The Prep School’s production of Alice takes to the forest!

This week saw Prep School’s Year 7 & 8 cast of ‘Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland’ take to the outdoors for three performances with a difference.

This year, instead of the theatre, our backdrop was trees and bushes, with the characters weaving in and out, suddenly emerging from behind tree trunks and, in the case of the Cheshire Cat (Tabitha B), disappearing just as quickly. The effect was wonderfully surreal. Working seamlessly together, taking alternate scenes and sometimes appearing on stage together, Daisy L-G and Zara S captured the confused and often petulant Alice to perfection.

Our story begins in the nursery where Alice is frustrated by her patronising older sister (Naomi F). When a less-than-punctual White Rabbit (Evie T) appears, events take a strange turn as Alice decides to follow him down the rabbit hole. Trapped in Wonderland, Alice must find her way into the garden and the way home. Here, Alice visits many strange creatures.

Having cried so much, she meets a mouse, played brilliantly by Harriet R, swimming in a pool of tears, along with a flock of birds (Tess G, Emily W, Izzy B and Charlie W). She also encounters a self-righteous caterpillar (Caitlin C), a stressed Duchess (ZaZa R) and an easily offended cook (Sophia D). Having walked in on an absurd tea party taking place in the woods, Alice is greeted less than politely by a Hatter (Misha L), March Hare (Gilbo L G) and Dormouse (Emily K). Finally, Alice manages to get into the garden where she discovers three cards (Bessie R, Georgia C and Clara P) painting white roses red.

To the sound of a royal fanfare, the King (Joshua P) and Queen (Annabel R) of Hearts enter accompanied by the Gryphon (Millie S). After a mad game of croquet in which there are no rules and Alice simply cannot control her flamingo, Alice finds herself escorted to prison awaiting a trial. Here, she meets a miserable mock turtle (Emilee M).

The trial begins and Alice finds herself under sentence of execution. In spite of Alice’s attempts to explain, the Queen of Hearts loses all patience and cries ‘Off with her head!” The Wonderland characters collapse – just like a pack of cards – and Alice wonders if she is awake or simply dreaming. In an eerie ending, we see Alice’s daughter (Georgia C) playing with her mother’s toys in the nursery when a White Rabbit suddenly appears and beckons her . . .