Top Ender and I joked a little in a live Facebook video that we were thinking of skipping going to the Theatre and instead going out to eat. We, of course wouldn't have done that because we love the Theatre and we love seeing new shows and we'd already eaten... not that that would have stopped us, we're both foodies.
Anyway. We had heard a little about Wonderland from my friends in the Theatre world and from the blogs and forums I follow that talk about the Theatre. From what I could tell, it was a good show one that was suitable for children aged six and older and this adaptation, set in the modern world and given a contemporary update worked well for both the audience members who knew the story of Alice and for those who were totally new to it.
So we went off to the theatre, was totally recognised and found our seats and waited for the show to begin.
IT WAS AMAZING!
Top Ender and I sat enthralled by the show, the music and even the slightly annoying habit of Kerry Ellis constantly tucking her hair behind her ears didn't take us out of the moment too much, like it did a friend of mine who was also watching the same performance as us.
By the time the interval came round, we were ready to talk to each other (well if you watched our other Facebook Live video you'll know it was after Top Ender had been to the bathroom!) about what we had seen, about what it was that we were thinking and just where we were placing it in our show rankings. For me it is straight in at the top, number 1 which had been Billy Elliot, Top Ender placed it in her top Five (knocking out Grease at number 5) with the potential for it to increase in her personal rankings as she digests the show in the next few days!
So what is it about?
Well, Alice (Kerry Ellis) is a 40 Year old divorced mother of Ellie (Naomi Morris) a teenager wise beyond her years It sounds like Alice was in a terribly abusive relationship, but that is sort of glossed over a bit, especially as she sort of hasn't realised that it was an abusive relationship. Alice has sort of put her life on hold waiting for her ex husband to come back to her, which won't happen now that he's married again.
Ellie is put in the unfortunate position of having to see her Mother fade away and having to take care of her whilst only being a child, and I think we all know how Ellie must feel about that.
And then there is Jack (Stephen Webb). Jack is the downstairs neighbour of Ellie and Alice, who is utterly besotted with Alice and is, well practically invisible to Alice until he becomes the hero that Alice and he seems to need, and becomes a bit of a hunk with all his new found confidence!
Together all three of them find themselves in Wonderland and the show becomes about them finding themselves, accepting themselves and finding their way home... if that's what they want of course.
The characters we all know and love are there, the Cheshire Cat (Dominic Owen) and the Caterpillar (Kayi Ushe) are such fun.I mean I just wanted to take the Caterpillar home with me, or be one of his legs! Those girls made the choreography look so easy!
The Mad Hatter (Natalie McQueen), is a brilliant character and I don't fee that she is given enough appreciation for her performance!
The March Hare (Ben Kerr), The Dormouse (Divine Cresswell), Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee (Benjamin McMillan and Benjamin Yates) are all hilarious and embody the characters that they are portraying.
The White Rabbit (Dave Willetts) and of course the Queen of Hearts (Wendi Peters) are amazing in their roles and I loved their songs too.
It's these characters, these actors who create Wonderland from the script so wonderfully. They along with a few other supporting characters are such a solid cast, that you feel you are also whisked away to Wonderland and want to shout "Off with their heads" and be fed Jam Tarts.
On top of all of this, the music was absolutely amazing and I have added he soundtrack to my wishlist! I really really really recommend that if you can get to Milton Keynes Theatre before July 22nd that you go and see this show.
We were given tickets to see the show and to provide this review.