CUPPERS: Wonderland (St Anne's)

Tue 6th November 2012


Lizhi Howard

at 00:32 on 8th Nov 2012



‘Wonderland’ presented by Saint Anne’s is a very quick trip through ‘Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland’ where we encountered the most famous characters from the tales. The costuming of this piece was particularly effective. Each character had a prop or item that identified their character immediately, such as the rabbit’s pocket watch, and the Cheshire cat’s tail. The Queen’s make up was both effective and beautiful and the blanket of cards looked like a lot of work had gone into it.

The actors were seated around the edge of the performance space with one large table in the middle that was manipulated by the cast in order to create the different areas of wonderland. This was used in a particularly effective way for the disappearance of the cat as the actress slithered under the table and out of the sight of Alice, but remained on scene to torment the Queen. These elements helped the actors and the audience to imagine the spaces that we were in successfully.

For me, one of the best decisions was to have the march hare played by a hand puppet, manipulated by the actor playing the Mad Hatter. This technique really played on the madness of the Hatter and the characters around him. The Caterpillar managed her role very well, lounging on the table with an air of distain and The Cheshire Cat was very charming and willing to use her physicality of create her character. Alice was very sweet and was able to display her character’s confusion and upset without it feeling forced or over acted. The whole cast were also able to manage large chunks of speaking as a chorus, which must have taken a huge amount of rehearsal.

It was a shame the production was so short, and whilst the cast had a fantastic amount of energy, at points it was a little overwhelming, and could have done with some toning down. Whilst the costumes were effective I did feel that the production had missed a trick by not experimenting with their lights more, although this could have been down to the conditions of Cuppers.

This was an enjoyable waltz through wonderland showing moments of promise from both cast and design but these were also tempered with moments that felt like they hadn’t been fully thought through.


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