When your children are quoting lines from a show days after the event, you know you’re onto a winner. Lee Lyford’s Alice is certainly that. This is a superb ensemble event, with enough rumbustious energy, wit and intelligence to captivate children and adults with ease.
Hattie Naylor’s expert adaptation and script give us both the light and dark of Lewis Carroll’s book and she almost always keeps up the pace (which can’t always be said for Carroll). Lyford’s direction and Paul Dodgson’s excellent music and gorgeously fun lyrics magic this into a true theatrical wonderland, as each of Alice’s strange encounters is shown through a new piece of theatrical aplomb: a seaside Punch & Judy booth for “The Walrus and The Carpenter”, a Barber’s Shop Quartet for the haughty flowers - and a Jabberwocky that must be experienced for itself.
The highly able cast clearly has fun, led by the inexhaustible but never irritating Alice (Alexis Terry), with John Biddle deserving special mention for his Shrinking Violet and Christmas Pudding (“leading his custard-drenched life of shame / Always a pudding; never the main.”)
Whilst Alice adaptations can be rather dull in these departments, Jessica Worrall’s costumes and set are both perfect and imaginative; The black and white carnivalia offsets the bright and eccentric garb.
An excellent show and a masterful piece of fun - catch it while you can!