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Theatre Chat Live: Wonderville and When Darkness Falls

Hira Desai

By Hira Desai First Published 12 August 2021, Last Updated 12 August 2021

This week’s Theatre Chat Live episode is packed with spooky ghost-vibes and jaw-dropping magic! Jess is joined by William Barton and Alex Phelps from When Darkness Falls playing at the Park Theatre from 18 August and Josephine Lee from Wonderville Magic & Illusion at Palace Theatre.

First up is Will and Alex who are starring as John Blondel and The Speaker, respectively, in When Darkness Falls which is a brand new hair-rising ghost story that may or may not keep you awake at night!

Speaking from their rehearsal room, Will describes his character John as a historian from Guernsey who is is working on a vlog based on ghost stories. Alex, who plays The Speaker, is a special guest invited to speak on John’s show. As The Speaker shares his stories, many of which are based on true events/folk stories of the local Guernsey people, it’s not long before lots of weird things begin to occur! Without giving too much away, Will and Alex promise lots of suspense, humour and spine-chilling moments! It’s a lovely blend of fiction and history.

When Darkness Falls, Alex Phelps & Will Barton. (Credit Michael Wharley)

Alex explains to Jess that they’re beyond excited to be working with magic and illusion designer, John Bulleid (Magic & Illusion Assistant, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child) who helps them bring to life their ideas. The moments of suspense are in the writing with moments of illusions or tricks that combined together, makes for a real eerie experience (especially as the venue is really intimate and there’s no way to escape it!) Diving more into the ghost story theme, Will and Alex discuss what ghost stories they’ve heard over the years (which may or may not make you giggle!) Check out the full episode below to find out more!

The second guest of the night is Josephine Lee, a breakout star on Britain’s Got Talent and the most talked about woman in magic! Josephine is currently starring in Wonderville Magic & Illusion, a show that’s got something for everyone. The spectacle features multi-award-winning Mind Reader and TV star Chris Cox Ed, Edward Hilsum who won magician of the year at the Magic Circle, comedy act Young and Strange who, Josephine says never fail to make her buckle with laughter, international hula hooper Amazi and Symoné who combines hula hooping with roller skating and dance (both of whom hold a Guinness World Record!) Plus, every week there is a surprise special guests, with plenty of opportunities for audiences to participate. You can read all about our experience at Wonderville below!

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Josephine share her journey into magic, explaining that while she began as a dancer, when she stepped in to replace a magic assistance temporarily, she fell in love with magic! After a little taste of the reactions from the audience, dancing took a back seat and she’s made a career out of magic ever since. 

While she thoroughly enjoys her TV experiences, Josephine explains that there is nothing quite as exciting as being able to be in front of a live audience and connecting with them in theatre, is the best feeling ever. Talking about the role of females in the magic industry/genre, Josephine says it’s important to follow her passion to show that if you work hard, it will pay off and that there are 3 women in magic in the West End which is well worth celebrating!

To find out more about this family-friendly show, the inspiration behind Josephine’s acts and what it’s like to rehearse as part of a variety show, check out the full episode below.

If the above has got you feeling inspired to see some magic, book to see Wonderville, Magic & Illusion below! And don’t forget, if you’re looking to see a show with the kids this summer, this show is part of our Kids Week promotion which means families can enjoy half-price tickets to see the show throughout August. To enjoy the very best in comedy, illusion, magic, entertainment and mystery, book your tickets now.


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