*We received tickets in exchange for review. All opinions are 100% honest and my own.
Last night we headed to Sherman Theatre as a family to see Alice in Wonderland. The Christmas season has begun and I’m pleased we started it here!
Review: Alice in Wonderland at Sherman Theatre
Alice in Wonderland is a classic tale, following young Alice as she ventures down a rabbit hole and comes face to face with the Queen of Hearts.
This is Rachel O’Riordan’s last performance at Sherman, and her direction is pristine and perfect from start to finish. I loved the use of the stage throughout, from performers to props it was a wonderful sight to see. It really is a visual sight of wonder, magic and enchantment.
The stage is fantastic in terms of style and design. Every inch of it is used during the production, and there are so many tricks and surprises for the audience whilst they visit this magical world of Wonderland. Keep an eye out for trap doors, sliding sets and more…
The costumes are also a visual delight. Rich colours, layers and textures create a sense of warmth; a sense of home. I particularly loved the Queen of Hearts, The Duchess and the Mad Hatter’s costumes and accessories.
Mike Kenny wrote the story for this production, adapted from the Lewis Carroll original. Warren mentioned how he loved the modern take on this classic tale. I wasn’t convinced until the second act, when I began to fall in love with the show!
James Ifan performs as the Mad Hatter, my favourite character of the night. He had a lot of positive and quirky energy, and his musical talents gave the character an extra dimension. He really stood out to me as a performer and I am looking forward to seeing him in future shows!
Another of our favourites was the Queen of Hearts performed by Hannah McPake. I thought I recognised her, but it was only seeing her other work that I realised I’d seen her in Double Vision and Wind in the Willows! She has a lot to give in terms of humour and confidence, and she made a villain strangely likeable in this depiction of Alice in Wonderland. I thought she was wonderful!
Francois Pandolfo and Alexandria Riley performed as Tweedledee and Tweedledum, the bickering and riddlering pair! Pandolfo also performed as the King and he was absolutely hilarious! Riley doubled as the March Hare and there was a gentleness to this role that I really warmed to. This pair had a lot of energy on stage and this really added the performance as a whole.
Elin Phillips was wonderful as the Caterpillar and the Cheshire Cat (I want that onesie!). There was a really great energy from her performance and I warmed to her instantly. Another fab character is the White Rabbit performed by Joseph Tweedale. His scamperish performance kept the story flowing along nicely, with lots of little parts dotted throughout. Callum Davies offered us the sleepy Dormouse, and he was incredibly professional and also very cute (loved the ears!).
Keiron Self offered laughs a plenty as The Duchess, yet he also offered the gentle and soothing role of Alice’s Dad. I am a huge fan of his, having seen him in quite a few performances over the past year. He has such a great vibe upon the stage and you can tell he loves every single minute!
Let’s not forget the performance of Alice. Elian West offered a gentle, curious and developed version of Alice. She interacted with the rest of the cast with sincerity and professionalism. Her performance was wonderfully sincere and I adored her interaction with the ever-changing set.
Overall it was the sentiment of the production that truly melted my heart. The concept that we have other options in life, other doors to open and other paths to go down is a wonderful one. I loved the reassurance that no one way in life is right, but as long as you’re you, that’s all that matters. I think children need to hear and see this, and thanks to this production they will leave believing it.
Everything about Alice in Wonderland is heartfelt and in keeping with modern life and the pressure bestowed upon the future generations. We should take a leaf out of this adventurous ‘book’ and believe in ourselves and our own life’s direction, whatever that may be…
I’d highly recommend booking your tickets for this magical, inspiring and beautiful performance.