RSC Entices Families with Alice & Revives LionDate: 2 July 2001
The Royal Shakespeare Company is building on its policy of programming family shows with a major new production of Alice in Wonderland, and a revival for its interpretation of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. Directed by Rachel Kavanaugh, Alice will play at the Barbican Theatre from 26 October 2001 and in Stratford-upon-Avon from 29 November 2001. The Lion returns to Sadler's Wells from 6 December 2001 where it was first re-staged in 1999.
Alice is one of four new productions at the heart of the RSC's 2001/2 Winter season, alongside The Merchant of Venice, A Midsummer Night's Dream and The Prince of Homburg. Adrian Mitchell has dramatised the staging, based on a combination of Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There stories. Both books have undergone numerous reworkings for theatre and television over the years.
Mitchell was formerly the resident writer at the Unicorn Theatre for Children and has also adapted the works of Hans Christian Andersen and Beatrix Potter for the stage. His association with the RSC also includes a verse adaptation of Peter Weiss' Marat/Sade, produced by Peter Brooks. Rachel Kavanaugh began her career at the Orange Tree Theatre before becoming an RSC Assistant Director. This summer has seen her directing Love's Labour's Lost at Regent's Park's Open Air Theatre, where her other work includes Much Ado About Nothing (2000) and A Midsummer Night's Dream (1997/98).
Originally staged at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in 1998, The Lion sold over £1.3 million worth of tickets before the first performance of its original sold-out Sadler's Wells run. The show is also dramatised by Adriam Mitchell, this time from the works of CS Lewis, with Lucy Pitman-Wallace directing this revival. Adrian Noble oversaw the first version, which initiated the RSC's recent involvement in this sphere of drama.
- by Gareth Thompson