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Alice: the Musical

“Exuberant, high-energy take on a classic”

Twenty years after its first outing at Belfast’s Lyric Theatre, Paul Boyd’s colourful helter-skelter ride down a rabbit hole into Wonderland returns with enough energy to light a forest of Christmas trees.

Alice: The Musical celebrates Boyd as a natural storyteller of imagination and invention – and one with an eye for topicality.

Adam Dougal’s Tweedledee and Rea Campbell-Hill’s Tweedledum spoof immersive theatre and throughout are subtle, satirical allusions to an imminent, equally incongruous journey through the looking glass: Brexit.

Performances are as clever, immediate and bright as Stuart Marshall’s constantly evolving sets. Gillian Lennox and Erin Charteris’ costumes adroitly blend Golden Age Hollywood and pantomime excess with John Tenniel’s iconic illustrations from Lewis Carroll’s original.

Ruby Campbell’s authentic, Julie Andrews-accented Alice is a strongly sung and sympathetic linchpin. Charlotte McCurry’s slinky Cheshire Cat moves between dual roles as narrator and participant with insinuating feline grace. Christina Nelson’s buck-toothed White Rabbit is delightfully scatty on stage and in her forays into the auditorium.

Dugdale’s flamboyant show-stealing Caterpillar is the effervescent love child of Carmen Miranda and Lady Gaga. Meanwhile, all operatic pomp and pretence, Allison Harding’s querulous Queen of Hearts is Margaret Thatcher re-imagined by Tim Burton.

Turned up to 11 in the playback, Boyd’s thumping, through-composed prerecorded pop-rock score keeps energy levels in the red albeit occasionally getting in the way of clarity. With a tad less adrenaline and volume, this has the makings of a Christmas treat full of charm, fantasy and fun.

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Production Details
Production nameAlice: the Musical
VenueLyric Theatre
StartsNovember 29, 2018
EndsJanuary 5, 2019
Running time2hrs 20mins
AuthorPaul Boyd
DirectorPaul Boyd
Musical directorPaul Boyd
ChoreographerDeborah Maguire
Set designerStuart Marshall
Costume designerErin Charteris, Gillian Lennox
Lighting designerPaul Keogan
Sound designerPaul Boyd
Casting directorClare Gault
CastAdam Dougal, Allison Harding, Charlotte Mccurry, Christina Nelson, Mark Dugdale, Rea Campbell-Hill, Ruby Campbell
Production managerJohn Gallagher, Padraig O’Duinnin
Company stage managerAimee Yates
ProducerBelfast, Lyric Theatre
VerdictStrong performances and knowing seasonal charm deliver an exuberant, high-energy take on a classic
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Michael Quinn

Michael Quinn

Michael Quinn

Michael Quinn

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