The Old Rep Theatre are capturing all the magic and charm of the enchanting tale of Alice and her adventures in Wonderland this Christmas. With brand new original music and a superbly talented cast, the production is perfect for all the family.
It’s the story we all know and love of young Alice who tumbles down the rabbit hole to find herself in the mystical world of Wonderland. Meeting a multitude of crazy characters along the way, she finds the whole situation rather curious but delves into the madness.
It’s a terrific story for characterisation and the six actors who all multi-role to bring these characters to life do a fantastic job. Grace Dean leads as the enthusiastic and expressive Alice whose curiosity guides her adventure. Dean performs the role sweetly with charisma and manages to keep the role childish and playful yet without being too sickly. She communicates with the audience throughout, encouraging interaction and this really enhances the warmth of the show.
The Old Rep beautifully creates the atmosphere of a large theatre but maintains the intimacy allowing children to really feel part of the production. Alec Fellows-Bennett steals the with his hilarious comedy timing and exceptional characterisation. He plays numerous roles in the show, including the Mad Hatter, and manages to maintain the strength of his humour but use details to really distinguish between the different characters, portraying his natural versatility.
Ewan Goddard impresses with his radiant vocals and exuberant energy as The White Rabbit amongst other roles, his spritely persona brings a breath of fresh air to the production. Similarly, Laura Curnick is ridiculously funny as the ditsy Dormouse and she completely captures the audience with her natural stage presence. Katie Paine brings a firm over-the-top feistiness to the role of The Queen of Hearts and Mark Collier is first-rate in contrasting roles as the slick Caterpillar and foolish Tweedledum.
Using inventive staging the production is executed remarkably. With the combination of projection, lighting tricks and scenery they move into each section of the weird yet wonderful world impressively. Transitions could have been smoother and speedier but overall each scene is executed well, in particular, Alice’s shrinking and growing scene. The costumes are detailed and highlight the mixture of characters tremendously, creating a visual feast for the eyes that are guaranteed to captivate both children and adults.
With original music by Steve Allan Jones, he manages to strike the perfect balance by amplifying the story with catchy, imaginative numbers that don’t overbear Alice’s journey. Director Scott Le Crass has cleverly stripped the extreme craziness of the show by focusing on the personalities of the different characters to really capture the attention of the children in the audience, and choreographer Lee Crowley has clearly thought about each of the character’s traits and brought them to life with his skilful choreography.
Alice In Wonderland is a delightfully endearing production that is flawlessly funny and perfect for a festive family trip to the theatre this Christmas.
On at the Old Rep Theatre in Birmingham until the 30th of December, tickets and information can be found here.