Friday, 20 August 2021

REVIEW: Alice's Adventures In Wonderland

KidZania is a scaled city replica of real life for children from 4-14 years, designed to empower and inspire, located in West London (W12) and they streamed a version of the pantomime Cinderella during lockdown offering the kids a glimpse of what they are missing. They have now followed up with an even better production of Alice In Wonderland with the same team for this summer holiday again tempting parents and kids in the Southeast to visit the venue.

The production is filmed inside the building using the street scenes as a background for Alice’s home and clever editing, backcloths and stage sets for the Wonderland sequences. It works extremely well giving the show a high-quality look and they inject some digital effects to give it a magical feel that will surely entertain the 4-to-14-year-olds it is aimed out for the forty-minute run time. The music selection will also entertain the watching parents as the MD, Ed Court, packs a lot of well-known songs into the show.

Beccy Lane leads the cast as Alice, looking every inch the part and is very good throughout. Her powerful opening number is Stevie Wonder’s bluesy “Don’t worry about a thing” which sets the tone for the show. The sequences as she slides down the rabbit hole, shrinks from drink, and grows from the cake are all very simply and effectively done. Louis Rayneau as well as directing again, bounds through the story as the White Rabbitt and although the pace temporarily dips in the sequence of the Mouse delivering a lecture, it soon accelerates into a madcap chase around the site meeting the array of bizarre and amusing characters from Lewis Carroll’s famous novel.

Ed Court appears as the hippie styled Caterpillar advising Alice to "not be afraid of change” before they burst into an excellent version of Demi Lovato’s 'Confident' before Ashleigh Harvey appears as the Duchess in a music hall style version of the Funny Girl song 'I am the Greatest star. Kyle Birch makes delightful cameo appearances as the Cheshire Cat with his wonderful voice. 

Of course, Alice finds her way to the famous tea party where Natalie Thorn is the sleepy dormouse and Josh Harrison-Yellop is the bonkers March Hare and there is a fun mash-up of the High Society song 'Well did you evah' and Olivier’s 'Food Glorious Food'. The pace is maintained when the Mad Hatter, Luke Street, leads Alice into a hallucinatory version of Michael Jackson’s 'Thriller' with the hard-working ensemble of Erin Bell, Jason Leigh Winter and Jack Dargen in the firing line for the water cannons!

As in the original story, the tale takes a turn for the more dramatic when the aggressively shouty Queen of Hearts, Ashleigh Harvey, takes centre stage and calls for an executioner in black with an axe to chop of everybody’s heads. Maybe a warning for the very young or reassurance from watching parents is required! The show concludes with a good version of the Diana Ross song “Brand new day” with the whole cast providing an upbeat and enjoyable finale.

This is another very good-looking capture of the performance, well-edited, and much-improved sound using personal mics absent from Cinderella. The result is a lively enjoyable reworking of the familiar story, well targeted at the young audience and tempting all of us to explore KidZania later this year.

Review by Nick Wayne 

Rating: ★★★★★

Seat: Online | Price of Ticket: £11

Blog Design by pipdig