Alice in Wonderland

Tue 8th – Thu 10th May 2012


Gaby Oliva

at 10:53 on 10th May 2012



It was truly a shame that due to rain the production was moved inside, from the impressive grounds of Goldney Hall. Considering the grandiosity of the grounds they had rehearsed for, the cast made good use of the smaller Orange Room, which created an intimate atmosphere. With rumours of a £7000 budget and a rehearsal schedule lasting nearly five months, the Orange Room was not only a full house but also full of anticipation.

Alice In Wonderland was a Goldney Hall production through and through - even the score was written by their own, Tati Kalvers. This score was made up of simple yet pretty humming melodies which, through the spark created between the brass and the strings, painted a picture of the wonderland adventures to come.

Not only was the music impressive, but the choreography to the chorus had also been given good attention; the chants of ‘down down down’ and the accompanying pushing/pulling of Alice created a disorientating effect. However, as the play went on their chants did become a bit too repetitive.

The play was nicely written, with good puns and no classic characters omitted.

Costume was probably the most superb feature; I couldn’t take my eyes of the Cheshire Cat’s face paint or the Caterpillar’s tail, which went perfectly with Rachel Hutchinson’s ominous glare and sly, crawling exit. Other costumes brought giggles, especially in the caucus race as duck, parrot, dodo and an eccentric eagle wiggled their bums delightfully awkwardly to the brass, and earned a good round of applause. Props were also put to good use, an example being the impressive Cheshire Cat mascot.

The mad hatter’s tea party was a crowd-pleasing scene, which ended with the cake in teapots, hair, Alice and even the audience. Madeleine Shenai performed an adorable dormouse with her whimperings of “treacle” over and over. Adam Flood stuttered his hat off and was extremely comic in his last scene, his teacup and saucer chattering with him.

All in all the play had a vast set of great characters, from the “geezer” gryphon to the maid in drag. The Queen of Hearts achieved a piercing shriek, and the King of Hearts a great strut, the Cards a good playground fight, and the White rabbit a charming nose wiggle. To name a star of the show would be to pick the mock turtle and his soup serenade, involving jokes concerning the grief given to him by tortoises. This is not forgetting, aside from one stumble, an endearing portrayal of Alice by Miranda Justo-Nunez, with her cute and cheeky ponderings.

Although it was a whimsically amusing show, the production would need to be executed outside - with all the bonuses of a picnic and grotto tour - to really get your twelve pounds worth. Alas, there is no one to blame but the curse of the English weather.


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