by Neil Glasspool.
Alice, a Musical Adventure in Wonderland is a youth production packed with sing-along hits, big dance routines and plenty of feelgood factor, but perhaps the most impressive aspect of all is the size of the cast. Featuring an ensemble cast of more than 50, largely made up of young local performers, it’s a hugely ambitious re-imagining of the timeless Lewis Carroll tale.
Re-imagining: that’s the key phrase here. The show is primarily a series of music and dance routines set to the standout backdrops of the Alice story. This in itself is a minor hurdle to cross – particularly for younger audience members. The two primary school age members of my party, despite being well-versed with the Alice tale, initially struggled to follow the story.
However, furrowed brows soon gave way to smiles as the performers powered through big hits such as Dancing on the Ceiling, Boogie Shoes, a particularly powerful rendition of True Colours and Lovecats. And that was all just in Act 1.
Things ramped up even further in Act 2, with the standout moments being I Love Rock n’ Roll, I’m in the Mood for Dancing, We Are Young, a touching Daydream Believer and finally, an epic bring-the-house-down delivery of Best Song Ever to close the show out.
The cast of Alice, a Musical Adventure in Wonderland may be huge but there is still room for standout performances.
Eleanor Walker, Ellie-Mae Dymott and Jessica Fudge handle their roles as small, medium and tall Alice respectively, with great enthusiasm – hats off to the creative team for that clever approach to casting.
Amelia Ockwell and Charlie Clifford are both outstanding as the Queen and King of Hearts, and both are clearly accomplished vocalists. Oliver Nicolin (Mad Hatter), Scarlett Rixon (March Hare), Alexander Lockhart (Mr Rabbit), Daisy Blatch (Cheshire Cat) and Elizabeth Bullivant-Holt (Doormouse) all shine when their moment comes.
A huge credit should also go to all the dancers. Their flawless performances and stage presence ensure the energy of the show never drops off.
With a whopping great cast that would dwarf plenty of more illustrious stage shows, Alice, A Musical Adventure in Wonderland is worth making room for in even the most busy of Christmas schedules.
Tickets for Alice, A Musical Adventure in Wonderland (runs until December 31) are available from mayflowerstudios.org.uk or 02380 711811.
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