Wandsworth Fringe 2015
Just like in Lewis Carroll’s classic tale of Alice in Wonderland, Alice has lost her cat, but the imaginatively clever adaptation of Richard Stratton’s version has brought new life to this old tale. Ellie Pitkin did a fabulous job as director and producer.
Blackshaw Theatre presents Alice in Wonderland, a childhood favourite to young and old, and the ensemble of this fantastically vibrant performance proved why it still is. The scene was set in the Battersea Library’s reception area, and from Alice’s ( played by Emily Rae) first line she had the attention of the audience. We were then taken into the main area of the library, which was darkened to represent a rabbit hole. The library setting was quite befitting and set the tone for this magical piece of the children’s classic fairy tale. The ensemble did a remarkable job engaging the children, from asking them to hold props, cascading a makeshift blue sea of silk over their heads to making them the minders of Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum. With such great performances, it was clearly evident that each of the actors poured their hearts into their role, but I must say, Alice, Cheshire Cat (played by Natasha Green) and the Librarian whom also played the Queen of Hearts (played by Steve Wickenden) were my favourites. Cheshire Cat brought a bit of sassiness to this children’s tale. And I’m still puzzled to how the eccentric, over-the-top Queen of Hearts switched back into his Librarian costume so quickly. The costume and set design team did a fantastic job on the flamboyant and unforgettable costumes which were merely comprised of everyday household items. Overall, the Blackshaw Theatre delivered a brilliant performance and I couldn’t think of any better way to spend my Saturday. My only regret is that I didn’t bring my grandson, but then that gives me a reason to see this marvellously entertaining production again. Alice in Wonderland is definitely a children’s theatre production, but I hope adults aren’t put off by that fact, because as I looked around the library at the parents faces they were having just as much fun as their children. I know I thoroughly enjoyed it and it gave me a walk down my childhood memory lane, for at least an hour.