Whilst my fellow reviewers were off out reviewing festive shows, I took on Alice In Wonderland, performed by the very well-known Arena Theatre, and I must confess to being rather excited at the prospect of seeing the classic performed on the stage. Most people know the story of Alice In Wonderland, and if you don’t, I’m not sure how you’ve missed it over the years. The play follows the story of Alice as she struggles with the pressure of growing up and the expectations of the adults around her. She finds herself in a fantasy world with a host of strange creatures who make her question who she really is.
The set was simple, but effective, and really stood out in the Wonderland sections because it was highlighted with lovely fairy lights, which gave it a magical woodland feel. There were some great looking costumes in the Wonderland section too, most noticeable being the Mad Hatter, the Caterpillar, the Cheshire Cat and of course Alice’s classic blue dress. However, the costumes in the opening scene were black trousers/leggings and black tops but they were all slightly different, which didn’t work very well, and some of the clothes were marked or had holes in.
Eve Collins-Black made a lovely, sweet Alice who is clearly very confused about what is going on around her. She connected with the other characters well and made a very good leading lady, but there were moments where it was a little harder to hear her.
Leah Nicholls really stood out as the Cheshire Cat, not an easy role given it’s undertaken on all fours! It was characterized brilliantly and she stole the attention of the audience when she was on stage.
The Mad Hatter and March Hare, played by Grae Westgate and Sean Beaumont, commanded the stage from the moment they arrived through to the moment they left. They made a good comedy, slightly mad, duo. Speaking of comedy duos, a mention must also go to Thomas Preston and Emilie Burn who played Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum. I hope neither of them have any bruises after their fighting scenes!
Nikki Wilson was a loveable villain as the cruel, execution hungry Queen of Hearts and Kim Fletcher also stood out in her various roles, including the Cook and Alice’s mum.
Best wishes to all performers for the remainder of your run.