Wonderland* is a magical adaption of the world famous fairy-tales of Lewis Carroll. Alice in Wonderland is one of my favourite stories so I was over the moon when I found out we had been invited to attend the opening night at the Mayflower Theatre alongside Sotonbloggers.
The stage show has been adapted from both Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass. This production is a story about love, adventure and personal discovery. After sold out international seasons in Tampa, Texas and Tokyo, Wonderland stops at Southampton for 5 days during its 30 venue UK tour. Frank Wildhorn’s Wonderland has received multi Grammy, Tony and Drama Desk Award nominations. Packed with 20 musical numbers, this is a show for the whole family to enjoy.
The story starts with Alice (Rachael Wooding) as a divorced single mother struggling with what to do and how to change. Armed with her daughter Ellie (Naomi Morris) and their shy neighbor Jack (Stephen Webb) they chase the White Rabbit (Dave Willetts) down the rabbit hole and into the midst of Wonderland. Along the way they meet a selection of crazy characters including the Caterpillar (Kayi Ushe), Mad Hatter (Natalie Mcqueen), March Hare (Ben Kerr) and Cheshire Cat (Dominic Owen) who all tell their tales through uplifting original musical medleys. Their world is ruled by the evil Queen of Hearts (Wendi Peters) who Alice, Ellie and Jack must overcome in order to to escape Wonderland and find their way back home.
The story is an inspirational tale of self discovery, with Alice delivering some knockout performance with her sense of humour adding to the enjoyment of the show. Although I found some of the characters to be overly cheesy and slightly overdone, the entire production was polished with exceptional vocals and costumes to match. The stand out character for me has to be the Mad Hatter. Throughout the production her character development is absolutely brilliant: from absolutely bonkers to fierce and feisty! Her portrayal of both personalities was executed with ease and perfection and the duet of ‘This is Who I Am’ with Alice completely took my breath away and sent shivers down my spine.
The modern twist on the story really helped to portray the power of magic in our everyday lives and the small but incredibly talented cast delivered a knockout performance bringing together this unique story. If you love the original story then you probably won’t enjoy Wonderland but if your open to the weird and wonderful world of Wonderland you may just fall in love with it.
Wonderland is showing at the Mayflower from 18th April to the 22nd April with tickets available through the box office or online.
*Complimentary tickets in exchange of review – see disclaimer.
Press pictures provided by Mayflower theatre