Alice in Wonderland
25th January 2018
Methodist Church Hall, Dunstable
Type of Production
Graham Matthews & Carl Fletcher
Author: Nova Horley
Not my most favourite story in the world, but this pantomime version kept the essence of the story, whilst making it short and snappy.
There were some nice musical moments, and the accompaniment from Jonathan and Chris Burritt, plus underscoring from time to time added much to the proceedings.
I liked the backdrops, they were nicely painted and were evocative of a fairy tale, with the castle shaped like a heart, and the mushrooms looking like trees. The woodland and rabbit hole stage left were also very good, and the fact that it housed the animated Cheshire Cat was very amusing.
Costumes were fairly basic but suitable, I particularly liked the Queen and King of Hearts outfits, as they were very fresh and looked good. Makeup was also very good for the Queen of Hearts, the Duchess and the White Rabbit.
The cast interacted well, but I felt it needed a bit more pace, and more emphasis on getting the audience involvement going – we weren’t allowed time to really get our responses going, although we were prepared to get in there from the outset.
I liked the projection at the beginning, to show Alice decreasing in size and tumbling down the rabbit hole, nicely thought out, however the words weren’t always entirely clear.
Donna Fletcher gave us a charming, if slightly diffident Alice, she had all the elements of the character, but just needed a bit more confidence in her delivery, hopefully that increased over the run.
The White Rabbit is a lovely part, and Jean Smy gave us the rather bumbling character. I thought we could have had more business around her phone, when we were supposed to call out ‘ring, ring’ – we were only given one opportunity. Jean voiced the Cheshire Cat well.
Pete Soper and Chris Fletcher were suitably dippy as the Tweedle Brothers, I liked their ditty, and they gave us some comedy moments.
Stephen Parry was a very forthright Duchess, plenty of opportunity for the audience to shout at him.
I liked the tea party characters, Lynne Morris, Victoria Goode and Netty Batchelor, as the Mad Hatter, March Hare and Dormouse, they created good portrayals.
Tammy Calvert was a full on cook, very funny, and I also enjoyed the three singing flowers.
Bridget Calvert and Rob Jones were a good pairing as the Queen and King of Hearts, some very funny moments.
Leo Morawski fulfilled several small parts well, with the youngsters, Matthew Pritchard and Sophie Pritchard as various animal characters and soldiers which they acted out well.
I really enjoyed the pig running across the stage, and also the singing competition, very well staged and thought out.
All in all a fun production, which just needed a bit more pace to liven things up, but which we enjoyed.