Review: Alice’s Adventure in Wonderland – Outdoor Theatre Season at Wollaton Park

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You’re never too old to enjoy a good story of magic and mayhem.

 

Chapterhouse Theatre’s Production of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland does not disappoint, delivering plenty of both in large colourful doses.

The setting is magical before they even begin.  What could be more perfect than outdoor theatre to enjoy the glorious weather we’ve had recently?  So picnic and blanket in hand I joined the huge crowd that had gathered at the sell-out performance at Wollaton Hall which provided a wonderful backdrop and a natural woodland setting

It seemed like I was not the only big kid there, The production was enjoyed by old and young alike from toddlers in pushchairs to their grannies as well as women enjoying a prosecco in the sunshine.

Based on the 1865 novel written by Lewis Carroll. Our story tells of a young girl named Alice who looking for fun and adventure on the riverbank lazy spots a white rabbit rushing past, exclaiming he’s late. Following him she falls through a rabbit hole into a fantasy world.  Here she meets some of the most well known characters of fairytale history, the White Rabbit and the Queen of Hearts, as well as the Mock Turtle and the Cheshire Cat.

This new telling of the story by Laura Turner and produced by Richard Main stays true to the original in many ways with plenty of fantasy and fun, poetry and song, taking inspiration from all the unforgettable and larger than life characters.

Our Alice is played beautifully and believably by Eleanor Faye who captures the  naivety and innocence of our heroine. She is the only actor to take on one role (understandably).  The rest of this talented bunch take on between two to four roles each as well as moving around scenery. Meaning some pretty nifty costume changes.

Zachery Price, delivers a brilliant performance as the White Rabbit, some of my other favourite characters and performances came from Lottie Goodchild as our Queen of Hearts and Jayson Baird as The Hatter and the Gryphon.

The simple set and costumes are as strange, brave and colourfully bold as you would wish or imagine.  Large playing cards adorn the front of the stage and the cast make clever use of puppetry, props and sheer imagination to make the transitions between scenes flow easily. The tricky problem of Alice shrinking solved ingeniously and yet simply with expanding doors, steps and props.

For the most part the audience were absorbed in the magic, even accepting an invitation to a very mad party with Alice and the white rabbit where you’ll end up dancing and singing. You will probably also find that the song “Beautiful Soup” sticks around in your head, curiously longer than you’d like it to.

The talented cast, under the direction of Karen Crow do a magical job of bringing this well-known classic to life before your eyes.

 

Chapterhouse Theatre Company bring a series of productions to outdoor venues around Nottingham this summer, including Sense & Sensibility, Robin Hood & his Merry Men and A Mid Summer Night’s Dream.  For more details visit: http://www.chapterhouse.org and book your own magical memorable experience.

 

By Tanya Louise

Editor

@tanyalouise_

tanyalouise.net

 

 

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