September 2008 at Leighton Buzzard Theatre
Fantasy musical based on the story of Alice in Wonderland.
Combined cast of over 70 children; total of 6 performances! Staged in aid of SAMM.
Review by Suzanne Jones:
The Leighton Buzzard Theatre was alive with the buzz of young children last week as they performed Alice The Musical. The Mini Theatre cast mostly 5-11 were fantastic.
Alice played by Corinne Hubbold was very good- she smiled her way through the complex scenes meeting all the madcap characters. Corinne acted with maturity and sensitivity. The duchess, the caterpillar,white rabbit, cook and cat all fitted their roles perfectly and brought alive the endearing tales.The mad hatters scene was super with three adorable little dormice, two mad hares and of course the Mad Hatter. The walrus played by Ben Craig, the gryphon Karl Goodwin, Mock Turtle Josie Derland and the carpenter Matthew Jones added more comedy and fun. The King and Queen of hearts were scarily loud and fearsome.Lewis Carroll himself was depicted by the young Tommy Scudamore with excellent singing and acting alongside April Matthews who showed sweetness in her role as Alice Lidell, Carolls neice. The costumes were wonderful, the music fun and the scenery simple but effective. Well done to the production team, it was lovely to see such young children having so much enjoyment and filling the town theatre with an appreciative audience.
Review by Sandra Dudley:
Leighton Buzzard Children's Theatre delight audiences.
Ever wondered how the White Rabbit met the Queen of Hearts? Ever wondered at the wisdom of an oversized green Caterpillar with smoking pipe? What is a Gryphon-and how did he become acquainted with a Mock Turtle, an endearing old Walrus-and his Carpenter mate?
All was revealed at the Library Theatre this weekend with Alice The Musical staged by Leighton Buzzard Children's Theatre and directed by Sally Allsopp.
Alice (Jess Allsopp), was perfectly cast as a naïve, unsophisticated, but thoughtfully articulate girl on the adventure of a lifetime There was a comedy duet with the excellent Cheshire Cat (Callum Fosberry), excellent performances were repeated in each scenario with differing colourful characters and sets.
Traditionally clad in turquoise frock with puffed sleeves and white apron, shoulder length blonde hair and white band, Alice's open faced innocence expressed constant wonder, bemusement and curiosity.
In a Victorian parlour of Dodgson (aka Lewis Carroll the original author) and his niece, Alice, narrators interact with the stage characters. Alice, living dangerously for one so young, discovers a potion with a label inviting her to 'Drink Me'. She does. With clever setting and props, she shrinks in size and enters Wonderland: a surreal community of characters, costumes and choreography. Woodland animals with painted faces
So many everyday sayings and poems come from Lewis Carroll: "mad as a hatter" for one. Enter the Duchess in pinks and purples with that famous advice "Speak roughly to your little boy".
There's a charming and confident first LBCT performance by Vicky Webb as the Cook; the endearing White Rabbit (Dominique Kelly) and Caterpillar (Thomas Dunne).
The Mad Hatter's Tea Party was a dream-for both players and audience. Lewis Carroll's famous 'The Walrus and the Carpenter' poem beautifully spoken by Dodgson (Harvey Murray). Particular commendations must go to Alice for overall continuity, the Cheshire Cat for comedy and the Queen of Hearts (Eleanor Turner) as a vampish diva who eventually softens!
There were backcloths of art deco poppies and versatile, clever lighting, to create a Wonderland 'townscape'.
Bossa nova rhythms in one scene, American square dancing the next, full chorus anthems to set one's heart racing including Music is our Life and madcap comedy numbers such as We're all as Mad as Hatters.
This was an accurate but modern depiction of a much loved story. Add Alice as she realises her new companions are 'just a pack of cards' and wants to go home and the auditorium was bathed in pathos.
NEXT PRODUCTION: Christmas Sing out Against Cancer in December; OKLAHOMA IN FEBRUARY!