A press day on a Saturday afternoon – it must be nearly Christmas. Today we were very excited to attend the press event for the opening of Alice in Wonderland at Birmingham’s Old Rep Theatre. As well as getting to see the show, we also enjoyed a Mad Hatter’s tea party and craft session before the show, making this a very special and memorable afternoon.
Alice in Wonderland is a classic tale, and this is a production that more than does it justice, being funny, magical and charming in equal measure. There is a clever mix of action, songs and puppetry, and the songs in particular, are memorable and catchy, a great new score that really suits the musical and the audience. The down the rabbit hole sequences are cleverly done with the use of music and lights that give it a dreamlike feel, and the use of the different sized doors and sets are also achieved smoothly.
But it is the talented cast that really make this show a delight. Alice is played by Grace Dean and is wonderfully feisty, especially when standing up to the Queen of Hearts, played wonderfully wickedly by Katie Paine. The weird and wonderful characters the Mad Hatter, the Doormouse and The White Rabbit are also great, particularly Alec Fellows-Bennett as the Mad Hatter. He, along with Laura Curnick and Ewan Goddard, bring enormous verve and likeability to their roles and this delighted the young audience.
The other fantastic characters are also impressive, from Mark Collier as the giant caterpillar, to the puppetry of the fabulous Cheshire Cat. They are ably supported by an ensemble cast who perform the song and dance numbers with panache and enthusiasm. This is clearly a cast that is enjoying itself and is able to pull the audience along with the sheer delight of the show.
If you are looking for something a little different from the traditional pantomime this year, then I would definitely check out Alice in Wonderland this Christmas.
Alice In Wonderland
The Old Rep Theatre
Until December 30th
Click here for Ticket Information