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Given the random selection of artists, it is a lottery for spectators on any given night. The key to the success is the choice of MC, and I was lucky enough to have the big-voiced, spangled diva Miss Chastity Belt running the show with audience banter that skirted the edges of camp repartee and mild insults.
Her renditions of London Calling, Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend and Life on Mars? rock the joint to its foundations. Squeezing between the tables like a sequinned ship negotiating narrow straits, she elevates the slightly tacky milieu with affectionate hyperbole.
The acts are varied – Amazi Olayiwola is a slinky, sexy opener, her lithe body undulating like a belly dancer while hoops spin around her midriff, limbs and neck.
Harry Potter lookalike Harry De Cruz is a DIY conjuror, illustrating the difference between magic tricks and party tricks through a funny flame-throwing trick with a straw and a mouthful of cocoa powder and a room-length chute involving a metal measuring tape and a Malteser.
Big illusions of the old-fashioned type are provided by Britain’s Got Talent refugees Matricks Illusion, involving light sabres pierced through a box containing a scantily clad woman and a levitating girl.
Marc Oberon is the best magician, though he suffers from having the creepiest persona on stage.
Most enjoyable was the sleazily insouciant Snookie Mono, whose sword swallowing act is a brilliant combination of knowing caricature and carnival artistry.
The music is loud, the atmosphere just the right side of tawdry and the cocktail of magic, burlesque and circus comes across like a bargain basement Las Vegas revue.
I rather enjoyed it.
Wonderville, Piccadilly Theatre, London, until October 30. Tickets: 0333 009 6690
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