CORONAVIRUS: 22Feb21 UpdateAll UK venues closed on 16th March 2020. After the Prime Minister's announcement it would appear that, subject to continued control of the virus, venues may re-open with social distancing and limits on audiences from 17th May. Social distancing restrictions may be removed from 21st June. We will continue to update our listings as much as possible to reflect the changes as/when they are reported.
DetailsPerformers Alison Pargeter (Alice), Gerard Carey (White Rabbit), Nikki Shaw (Cheshire Cat), Mark Oxtoby (Mad Hatter), Timothy Kightley (King of Hearts), Jill Pert (Queen of Hearts), Andy Hockley, Mark McGee, Katie Haines, Oliver Jackson, Tom Lorcan, Karen Mann, Joseph Pitcher, Mark Roper, Tobin Saunders.
Author Lewis Carroll. Producer Birmingham Repertory Theatre Company. Producer Yorkshire Playhouse. Director Ian Brown. Design Ruari Murchison. Costume Ruari Murchison. Costume Stephen Snell. Director Jonathan Gill (music). Lighting Tim Mitchell. Sound Mic Pool. Choreographer Sam Spencer-Llane.
USER (06Dec06): Alice in Wonderland, A Musical
Music by Carl Davis, Book and Lyrics by John Wells after Lewis Carroll
Birmingham Rep, Tuesday 5th December 2006
This latest Christmas production at The Rep was first seen by an audience last year when it opened to great acclaim at The West Yorkshire Playhouse. Once again directed by Ian Brown this adaptation of Lewis Carroll’s ever-popular story is as zany as it is colourful. The show is an offbeat alternative to the traditional “panto” or blockbuster musical and the capacity audience enjoyed their evening out.
Carl Davis brings together many kinds of music for this production and is not afraid to mix almost slightly camp old fashioned end of the pier concert party revue numbers with at times OTT operatic performance, which certainly made the kids, sit up and take notice. Musical Director Jonathan Gill and his band of musicians add to the overall atmosphere, which is not over synthesised, or deafening.
Visually there is plenty to feast your eyes on and from the opening scenes with Alice playing and the introduction of the White Rabbit “I’m going to be late” in his realistic costume you know there are still more costume delights to come. The clever set design by Ruari Murchison produces the goods most of the time and the audience is transported gently into Lewis Carroll’s surreal world. I’d have liked a little more atmosphere and action to the transportation between the different worlds.
The costumes are excellent and the actors take on the characters and appearance of the various animals, birds and reptiles with aplomb. The fluffy eaglet is a joy flapping about the stage and although the characters are introduced the costumes are so good you can instantly recognise what they are.
This is not a show with instantly memorable songs where you leave the theatre humming but there are high spots such as “Curious” and “Time” along with “Mock Turtle Soup”. The Act 2 opener featuring 3 card gardeners and all country yokels was most genial and all the routines work and are well choreographed by Sam Spencer-Lane. The scene where the Queen of Hearts plays croquet using flamingos and hedgehogs is very amusing and those hedgehogs can’t half move!
This is a real company production with many of the actors playing multiple parts and a number of them repeating their roles again but at The Rep this year. The larger than life Queen of Hearts a most formidable character is played by Jill Pert a lady with a powerful operatic voice and most resplendent costume. Her constant calls “off with his/her head” are fun. Alison Pargeter plays Alice confidently and was a great hit with all the audience.
The late John Wells adaptation retains much of the original story adding if anything more quirkiness and satire. The actor’s biographies in the programme also join into the spirit of the show by being written in the style of their characters! You can catch the show at The Rep until Saturday 30 December 2006.
Cookies in Use