Fluff Productions presents for our pleasure Alice’s
Adventures In The New World! And a pleasure it is in this witty music
hall escapade. From Lily Arnold and Katherine Webb’s delectable costumes
and artfully crumbling set to the sparky performances from this vibrant cast,
this is a show that will blow away your winter cobwebs and jolly you into the
spring to come, even if the ending is tangibly bittersweet.
Beneath a fragmented proscenium arch, in the blaze of copper
footlights, our heroine travels around America in search of her absentee
mother. On the way she encounters a cornucopia of grotesque and wonderful women
in a world where it is better to be thought dead than divorced. How times have
changed, or so we think, for as each character comes and goes it becomes
disturbingly apparent that in some ways we haven’t moved on at all.
Sarah Sigal’s play cleverly skates along the surface of
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, nodding at music hall
classics like “Burlington Bertie From Bow” and period icons wearing green
carnations, all the while wearing its feminist aspirations clearly on its
Sometimes these allusions are too acute, with the message
feeling slightly heavy handed, but for the most part Sigal manages to fly in
the face of perceived convention and makes feminism both funny and poignant.
Because for all of the production’s unashamed girl power ethos, Alice’s
adventures, whilst empowering, are above all hilarious.
Much of this is down to Sigal’s witty script, but she is
helped by a cast that lift her words from the page and make them appear in
marvellous Technicolor. Fluff Production founding members Emily
North, Rebecca Dunn and Fiona Putnam display an exquisite level of
mimicry, creating an ingenious motley crew of individuals for Alice to meet,
whilst Ailsa Ilott, as the aforementioned young lady, is the solid centre of
a swirling universe. She tethers the others down, allowing them to bounce off
the walls and each other in a haze of surreal joviality. Despite playing
perhaps the hardest part of all, Ilott is completely believable as this quietly
powerful young girl, making her final frustrated monologue genuinely
Jessica Beck’s imaginative production is joyful, raucous
and like a mini powder keg of feminist fun. Exquisitely designed, beautifully
underscored by Amelia Cavallo on piano and performed with an abundance of
charm, this is a show that will leave you feeling both jubilant and slightly
perturbed - just as though you had been on an adventure yourself.