Review: Wonderland at the Grand Opera House
The moral of the story is you can’t run away from who you are. It was the worst day of Alice’s life, her car was stolen, she lost her job, the husband she thought she loved had left her and her daughter was getting on her nerves. You can’t really blame her for not wanting to live in the real world.
Magic happens in theatres and in the Opera House this week Alice (Kerry Ellis) gets her wish. The White Rabbit, (Dave Willetts) who used to be a judge before he left the real world, made her dream come true and whisked her and her daughter Ellie (Naomi Morris) and the upstairs neighbour off down the rabbit hole into wonderland.
But it’s not all it seems, if Alice and her neighbour Jack (Stephen Webb) and Ellie want to live in Wonderland they must pass through the Looking Glass and become the people they really want to be, Alice doesn’t change much, Dave becomes a hero and the leader of a boy band and brave enough to declare his love for Alice and Ellie becomes an obnoxious teenager.
They become embroiled in the politics of Wonderland, the power struggle between the Mad Hatter (Natalie McQueen) and the glorious Queen of Hearts (Wendi Peters).
This production is great escapism, full of colour and song, plot twists and characters you’d forgotten about, the Dormouse, Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee, the Caterpillar, the Cheshire Cat, the Cat Gang and the rest.
The set is stunning, the rabbit hole just goes on and one into the distance and the looking glass is magical. The cast, two dozen energetic actors, fill the stage and the musical director Alex Parker played the key board and conducted the orchestra with aplomb.
This is great fun, although the scary Queen threatens “off with their heads” right, left and centre, she sees sense in the end, consumes more and more jam tarts and everyone is happy.
So did the three adventures stay in Wonderland or return home wiser and happier people?
You’ll have to see for yourself at the Grand Opera House Belfast until Saturday 1st April 2017.
More details: www.goh.co.uk