We all know the tale of Alice in Wonderland and have probably read, heard and seen it a number of times. Well, despite taking the concept of Wonderland (and the Looking Glass) and many of the key characters this, most assuredly, is not that story!
Alice is an emotionally abused divorcee who is not coping well and it being held up by her young daughter whilst being adored from afar by the overly shy man downstairs. All three get pulled into Wonderland and their journey to self discovery begins. Well, that's the plot and it holds together quite well as a vehicle without getting heavy or too involved.
After that, it is anarchic fun, really great music and songs, fabulous costumes and laugh out loud choreography!
Boy did I enjoy this show ... Frank Wildhorn's music and Jack Murphy's lyrics are beautifully crafted and the band and general sound extremely well balanced - appreciably better than a number of touring shows. Design and costumes a daft as a box of frogs, as they should be and beautifully lit (hoorah for a touring show with proper lighting!). Visually and auditorily a great show with a lot of technical content that all worked on the night.
I was lucky to see Kerry Ellis as Alice, (the tour is split between her and Rachel Wooding) who gives a great performance. In fact the cast are full of enthusiasm and really sell the show - they must all end the night absolutely knackered! Dave Willets White Rabbit is a well crafted performance and Natalie McQueen as the Mad Hatter and Wendi Peters as the amazing Queen of Hearts give it their all. Kayi Ushe's Catapillar is a delight and several of the smaller characters, such as Divine Cresswell's Dormouse brought smiles to my face too - there are leads here but without a fully committed whole company the show simply wouldn't work ...
This show deseves a long run - a great evening out that I would happily see again and again - love the story, love the music, love the style - brilliant theatre!