Unless living down a rabbit hole yourself, most are likely to be very familiar with Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland. The narrative follows the titular character as she navigates a bizarre world filled with peculiar and ‘mad’ creatures. With its wealth of colourful characters, the stage version gives each individual their chance to shine, certainly the case with SDC Supernovas’ show.
SDC Supernovas aims to be an inclusive group where children of all abilities can take part, make friends and improve their performance skills, no matter their background. It is with this in mind that I found it delightful to see children doing what they should do best: having fun. Director Victoria Jones and the budding actors’ families should be proud.
This play was a visual cornucopia of colour, with marvellous sets, props and a bounty of beautifully made costumes. It was particularly lovely to see these come together in the final scenes where the audience could truly appreciate the effort that has evidently gone in to stage this play and show off the children to the best of the society’s abilities. Similarly, the use of three talented actresses to play Alice allows the effective use of metaphor and imagery to suggest the multitude of growth spurts the lead goes through in order to stay faithful to many iconic scenes from the film. This includes the ‘drink me’ and ‘eat me’ scene near the beginning and ‘outgrowing’ the White Rabbit’s house. I also loved how the rabbit hole was converted into ‘lift going down,’ inclusive of the lift music.
It is near impossible to pick certain cast members out above others with around twenty individuals taking on parts. However, some scenes were very memorable. I particularly enjoyed the Mad Hatter’s tea party with the very sleepy Dormouse, eccentric March Hare and wacky Mad Hatter himself creating a multitude of laughs from the audience. Likewise, the Cheshire Cat’s creepy disappearing act worked well, the Caterpillar’s synchronised leg-crossing was clever and the Queen, Knave and King of Hearts bounced off each other’s very different personalities very well.
Considering the average age of the cast, the small amount of line prompts needed was remarkable. Similarly, many actors were able to ignore many audience distractions, including a mobile phone and lots of sweet packet rustling. I think a projection workshop would not go amiss to develop these young actors’ skills further but, with hard work, they are well on their way to flourishing in the stage industry.