Alice In Wonderland by Quay Players
Quay Players have chosen Alice in Wonderland as their pantomime for this year with a slightly alternative take on the classic story. We meet a nasty Duchess and our dame is The Queen of Hearts but overall we meet all the colourful characters we are used to in this traditional tale.
The tale of Alice in Wonderland is an interesting story to follow at the best of times due to the sheer number of characters you meet. Unfortunately in this pantomime the plot was lost early on and it was unclear as what Alice was striving for and how all the characters related to each other. Part of this is due to the fact that the show was relatively short and there is a lot of content in the original story to cram in. Combined this with the fact that on top of this content they also had to include traditional pantomime elements as well as song and dance and the story got lost along the way.
Quay Players however did well in adding all of the pantomime elements into what is not normally a traditional pantomime and the children in the audience were frequently shouting ‘It’s behind you,’ and ‘Oh Yes he is.’ There was also a nice mixture of songs, ranging from pop songs to classic musical theatre to some more unusual musical theatre. I did wonder occasionally as to the relevance of some of the song choices, for example Alice singing ‘Stars & Moon.’ Whilst the lyrics of the first verse were changed to make it relevant it went on to use the original lyrics which seemed out of place for a young girl, such as Alice to be singing.
Alice was played by Lucinda Kingham. She had a voice well suited to the role and captured Alice’s innocence well. Stealing the show for me was Julianne Palmer and Lauren Breese and the Tweedle Brothers- Dum and Dee. They had a huge amount of energy and very natural comedy timing. Children and adults in the audience were laughing along with them.
I also really enjoyed the energy of Laura Sanderson as the Cheshire Cat and also felt that Oscar Deniham as the Queen of Hearts had a lovely stage presence. The White Rabbit was also well suited to his role and interacted well with the audience although he does need to be careful with his tuning in some of his numbers. The ensemble often looked a bit lost and needed a more character and interaction with each other to help give the numbers a bit more oomph. The director (Mark Smith) and choreographer (Tim Watson) also need to accept that some people are more natural dancers than others and that is ok to utilise that.
Overall Quay Players did a nice job but with a bit more attention to the story and further development of the ensemble would result in a more polished show.
To find out more about Quay Players visit their website.