ALICE IN WONDERLAND
Director: Regina Arkwright
Choreography: Janice Purslow
Music supplied by backing tracks
Following the success of last year’s A Christmas Carol, this ACT in Training group staged another classic, Lewis Carroll’s mad-cap adventures of Alice in Wonderland. Over the years, the story has been dramatized, had music and lyrics added, and been filmed many times. The imaginative, surreal world at the bottom of the rabbit hole makes anything Jabberwocky look meaningful.
“Curiouser and Curiouser”
This adaptation is a lively journey to the unusual land inhabited by unusual people as well as talking creatures. Although the essence of the story has been captured, I felt the script might have been a little wordy for some young performers, and to hold the attention of the younger members of the audience.
Once again the use of projected images created all the necessary locations and. coupled with stage settings and props, completed the overall visual effect. All the costumes were a credit to the wardrobe department. Hair and make-up complemented the character presentations.
The training through their sessions and rehearsals was noticeable in their stage work, and above all the teamwork. The seventeen strong cast fleshed out the extraordinary characters with conviction and dedication. All the members were bursting with enthusiasm and, with varying abilities, they all contributed to the success of the production. Every musical number came across very well and they were delivered in character, for example, the Queen singing a very received pronunciation “Off with Their Heads”. The other training area of movement and choreography taught the students coordination. This was achieved in all of their energised dancing.
The character development was, as always, a privilege to observe. Many of the roles were doubled up which is challenging for seasoned players. Alice held her own with each new wonderland inhabitant she meets. From Tweedledee and Tweedledum to the Caterpillar they were all imaginatively recreated. The antics of the Mad Hatter’s tea party including Dormouse and March Hare were nicely conveyed.
Performances of note came from Charlotte Ferris as the Duchess, and Cerys Pearson as the Queen.
BYTES is a hardworking ACT in Training group which is giving young people an opportunity to develop in stage craft. This production displayed the dedication of its leaders, and the support from the Bacup Royal Court Theatre technical team.