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This journey down the rabbit hole has a darker side

A haunting image from World War One which transforms in Metta Theatre's Alice

A haunting image from World War One which transforms in Metta Theatre's Alice

Alice by Metta Theatre, Monday May 19 at the Theatre Royal

The dark fantasy tale of Alice in Wonderland was the theme for this intriguing piece of theatre and puppetry by the Metta Theatre.

Alice, now grown old, shelters from World War One bombing raids in her basement while her son Alan loses his mind in the horrors of the trenches.

Using some of the discarded items stored in the basement the characters from Carroll’s story come to life as puppets and through the writer’s own words mother and son communicate in a tender but occasionally disturbing narrative.

Mandy Travis brings a wealth of puppetry skills to her role as Alice while Jack Parker plays the real Alice Liddell’s eldest son who dies in action on May 9 1915.

Adapted and directed by Poppy Burton-Morgan with puppet designer Yvonne Stone we watch the white rabbit emerge from an infant’s christening gown, the mock turtle is created through a gas mask and the Cheshire cat purrs through a fur stole and evening bag in a beautiful set piece.

Lighting and sound make sure we are continually aware of the wartime bombing as this disturbing interplay runs between fun and remembered childhood, mother and son relationships and the horror of the Great War. A thought provoking tale. LA

 

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