Reviewed: Alice In Wonderland At The Old Rep

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

The Alice Boutique invites you down the rabbit hole

It is no exaggeration to say that Alice in Wonderland is having a bit of a moment. Alice Liddle, the little girl who was Alice, is profiled in this month’s Vogue, whilst the V&A museum of childhood will be hosting an exhibition next month entitled ‘The Alice look’ which will examine how Alice has been portrayed over the years. Even the Royal Mail is getting in on the Alice act with a commemorative set of stamps.

In Birmingham, last week saw the launch of a stunning new collection of ceremics and stationary from the wonderful Alice Boutique, a launch that invited selected bloggers to take a trip down the rabbit hole (actually the basement bar of The Bureau, but rather wonderful all the same. There, guests were able to peruse the collection whilst getting into the Wonderland spirit with a dressing up box, croquet played with the obligatory flamingoes and lots of wonderful cocktails just beckoning you to ‘drink me’. It was all rather surreal and pretty amazing.

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With Emily Jayne at The Bureau, Birmingham

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Earning my Rabbit Ears at the launch of The Alice Boutique

Fabulous Gin Sling cocktails

Fabulous Gin Sling cocktails

Getting ready for a game of Croquet

Getting ready for a game of Croquet

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The Alice Boutique is the brainchild of Tracie Bedwood, well known in the Midlands has the founder of the Handmade Boutique. Tracie is a huge fan of the Lewis Carroll story, and in particular, loves the beauty and charm of the original John Tenniel illustrations. She started designing and producing the Alice Tea Set in 2014 as part of the Handmade Boutique, and now the collection has grown to include stationary and birthday ephemera, cake stands and bone china mugs, and coasters to place those gorgeously delicate cups and mugs on.

Cake Stand £48 click to visit The Alice Boutique

Cake Stand £48 click to visit The Alice Boutique

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Love that large serving plate!

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Just so pretty!

 There are black and white designs, as well as full colour pieces, featuring a range of Alice characters, from the Queen of Hearts to Tweedle-dum and Tweedle-dee, and of course, the lady herself. My favourite piece is the exquisite cake-stand, which would make a fantastic centre-piece to any dinner party (or tea party if you prefer), but every piece is a stunning work of art that would totally delight any Alice fan.

Check out the Monochrome Alice pieces here

Check out the Monochrome Alice pieces here

Those cute Coasters

Those cute Coasters!

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You can find selected pieces of the collection at the Handmade Boutique in Birmingham’s Great Western Arcade, and it is also available online at http://www.thealiceboutique.com/

Get your Pantomime Inspiration with Spartoo

Looking for some shoe inspiration this Christmas? Looked at all your usual style icons and found nothing to your fancy? Then why don’t you take a look at some of the shoes sported by those stars of the festive season, the panto characters? Not convinced? Then read on…

Principal Boy = Irregular Choice

The Principal Boy has always been traditionally played by a pretty girl, often in a rather short costume and some form of shoe boots. Irregular Choice have some amazingly quirky bootie style shoes that are quirky and original enough to have been the star of any Pantomime, but being Christmas, my key pick have to be the gloriously sequined Baby Beauty’s.

 

Fay Lenore in Panto as Principal Boy

Irregular Choice BABY BEAUTY Black £ 84.99 click to visit Spartoo

Cinderella’s glass Slipper = Jerome C Rousseau

The most iconic of all pantomime/fairy tale shoes are those worn by a certain lady with bad timekeeping. Cinderella’s slipper was, of course, made of glass, but that is such an impractical material for a shoe – imagine the smears! I think Cinders would choose the beautiful silver glitter heels from Jerome C Rousseau given half a chance…and who could blame here – they are gorgeous!

AIZZA GLITTER SILVER-GLITTER £ 265.59 Click to visit Spartoo

Alice in Wonderland = Clarks

Now, Alice was a sensible girl, and her choice of footwear reflected that. Flat Mary Janes are perfect for shopping the sales, pounding those pavements when getting the last few Christmas pressies. But sensible Alice also realised that sensible doesn’t mean the shoes can’t also be glamorous, so her Mary Janes were in shiny Patent – a bit like the Frothy Soda’s from Clarks.

FROTHY SODA Black £ 44.99 click to visit Spartoo

Puss in Boots = Hush Puppies

And that brings me to my final pantomime inspiration, which can only be Puss in Boots. After all, what other pantomime has actual footwear in it’ title? I’m rather partial to this image of Puss, in a snazzy pair of red boots. Those boots were definitely meant for walking, and you can channel this fab look with the Lottie boots from Hush Puppies.

Hush Poppies LOTTIE RED / Multi / Blue / Beige / SDE £ 87.99 click to visit Spartoo