|Alice is having jolly good fun!|
Alice in Wonderland – a perfect evening
Alice in Wonderland performed by outdoor theatre company Heartbreak productions style was a triumph. The weather was perfect. A ‘heatwave’ in fact. ‘Heatwave’ is of course a relative term. Suffice to say it has been sunny for almost two weeks and we have had the novelty of being able to dine alfresco. I had indeed ventured out on a run of consecutive evenings without wearing a cardigan.
Alice – perfect Outdoor Theatre
Outdoor theatre in England is generally the triumph of hope over experience, but this Friday night in Jesmond Dene in Newcastle things were differen. The sun shone on Heartbreak Production’s version of Lewis Caroll’s ‘Alice.’ It was a most beautiful summer evening as the small marquee and stage nestled among the beautiful mature trees of the park.
It was warm, windless and the perfect setting for an evening of fun, laughter, Cava, strawberries and good cheer. Heartbreak Production’s ‘Alice’ is a joyous rhyming up to date-ish version of Alice in Wonderland and Alice Through the Looking Glass. The leading lady is a rather precocious eleven year old, attached to her I pad and her mobile phone. She is adept at being superior to everyone and not very nice to her brother and sister.
Heartbreak aims to tell stories that ‘inspire, entertain, challenge’ and this adaptation of Alice ticked all those boxes for me. The proof of the pudding is in the fact that the audience contained quite large number of small children. They were all entirely enthralled.
|Life is a picnic!|
The young audience were so well behaved. They ate their crisps and pork pies without a rumpus and were keen to join in the performance as members of the jury in the court scene with the Red Queen. They gleefully waved small furry animals as Alice was condemned to be beheaded. Never have twelve good men and true been so jubilant as they sent an unfortunate to meet their maker!
|Members of the jury ponder their verdict|
Alice – talented performers hit the spot.
All the Alice in Wonderland cast were excellent. As a fellow thespian myself, I know that when there is a small cast all weaknesses are easily exposed. Everyone needs to keep up the energy and the pace from the word go. Lily Carrie made a charming Alice, always the straight woman for the other characters, she had the right combination of bossiness and curiosity. Alex Moore was great fun and Rhian McLean was notably good at giving different accents to characters which always helps when sets are minimal.
I particularly liked Nathan Smith who was hilarious as the Mad Hatter with a hat made out of a Quality Street and a Roses tin. He also had a fine baritone and was funny before he even opened his mouth. This is physical theatre at its very best and I particularly enjoyed the Teedledum/Dee fight with the two terrible twins.
Heartbreak Productions – outdoor theatre at its best
The set was created using just a few rostra plus some colourful, rather home made looking props.
As a lifelong Alice fan myself and having directed it, acted in it and toured it in community venues, this show was right up my street. There’s a lot of doom and gloom about at the moment but on that glorious sunny evening in the company of Heartbreak Productions all was right with the world for a change. The company have been coming to Newcastle for years but I never went because it was always raining. I won’t miss out again.
Check out what’s on next at Heartbreak Productions
Another great Heartbreak Show Murder on the Terrace!