Alice in Wonderland

It never ceases to amaze me that directors stage plays for children and then add unnecessary bits that do nothing to advance the plot, confuse the children and clutter up the story. In my humble opinion, for kids, the story is all and anything that detracts from the story is wrong.

This adaptation of Alice In Wonderland is a classic example of what I mean. The director , Peter Hinton, is too focused on the book, working hard to include the parents, sisters and Charles Dodgson in the opening scene of both acts and at the end of the story, when really the kids don’t care. They just want to know about Alice’s adventures!

Now that I have my rant out of the way…. It is a beautiful production. Wonderful sets, visual effects and costumes. I could not help wondering about the cost of all the video effects, even while I was enjoying them.

Tara Rosling was a wonderful Alice. Moya O’Connell was delightful as the Queen of Hearts, nicely paired with  Reggie, the King of Hearts, played by Jay Turvey. Donna Bellevile was excellent as the Duchess and Graeme Somerville equally good as the Mad Hatter and the Mock Turtle.

It was lovely to see and fun to watch, but it could have been shorter and better.


About cathyriggall

Theatre junkie, who thinks live theatre is the ultimate form of living on the edge. You never know what will happen when an actor steps on the stage.
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3 Responses to Alice in Wonderland

  1. keithhpotter says:

    Beautiful staging with very imaginative use of screens – much superior to Alice Through the Looking Glass at Stratford. Hats off to Eo Sharpe, who also did a lovely job for Pygmalion (last year?). And the cast was again excellent, particularly Rosling, Somerville and O’Connell. (I hope Somerville gets something more substantial next season. It certainly capable of more.)
    However, I must agree that the director was schizophrenic about whether or not this was for kids. The bookending was unnecessary and the costuming, emphasising the relationship between the characters in Alice Liddell’s life and in Wonderland, was unnecessary for the adults and confusing for the kids.
    Like Stratford, Shaw recognises the economic desirability of a show for children, (and the need to groom a new audience for the future), but neither festival really seems to have their heart in it.

  2. keithhpotter says:

    I forgot to mention: the songs sucked. Words and music. If they cannot do better, they should do without.

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