Review: Alice In Wonderland @ Her Majesty's Theatre (Adelaide)

'Alice In Wonderland' – Image © Robert Catto
An avid writer, Trista has been contributing reviews, interviews, and articles to scenestr since 2016 and is building a career as a freelance writer.

Adelaide audiences were treated to a weekend of wonder when Lewis Carroll’s timeless tale ‘Alice In Wonderland’ arrived at Her Majesty’s Theatre for a strictly limited season.

Featuring a gorgeous stage adorned with mushrooms, pocket watches and playing cards the one-hour production took audiences down the rabbit hole as they followed Alice into Wonderland; encountering a host of weird and wonderful characters brought to life through a clever combination of talented actors and stunningly crafted puppetry.

Eowyn Turner was entertaining as the naïve and curious Alice who finds herself in a world of trouble when she follows a white rabbit (played by Lucy Fox) into Wonderland. Justine Anderson and Matilda Simmons delivered a silly performance as the playful Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee, while Catherine Glavicic and Elliot Baker starred as the Mad Hatter and March Hare. Simon Burvill-Holmes and Anthony Craig expertly juggled multiple human and puppet roles as The Queen of Hearts/Cheshire Cat and Caterpillar/Dormouse respectively.

Alice Wonderland 2024 2
Image © Robert Catto

Adapted and directed by Penny Farrow, the production drew inspiration from Carroll’s stories ‘Alice In Wonderland’ and ‘Alice Through The Looking Glass;’ as well as several of his poems including the well-known ‘Jabberwocky’ to create a distinctive cast of characters and dialogue drawn from multiple written sources. The result of which was a unique interpretation of a childhood classic which, while entertaining, relied on audiences having at least basic knowledge of Carroll’s written works to make the greatest impact.

‘Alice In Wonderland’ relied largely on descriptive storytelling (rather than props) to paint a picture of what is unfolding on stage and while there is enough going on to keep young audiences entertained, I couldn’t help but feel that some aspects of the story would have been more magical with the use of additional props – such as the moment when Alice is growing and shrinking herself to fit through the small door, which is only described to audiences.

Alice Wonderland 2024 3
Image © Robert Catto

Its script appears to have been written in homage to the chaos and whimsy of Lewis Carroll’s writing style and while those familiar with Carroll’s works will enjoy the many references and passages; younger viewers, and those like me (who have not read the book) may struggle to keep up with the show’s nonsensical monologues and convoluted musings and for adult viewers this can, at times make for a tedious viewing experience.

Aimed at the young and young at heart, ‘Alice In Wonderland’ will resonate deeply among fans of the classic novels.

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