Alice in Wonderland

Date 27th November 2018
Society Overton Dramatic Society
Venue St Mary's Hall, Overton
Type of Production Pantomime
Director Jenna Clark-Williams
Musical Director Frank Bell
Choreographer Kali Dicks

Report

Author: Chris Horton

 “Alice in Wonderland” by Steven Gordon-Wilson is a panto based on the classic children’s story of what happens when Alice falls down the rabbit hole and meets a series of wacky characters including the Mad Hatter, the White Rabbit and the Queen of Hearts, who stomps around barking “Off with their heads”.  Its simple story is packed full of songs and guaranteed to put on a smile on your face.

The sets were excellent, well painted and designed for maximum impact and minimum disruption.  The change of set when the magic trick “shrunk” during Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee’s act enabling the story to continue deserves special mention, as does the giant tea-pot at the Mad Hatter’s tea party. The flamingo used for the game of croquet got a good (intentional?) laugh when it broke! 

All the costumes were of the highest quality; there was great attention to detail in ensuring each character was appropriately dressed. A lot of thought had gone into the use of costume and hair to emphasise the personality of the characters. The Queen of Hearts’ costume and Mabel’s various outfits were bright and in keeping with the liveliness of the panto.  There were some very colourful touches: the flowers, flower-pot outfits and also the King of Hearts were all glorious. 

The lighting was well controlled.  The lighting for “Bad Romance” was particularly imaginative and effective.  

This production was funny, witty and entertaining. There was a great variety of characters:  The Queen of Hearts who couldn’t pronounce her R’s was brilliant, there was the timid white rabbit, the larger than life Mabel who had great rapport with the audience and Stephen Wood as Jack Diamond, a great asset to the group. The Essex Cat (Kayleigh Hale) provided some slightly surreal moments but she was cheeky and charming in this role.  The entire cast had great comic timing and kept the action going throughout the evening. Overall there were some assured performances. 

Frank Bell and the small band of players provided great musical accompaniment and Director Jenna Clark-Williams should be proud of this production which hit all the right notes to send us all home smiling. Great credit is due to all those on the stage and those unseen members of the group who were probably working as hard (if not harder) than those on the stage. Alice in Wonderland was one of my favourite books as a child and it may now be one of my favourite pantos. Well Done ODS!