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Alice in Wonderland

Date

30th November 2012

Society

The Bradford Players

Venue

The New Bradford Playhouse

Type of Production

Pantomime

Director

Giles Atkinson

Musical Director

Jo Rochell

Choreographer

Kathryn Ford

Report

Author: Judith Smith

I would thoroughly recommend this Pantomime to any Society wanting to give its audience a good, clean, slightly different from the traditional pantomime, yet very enjoyable evening’s entertainment. The script is well written, the jokes fairly new, clean and funny to all ages, it also gives plenty of scope for budding principals both in character, comedic and romantic roles to show what they are capable of. The Chorus too has plenty to do in various guises, as do the children.
This production held the attention from curtain up with a very athletic and energetic White Rabbit popping up from the trap door and leading a delightful Alice down into Wonderland, where we met all the favourite characters from this well-known story. Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee kept a very tight reign on their comedy actions, especially the invisible sword fight, which was very cleverly performed and matched the sound effects beautifully. They were exceedingly funny because of it, leaving the OTT traditional Panto style comedy to The Joker (Nick Burch) who, very quickly, had the audience responding to his every request to react and, of course, the ‘Dame’ very capably played by Carl Murray. Here we had a very attractive and believable Dame, played with very feminine yet exaggerated characteristics, in eleven fantastic different costumes and wigs, some very feminine and some outrageous, various lacy stockings and high heels – such a pleasant change from the obvious ‘man dressed up’ and often bouncing around in coloured plimsolls.
All the lesser supporting characters were most cleverly and delightfully played but I must mention the Mad Hatter, March Hare and Dormouse as having a most well constructed and effectively enjoyable scene together and the Caterpillar who pupated most effectively, together with the childrens chorus into beautiful butterflies. The slapstick comedy was also there, but not quite to whom and where one would expect it delivered and so therefore even more funny. The love interest was ably displayed by The Princess of Hearts and the Knave of Diamonds. The villainous Knave of Spades with his exceedingly threateningly and gravely voice had me reaching for the throat lozenges and the overbearing Queen of Hearts and her browbeaten husband together with a very effective Wizard (distributing sweeties to the children) completed the cast. The chorus back-up was well rehearsed and a very integral part of this show especially when dressed as 1970s hippies trying to find their way out of Muddleup Wood. Lighting, sound and a very good backing group of musicians completed a very enjoyable evening’s entertainment