Lewis Carroll’s Alice In Wonderland has delighted many over the years with the stories of Alice’s adventures being told to generations. The tale has been adapted for both stage and screen and the latest production at the Mercury Theatre Colchester sees Olivier Award-winning playwright Mike Kenny’s interpretation of this much-loved classic brought to life with all the mayhem and madness you would expect from this familiar tale.
Alice is set for a very important day and is nervous as she wakes on the morning of her exams. Under pressure to succeed she turns over the paper to begin the test only to find the world around her starting to become strange. Suddenly, out of nowhere a white rabbit appears, he looks at his pocket watch, mumbles something about the time and hurries off. Alice’s curiosity gets the better of her and she sets off in hot pursuit of the bunny, only to find herself falling down a rabbit hole into the madcap place that is Wonderland.
Things from here on in just get curiouser and curiouser for Alice. Doors she can not fit through, strange and peculiar creatures, a cat that won’t stop grinning, and a tea party like no other. When Alice does eventually make it to the beautiful garden, things turn from bad to worse when the Queen of Hearts threatens to cut off her head!
The action is brought to life by some amazingly talented actor-musicians and is fast-paced from start to finish. Some very clever, but simple staging works brilliantly, the use of the curtains during the scene where Alice is chasing the White Rabbit near the start is just genius and the show just keeps getting better.
This production is very funny and the comic timing is just spot on. The rousing and very catchy musical numbers are fabulous too, and in the interval all over the theatre you could hear audience members singing the ‘baby song’ from the first half.
A brilliant cast who play multiple characters with ease, but a special mention must go to Beth Mabin who stepped into the shoes of title role Alice at very short notice and was just brilliant, nobody watching would have guessed that she’d only had three days with the company to rehearse and learn her role.
Hilariously funny, brilliantly performed and full on action from start to end, Alice In Wonderland at the Mercury Theatre, Colchester is a fun filled experience for all of the family.
• Alice In Wonderland is on until 14th August. To book tickets visit www.mercurytheatre.co.uk
Review: Wendy Cook, Ipswich24 Magazine
Pictures: Mike Kwasniak
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