Alice on the Underground review at Repertory Birmingham
This modern musical version of Lewis Carroll’s tale searches for Alice, while Alice searches for love.
The intimate environment of the Rep lends itself perfectly to this very humane, touching yet funny performance, that surprises not least by the lead actress having Downs Syndrome.
The role of Alice was written by Chris Bond and Paula Rees for Emma Cambridge, who gives the character a new dimension. This new depth to Alice’s feeling of loneliness and of being lost in this world comes at the price of an occasionally weak singing performance.
The performance does not lack in humour, with the opening scenes provoking genuine laughter. Many of the lyrics are very poignant in their message of a society where love is lost, where no one means what they say or say what they mean.
Liz Kitchen and Iain Whitmore, Rebecca Chapman and Anna Stavrinides belt out some wonderful duets, while the musicians in the background give a convincing performance throughout, albeit with a few technical difficulties.
Tommy Doyle has a central role as the white rabbit guiding Alice through the murky underbelly of London. Despite some rather strange dancing, he delivers an endearing performance as one of the dreamy characters of the original story.
Repertory, Birmingham, July 20-24
- book by Chris Bond and Paula Rees, music by Jo Collins and David Carey
- Chris Bond
- The Chicken Shed Theatre Company
- Emma Cambridge, Rebecca Chapman, Anna Stavrinides, Tommy Doyle, Michael Offei, Liz Kitchen, Iain Whitmore
- Running time
- 1hr 45mins
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