BWW Review: ALICE IN WONDERLAND at Her Majesty's Theatre

BWW Review: ALICE IN WONDERLAND at Her Majesty's TheatreReviewed by Barry Lenny, Friday 12th January 2018.

Rapidfire International Inc. (USA) and M2 Productions presented three performances in one day of this enchanting production of director, Penny Farrow, and producer, Ethan Walker's, adaptation of Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland. Actors and puppeteers joined together as Alice followed the White Rabbit down the rabbit hole into Wonderland, where she encountered all of those weird and wonderful characters whom we have all come to know and love.

The only problem with this production is that it has already finished and left town, after playing three performances in one day. Those who didn't hear about it in time, or were waiting to see what their friends thought, a common failing in Adelaide, have missed out. Those who saw it, and the theatre was full at the performance that I attended, so that would have been a good many people, no doubt loved it as much as the audience which I joined. Many of the younger ones sported the Mad Hatter style hats, purchased in the foyer, along with other merchandise and, if there had been programmes, they must have sold out at the earlier shows.

The two fantasy novels, telling of Alice's adventures, or misadventures, in Wonderland and through the looking-glass, are children's classics, which is a double-edged sword, both simplifying the publicity, because everybody already knows all about it, but demanding authenticity, for precisely the same reason, and children are the harshest critics of all. This production was spot on.

Georgina Walker plays Alice and is a thorough delight in the role, bright as a button and with a lot of physicality in her performance. She brings a superb childlike innocence and curiosity to the role.

The White Rabbit, The Cheshire Cat, and the Dormouse are all large puppets, carried and manipulated by three of the actors, who also provide their voices and, with the other six actors, they play all of the characters, major and minor, thanks to some swift costume changes. The pace and energy of their performances carry the production along at a great pace and thoroughly engages the audience, even the easily distracted youngest members.

Zachary Lieberman's set design, Yi Ling's graphic design, and Diana Eden's costume design are all stunningly colourful and evoke the feel of the novel, adding those final touches to this highly enjoyable production. With luck, there'll be a repeat visit sometime soon.

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