusion (was called "Wonderment")


Palace Theatre

113 Shaftesbury Avenue, Soho, London W1D 5AY 0343 208 0500

  • Synopsis
  • Theatremonkey show opinion
  • Theatremonkey seat opinion
  • Reader reviews
  • Performance schedule
  • Ticket prices

Ends 30th August 2021.

The West End is set for a magical summer with the world’s greatest magic stars delivering incredible
jaw-dropping illusions that will leave you speechless!

Palace Theatre banner
The cast. Photo: Pamela Raith.

MAGIC is coming back to the West End!

This summer at the Palace Theatre, the world’s greatest illusionists and mentalists are coming together in Wonderville, a jaw-dropping display of magic, illusion and technological trickery that will electrify, surprise and leave theatregoers in awe at what they are seeing on stage.  

So step inside the home of ‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child’ - and be transported by a variety performance like no other where the audience and their mobile phones play an integral part of the show... with comedy, illusion, magic, entertainment and mystery,  Wonderville is a fabulous show for all the family.

The company includes:
Multi-award-winning mind reader and TV star Chris Cox

Josephine Lee, a breakout star on ‘Britain’s Got Talent’ and the most talked about woman in magic
 

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Young and Strange (above, with Chris Cox - photo by Pamela Raith) hailed by Penn & Teller as “one of the greatest magic acts in the world”

Record-breaking Magic Circle triple champion Edward Hilsum

The fabulous variety line-up also includes Guinness World Record-holding Amazí and Symoné, stunning hula hoop artists who combine hooping with rollerskating and dance, who will alternate at performances during the season.

Wonderville extra performers.

There is also a line up of exciting guest stars - four of them making their West End magic debuts:
Kat Hudson
(25 - 30 August) appeared on ‘Britain’s Got Talent’, is one of the top female magicians in the UK, and has had 40 million views for her online magic. Her Northern charm and witty banter help make her stand out from other magicians. She makes sure there’s always a real buzz in the air whenever she’s interacting with her magic.
Twitter @KatHudsonMagic   Instagram @kathudsonmagic

Magic Singh (21 - 26 July & 11 - 16 August) began his magic career aged 11 on receiving a deck of trick cards. Today Magic Singh has over 2 million loyal followers on social media and transports his brilliantly unique and modern style of visual magic and mindreading to all corners of the globe. Twitter @magicsingh   Instagram @magicsingh

Emily England (28 July - 2 August) A fourth generation circus performer, Emily was a semi-finalist with her rollerskating brother on ‘Britain’s Got Talent’ and competed on ‘America’s Got Talent – The Champions’.  The Birmingham-born siblings now headline in the hit Las Vegas show ‘Absinthe’ at Caesar’s Palace. After switching to magic and training at the celebrated Las Vegas Magic School, this is Emily’s West End solo debut creating stage magic. Twitter @EmilyEngland_   Instagram @EmilyEngland_

Harry De Cruz (4 - 9 August) Everyone has a party trick. Harry has 374 and counting. As a pioneer within a new generation of creative magicians, Harry was Dynamo’s ‘Head of Magic’, he’s worked with Penn and Teller and has helped develop magic acts for ‘Britain’s Got Talent’ and ‘America’s Got Talent’. You might not have heard of Harry (yet) but if you’ve seen TV magic in the last 10 years, you’ve seen his work. ‘King of party tricks’ - Dynamo  ‘The REAL Harry Potter’ - JK Rowling
Twitter @HarryDeCruz   Instagram @KingOfPartyTricks & @HarryDeCruz

The guest star line-up is completed by  2020 ‘Britain’s Got Talent’ finalist Magical Bones (18 - 23 August) considered to be the most exciting talent to have emerged from the magic industry in recent years. He was an unforgettable ‘Britain’s Got Talent’ finalist in 2020 and starred in ‘Impossible’ in the West End.  Twitter @MagicalBones   Instagram magicalbones

The ensemble are Louise Douglas, Annalisa Midolo, Lee Pratt, Mervin Noronha.

Creative team:
Director Annabel Mutale Reed
Set Design Justin Williams
Costume Designer Penn O’Gara
Technical Manager Dickson Cossar
General Manager Carter Dixon Productions
Co-General Manager Ameena Hamid Productions
Production Manager John Rowland
Company Stage Manager Luciano Macis
Deputy Stage Manager Laura Mae-Parks
Assistant Stage Manager Abbie Procter
Head of Sound Ollie Dudman
Magic Consultant Chris Cox
Lead CAD Assistant Ethan Cheek
Design Assistant James Rasa
Lead Scenic Painter Charlotte Dennis
Carter Dixon Assistant Bailey Harris-Kelly

Producers:
John-Webb Carter and Jamie Chapman Dixon, Carter Dixon Productions, Stephen McGill, McGill Productions,
Piers Cottee-Jones, Piers Cottee-Jones Entertainment
in association with Mitchell Reeve for M. Green Productions, Carlos Candal and Paul Mansfield

 

Perfectly capturing the zeitgeist of this peculiar season, the little resort of “Wonderville” is the quintessential British summer holiday experience.

Channelling the spirit of “Seaside Special, “Britain’s Got Talent” and every variety theatre, cruise ship and holiday camp ballroom from Bournemouth to Blackpool, this superior magic show offers something for everybody.

A lively welcome from mentalist Chris Cox introduces the surprisingly large cast of magicians and assistants / dancers, before we get into the acts themselves. Each has a pair of spots in the show, so if they don’t have you wondering how they did it the first time, you get a second opportunity to become even more baffled.

Edward Hilsum is the first person to hold all three “Magic Circle” competition titles simultaneously. His slight-of-hand produces ribbons, rubber balls, candles and entertainingly named doves (Penn, Teller, Young, Strange, Troy, Luna, Mickey, and Harry) from secret compartments all over his outfit. Later, he does it all again with help of a scene-stealing 6-year-old from the audience – take a bow again, young Dev. As he says, it’s a long way from the 7-year-old sitting on the grass of a marquee, too shy to interact with the conjurer, but finding himself up there anyway.

Young and Strange are an established duo, friends since childhood. A cardboard box and some sharp splinter-laden dowels are a different twist on the “swords through a lady” routine. They move on to bigger stuff in the second half - a tribute to their heroes Siegfried and Roy, which would have left that great Las Vegas pair flattered. Done with Morecombe and Wise humour, it’s entertaining stuff.

For those who saw 2019’s “The Illusionists” at the Shaftesbury Theatre, mind-reading Chris Cox repeats both routines. Lockdown may have been harsh on him, and his gratitude at being back raises much applause, but it has clearly had a positive effect on his work. A ball of crazy “kid’s TV presenter” energy his actual work is just that bit slicker. The humour is quicker, the technique sharper than ever – Capricorns are good at making adjustments (you had to be there).

Providing a little break from magic, roller-skating Symone is a colourful interlude as hula hooping is taken to a whole new level. A slightly too-long dance break – Mervin Noronhh and Lee Pratt covering nicely – is worth it for the eye-popping finish.

Sadly, despite appearing in the opening sequence, a dislocated knee meant that Josephine Lee was unable to continue with her own spot in the show. Fortunately, a pair of guest acts (normally, only one per night) filled the unexpected gap.

Hull’s Kat Hudson made her West End debut with witty quips and a reminder of why nobody trusts mobile phone shops. A neat bit of mathematical audience interaction leaves us in no doubt just how calculating some magicians can be at times.

Later in the show, Emily England, acrobat-turned-magician gets the very best from a chair, a deck of cards, a volcanic magician’s top hat and a dancing neon light. An original way to present very traditional tricks.

Guided by a video screen, the whole show hangs together well enough to overcome the loss of a key cast member. There are really only two faults the monkey could pick up on. The first is that the whole does lack, for a keen magic fan, something totally original and exciting. Perhaps Ms Lee could have been it, so it would be unfair to overly emphasise the point without knowing.

What does need looking at is the show’s finale. Instead of ending on the high-energy Vegas tribute with the words “you have been watching” and a list of performers coming on to take their bows, we get Edward Hilsum overplaying slightly his hand. Bringing an exhausted child back onto the stage, then cueing a lengthy blackout for the team to assemble, made it seem as if they themselves are unsure the show is over. A slightly downbeat ending director Annabel Mutale Reed could easily have remedied.

Still, the preceding two hours are proper summer family entertainment, and both Londoners and visiting British staycationers should grab the opportunity of a taste of proper magical entertainment while they can.

*****************************

Wonderville extra performers.

Forgot to mention that this little critter hopped off the bar and into my bag during the interval. Nice to have a really good quality souvenir, reasonably priced. Cheered my mother up no end when she adopted it the next day. www.theatre-shop.co.uk/wonderville.

 

Based on paying FULL PRICE (no discount!) for tickets, site writers and contributing guests have ALSO created the colour-coded plans for "value for money," considering factors like views, comfort and value-for-money compared with other same-priced seats available.

Some notes for this extra event appear below. For a full discussion, opinions, reviews, notes, tips, hints and advice on all the seats in this theatre, visit the theatre page (link at the top of this page) and click on "BEST SEAT ADVICE" (on the left of your screen).

On the plans below:
Seats in GREEN many feel may offer either noticeable value, or something to compensate for a problem; for example, being a well-priced restricted view ticket. Any seats coloured LIGHT GREEN are sold at "premium" prices because the show producer thinks they are the best. The monkey says "you are only getting what you pay for" but uses this colour to highlight the ones it feels best at the price, and help everybody else find equally good seats nearby at lower prices.

Seats in WHITE, many feel, provided about what they pay for. Generally unremarkable.

Seats in RED are coloured to draw attention. Not necessarily to be avoided - maybe nothing specific is wrong with them, other than opinions that there are better seats at the same price. Other times there may be something to consider before buying – perhaps overpricing, obstructed views, less comfort etc.

Please remember that cheaper seats often do not offer the same view / location quality as top price ones, and that ticket prices are designed to reflect this difference.

To enable "social distancing," available locations may vary.

Palace Theatre value seating plan

In the stalls, the front row is currently removed, and row BB is cramped and only sold if the show is busy. The stage is high, legroom low in front of it.

Premium price seats are fairly reasonable, but you could go in front of them in row D or off to the sides from row H back or behind in row L and have a similar - cheaper - experience. Likewise, take rows Q or R at second price over row P - same view for fewer bananas.

Dress circle is similar - row D is perfect, so no need to pay more for central A to C. Skip H in favour of cheaper row I.

Upper circle seats are mostly second price - take anything in the stalls and dress circle for the same cash unless short and needing the height to see over those in front. Skip the back two rows as there are better views for the same money. Out to the ends of rows A and B are cheaper seats. B7 and B38 next to the more expensive ones are the way to go, otherwise look at the balcony. 

Balcony front seats are cheaper than those towards the back - the stage extends forward and you won't see much happening at the front of it (vital for a magic show). Go as far back as you can, taking F before G (even if you will miss something from that row) to save a few pounds. Take side block after central block in all rows.

The monkey advises checking performance times on your tickets and that performances are happening as scheduled, before travelling.


Monday at 7.30pm
Wednesday at 7.30pm
Thursday at 3pm and 7.30pm
Friday at 7.30pm
Saturday at 3.45pm and 7.45pm
Sunday at 3.45pm
NO TUESDAY PERFORMANCES.

Extra performance at 3pm on 30th August 2021.


Runs 2 hours 15 minutes approximately, including one interval.

Theatres use "dynamic pricing." Seat prices change according to demand for a particular performance. Prices below were compiled as booking originally opened. Current prices are advised at time of enquiry.

To enable "social distancing," locations may vary.

Palace Theatre price seating plan

When the box office does not have seats available, or you require an alternative choice of seats, the Theatremonkey Ticketshop, telephone 020 7420 9778 (0044 207 420 9778 if calling from outside the United Kingdom), agency service can offer seats with a variable "per ticket" service charge - £13.09 on £59.50, £10.89 on £49.50, £8.69 on £39.50, £7.15 on £32.50, £5.50 on £25, £4.29 on £19.50 seats. More than the box office, but well worth trying as it often has tickets when other companies do not! Note that this system will confirm exact seat numbers prior to purchase. A £1.95 per booking, not per ticket, handling fee may apply on some transactions by telephone. NO handling fee applies for online purchases.

Another alternative is www.seetickets.com which offers seats with a fee of £8.93 on £59.50, £7.43 on £49.50, £5.93 on £39.50, £4.88 on £32.50, £3.75 on £25, £2.93 on £19.50 seats; and £2.75 per booking (not per ticket) postal charge.

Alternatively, through Ticketmaster with a sliding scale of per ticket booking fees: £11.75 on £59.50, £9.75 on £49.50, £7.75 on £39.50, £6.50 on £32.50, £5 on £25, £3.50 on £19.50 seats. This system allows you to choose your own seats from the selection the company has available.

Encore Tickets (telephone 0207 400 1253 / 0044 207 400 1253 if calling from outside the United Kingdom) offer seats with booking fees of £11.50 on £59.50, £9.50 on £49.50, £8.50 on £39.50, £6.50 on £32.50, £5 on £25, £4.50 on £19.50 seats. A postage charge of £1.45 per booking, not per ticket may be applied to bookings made from UK addresses more than 5 days before the performance.

Discounts and "Meal and Show" packages may also be available. Hotel / theatre ticket packages are also available.

Londontheatredirect.com charge a booking fee of £12 on £59.50, £10 on £49.50, £8 on £39.50, £6.50 on £32.50, £5 on £25, £4 on £19.50 seats. There is a £1 per booking, not per ticket, transaction fee for collecting tickets from the box office before your performance. Alternatively, if time allows, there is a postage to your home option, costing £2.95 (£4.95 to non-UK addresses) per booking, not per ticket. Optional Ticket Insurance is also available. 

Discounts and Meal and Show Packages may also be available.

 

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