Magical Escapism at The Palace!

Chris Cox (Photo: Pamela Raith)

What better tonic to bring us out of lockdown than Wonderville a variety show of magic, illusions and mind reading.  This show is suitable for the whole family providing you haven’t got children with a circular saw who want to practise sawing mummy in half on the kitchen table!  This show has to come with a “Don’t Try This At Home” warning.

Cheerful Chris Cox of CCBC and The Illusionists fame introduces the show and does some incredible mind reading.  We were asked to fill out cards and seal them in envelopes before the show and the box containing them was in our view and I noticed that different questions were on my companion’s card but I didn’t see his answers.  It is done very well and we were still trying to work out how it was done after the show!

Edward Hilsum and dove (Photo: Mark Senior)

Edward Hilsum was voted stage Magician of the Year in 2018 by the Magic Circle.  He was invited to join the Magic Circle at just 18, and sponsored to develop a successful show in Las Vegas. He starts in a spectacular way throwing what seemed like a fire cracker into the audience, like liquid flame flying through the air.  He magics multiplying red balls with no idea where they come from and producing the sweetest white doves from nowhere.  He is a charming and smiley magician and works with a six year old from the audience in a delightful way. There is French music accompanying his act. 

Young and Strange saw their assistant in half (Photo: Pamela Raith)

Young and Strange are considerably more sinister, especially Strange who is tall and moves uncomfortably making us believe he really is strange!  Their act has an altogether darker edge as he pushes sharpened stakes through a cardboard box and out the other side when Richard Young was in the box.  22 Sticks are positioned in this mind boggling way.

Young and Strange with Chris Cox in stripes (Photo: Pamela Raith)

Hoopla artiste Symoné skates to music.  Was that a Moonwalk on skates?  She forms amazing rainbow, translucent bubbles with holographic producing, gravity defying metallic hoops. She is a Guinness world record holder.  Emily England from America’s Got Talent will perform contortions with a light stick and produce cards from nowhere in a Harlequin inspired costume.

Young and Strange will find original ways to chop their assistant in half and you’ll be relieved that no tigers are hurt in the making of this family friendly show!  

Production Notes


Director and Additional Writing: Annabel Mutale Reed



Chris Cox

Josephine Lee

Young and Strange

Edward Hilsum




Louise Douglas

Annalisa Midolo

Lee Pratt

Mervin Noronha

Kat Hudson

Harry De Cruz

Magical Bones

Emily England

Magic Singh


Director: Annabel Mutale Reed

Set Designer: Justin Williams

Costume Design: Penn O’Gara

Head of Sound: Ollie Dudman


Running Time: Two hours 15 minutes with an interval

Booking to 5th September 2021


The Palace Theatre

113 Shaftesbury Avenue



Phone: 0330 333 4813


Tube: Leicester Square

Reviewed by Lizzie Loveridge at the Palace Theatre 

on 23rd June 2021