Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland is a story most people know, but the life of Charles Dodgson, alias Lewis Caroll, and the real Alice Liddell is much less popular. Your Alice combines elements of both real historical events and the fantasy world of Wonderland to create an absolute masterpiece of modern theatre.
Every element of Your Alice works perfectly together to produce an impressive and must-see show.
Set in summer 1862, a reluctant Dodgson (Luke Antony Neville) tells Alice (Eliza Shea) familiar stories from Wonderland which she immerses herself in. Following Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by chapter, beloved characters such as the piano-playing Cheshire Cat (Tamara Sevunts) appear to explore the darker side of Wonderland. While a seemingly simple concept, Your Alice utilises live-music, storytelling, and physical theatre perfectly to leave a lasting impression.
Perhaps the most impressive element of this production is the smooth transitions between reality and fantasy, enabled by the 11-strong cast. They are practised, disciplined, and their group synchronisation is spellbinding. Physical theatre is used exceptionally well to create mesmerising scenes such as the caucus race, and simple yet ingenious solutions to Wonderland’s demanding landscape are both delightful and hilarious. Special mention must go to Eliza Shea playing Alice, as her phenomenal characterisation and stage presence reminds one of a young Helena Bonham Carter. Moreover, Lawryn LaCroix as the March Hare also captivated with her high-pitched giggles and beautiful singing voice. LaCroix’s consistent and high-energy performance certainly designates her as one to watch.
Playwright and director Billie Aken-Tyers handles the sensitive issues behind the story with respect and dignity. Your Alice delves just enough into Dodgson’s psyche to see him as a truly conflicted and distressed man, without glorifying his adoration for a young child. The Caterpillar, played by the incredibly capable Andy Dispensa, overtly represents Dodgson’s desire for Alice in a somewhat unsettling scene. Achieving the right balance of uncomfortable and thought-provoking, Dodgson’s conversations with the Caterpillar force one to really consider the motives of Dodgson and his seemingly respectable persona.
This is a truly enchanting story which discusses darker issues in the context of a well-polished piece of performance art. From beautiful costumes to striking hair and makeup, every element of Your Alice works perfectly together to produce an impressive and must-see show.