Alice In Wonderland

Date 20th January 2017
Society Tollesbury Amateur Players
Venue Tollesbury Church Hall
Type of Production Pantomime
Director Nicki Hatton


Author: Christine Davidson

First impressions of our visit to this lovely village hall was of the beautifully  dressed foyer display, with fairy lights, lanterns, a  large white rabbit, silk flowers and a display of costumes in the School Room. A very warm welcome from the front of house to all of the arriving audience made us feel ready to see the pantomime.

Young TAP opened in cute animal masks, singing ‘Wonderland’ accompanied by Alice.  The set was beautifully painted with colourful flowers and both side flats had painted flamingos and hearts.  I have to add that the costumes were superb. Sue Hamilton had worked incredibly hard to get them just right in spite of suffering the leak in TAP’s container where they were stored. 

Ella Frost as Alice had excellent projection and characterisation, and sung very pleasantly.  She interacted well with all the cast and really looked like the Alice of the Walt Disney cartoons.  The White Rabbit – Jackie Quilter was very comedic and so full of energy.  She really got the audience reacting and kept her character true throughout the whole of the production.  I loved the ‘Shut up’ and ‘Get off’ she encouraged the audience to shout at the baddie – The Duchess (James Oakley).  He obviously enjoyed the interaction and made the most of his role with a lot of eye rolling and verbal abuse to the audience. 

The comedy duo of Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum  ( Ian Clark and Jon Salmon) worked so well together with incredible energy and pizzazz.  Their “Polkacise” dance was hilarious.  Clever projection of the Cheshire Cat on the side flat and a wonderful blue caterpillar (Kate Finch) with fantastic costume added to the panto.

John Dorsett who played the psychotic Mad Hatter coupled with a very quiet March Hare and the Dormouse gave us a spirited tea party.  The King, Queen and Knave of Hearts provided a contrast with the Queen running around with an axe to chop off people’s heads and singing Killer Queen!

The many set changes could have used a little less light on stage as it somehow spoilt the illusion seeing the crew and maybe less scene changes were actually needed. For instance with the short scene of the Court Room this could have possibly had the use of simple  red curtain across the back flats  with the stage dressing, but that is just a small point on a fun production.

Congratulations to all on a highly energetic colourful pantomime and especially to the children who provided such a good show and to ‘The Tree’ (Stephanie Gardner) who probably had the worst role of all but kept smiling throughout, in her costume.