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Alice In Wonderland, Iambic Arts Theatre, Brighton, May 19
Anyone expecting a bright and bubbly performance of Alice In Wonderland would have been disappointed by this alternative take on the classic.
Pentameters Theatre’s portrayal of the Lewis Carroll tale was much darker, attempting, perhaps, to reflect what many believe to have been his state of mind at the time of writing.
It had some clever ideas, like the use of film clips interspersed through the live performances.
But many of the story’s main events, such as Alice growing and shrinking and her game of croquet against the Queen Of Hearts, were just mentioned in passing rather than performed, and the action needed to move a play along just became characters on a stage delivering their lines.
The main scene of the play, the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party, seemed to be under-rehearsed, with delays in characters saying their lines and a general sense of (seemingly unintentional) confusion.
Although the costumes, make-up and scenery were all worthy of note, most of the characters lost the easy likeablity they traditionally have, with some seeming quite aggressive.
This was a young, experimental cast and while some of their ideas were interesting, unfortunately it didn’t work as a whole.