Alice in Wonderland at St Paul’s Church
Lewis Carroll’s classic tale has been adapted for stage by Daniel Winder in this fun and lively performance.
The Iris Theatre has created an incredible Wonderland in the garden of St Paul’s Church. To enter the staging area you must first go “down the rabbit hole,” through a long and winding back entrance full of confusing sounds and exciting props. The trip has the audience immersed in the performance before it has even begun. Upon emerging from the rabbit hole, guests are greeted with circus performers (the members of cast) and are encouraged to join in with their tricks. This audience participation continues throughout the entire show and is done very well, with the cast ensuring everyone is comfortable and having fun.
Laura Wickham as Alice and her fellow cast members are energetic and exciting, and with the exception of Wickham, each actor plays many different characters. All of the animals in particular are extremely fun to watch, with the cast committing fully and clearly enjoying themselves in taking on these roles. Director Andrew Lynford has done a great job in bringing each outrageous character to life in an original way, however, the performance lacks a little polish. The cast does not completely rise to the occasion of performing in this outdoor space, with volume sometimes being an issue.
This show is full of silliness and slapstick. While done cleverly in some parts, occasionally it goes for cheap laughs that seem a little forced. However, most of the time the silliness is a fun and engaging part of the show, particularly for children.
What is really magical about this show is the ambience created by the beautiful garden setting. The audience follows the characters around to different areas of the garden, joining Alice on her journey through Wonderland. The constant scene changing means that the performance occasionally loses momentum, though again it is appealing to the children in the audience, as the variety and movement keeps them engaged.
Alice in Wonderland is a fun and enjoyable theatrical experience. The beautiful Wonderland that has been created at St Paul’s Church is a thrill for both adults and children to explore. This play is a lovely family outing ideal for the summer holidays.
Alice in Wonderland is at St Paul’s Church until 31st August 2013. For further information or to book visit the theatre company’s website here.