Theatre listings >
Theatre Index >>
- Scottish Premiere.
Adapter- Michael Duke from Alice in Wonderland and Alice
Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll.
Director - Peter Clerke.
Set Designer - Karen Tennent.
Costume Designer - Alison Brown.
Puppets - Iain Halket.
Lighting Designer - John MacKenzie.
Music - Steve Kettley.
Companies - Benchtours
(based in Edinburgh, Scotland) and Théâtre
Sans Frontières (based in Hexham England.
Cast - here .
Tour Dates and Times - 1 May - 6 June 2003 Full details here
Seen to review at Tron Theatre on 1 May 2003.
Run Time - 1 hours 20 mins.
Reviewer - Thelma Good .
Some delight through a mis-angled mirror.
Alice - Benchtours/Théâtre Sans Frontières.
© Keith Pattison 2002
When we come in there seems to be an enormus empty bed on the stage.
Alice appears with a clarinet. As she starts to play the middle of the
headboard open to reveal a mirrored alcove with the teacher, Catherine
Gillard, of your bad dreams. Alice has an idea and she goes off into
a glorious free riff. The Teacher cuts her off "Play it the right
way or you'll not get on".
Later on her bed Alice, Claire Lamont, muses, "Maybe I'm the
wrong way round." As she drifts off a tiny rabbit appears. The tale
takes off down into a world which is swirled with both Alice's Wonderland
and the Looking Glass world. It's inhabited with many of the memorable
characters including dreamyish Caterpillar, Alasdair Satchel, with
his bubble pipe, the tea party and a magnifcent encounter with John Cobb
reducing us to helpless laughter as the White Knight. The Queens Red,
White and Tarts are played with good contrast, scatty, eastern european
severe and ready to demand heads off.
John Cobb, Sarah Kemp, Rocío Galàn, all TSF, and
Benchtours interesting relative newcomer Claire Lamont's characters
are all memorable, with their costumes adding to the effect. Satchel
unfortunately has two which detract, the caterpillar with a stiff and
angular metallically blue tailcoat (why blue?), and the Duchess's one
too pink and cartoon pantomimish for the production's over all fantasy
feel. Iain Halket's puppets and the set enable us to see Alice shrink
and grow and for adults recall how strange growing upwards is.
Karen Tennent's chessboard set with many flaps and doors the actors move
in and out off begins to be a bit wearing after a while. And at one hour
20 sans interval Peter Clerke's production needs tighter direction and
shortening. It fails to sustain the intense zip and delight it sometimes
acheives. It's potentially fine show seen through a mis-angled mirror.
The mix of the tales chosen by Duke contain much of the fun and fascination
of all those adventures in the world Alice falls into, where logic skews
and skews again as in the Lewis Carroll original. Around me the children
responded to Carroll's Victorian imaginative ideas so like a computer
fantasy game. It made me reach for my battered copies of the Alices.
The ending is troubling. Alice, despite all those marvellous weird experiences
and her head still full of ideas, winds up playing the tune her Teacher
demanded. Was Alice going to be mute for ever or would she one day start
to play riffs in the world? I felt she wouldn't. Today we live excessively
controlled lives, as children and as adults. We and our children need
people who feel they can riff, reverse and change the world a bit. I'd
have liked her to play a different tune or even to wink.
© Thelma Good 1 May 2003. - Published on EdinburghGuide.com
Cast: Claire Lamont - Alice, John
Cobb - White Rabbit, March Hare, Firefly, White Knight, Rocio Galan
- Knave of Hearts, Tweedledum, Mad Hatter, Red Queen, Catherine Gillard
- Teacher, Cook, Deer, Humpty Dumpty, Queen of Hearts, Sarah Kemp
- Tweedledee, Dormouse, White Queen, King of Hearts and Alasdair Satchel
- Caterpillar, Red King, Duchess, Cheshire Cat.
2003 Tour Details of Benchtours and Théâtre
Sans Frontières's production of Alice .
1- 3 May at
7.30pm Thurs & Sat Mats at 2:30pm Glasgow Tron Theatre 0141
6 May at 1.30pm & 7pm & 7 May at 10am & 1.30pm
Stirling MacRobert 01786 466 666
11 May at 3.30pm & 12 May at 10.30am Aberdeen
The Lemon Tree 01224 647 999
16 & 17 May at 7.30pm & Sat Mat at 2pm Lerwick Garrison
Theatre 01595 692 114
21 May at 7.30pm Dunfermline Carnegie Hall 01383 314
28 & 29 May at 1.30pm & 7.30pm Musselburgh Brunton
Theatre 0131 665 240
31 May at 11.45am & 2.45pm & 1 June at 7pm &
2 June at 10am & 12.45pm Part of Bank of Scotland Children's
International Theatre Festival at Edinburgh Traverse Theatre*
0131 228 1404
5 & 6 June at 7.30pm Kendal England Brewery Arts Centre 01539
(December 02/ January 03 Premier and Tour in England
12 - 14 Dec Hexham Queen's Hall, 01434 652477
17 - 21 Dec Whitley Bay Playhouse 0191 252 3505
23 - 24 Dec Carlisle Stanwix Arts Theatre, 01228 534664
28 - 30 Dec Leicester Phoenix Arts, 0116 255 4854
3 - 4 Jan Darlington Arts Centre 01325 486555)
Theatre listings >
Theatre Index >>