The year is drawing to a close, which is terrible, because there’s not much theatre over the Winter holidays…Damn you to Hell, Santa Claus, you theatre-hating bastard!
But there’s still time to cram in a few shows before things go quiet, and high on that list of yours should be a trip to the still-retro National Arts Centre to catch Lewis Carroll’s ALICE THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS, directed by English Theatre boss Jillian Keiley and starring the 2014/2015 ensemble (plus special guests). I can’t even wait to get into the review art of this post to tell you that ALICE is just about the most purely enjoyable, deliriously loopy pieces of theatrical hoopla you’ll see this year, and probably next. You know the tale, more or less…inquisitive Alice takes a trip inside the mirror (not down the rabbit hole, that’s the OTHER story) to a world where lions fight unicorns, people remember things that haven’t happened yet, and pretty much anything goes. This is terrific theatre magic on display, from a knightly war featuring oversized rollerballs and bouncing ponies, a movable bicycle forest that’s one of the most beautiful things I’ve seen in a long time, tap dancing oysters, and a seemingly endless chorus of mock-Alices performing every mad function Keiley and company could dream up.
The show is expertly anchored by Natasha Greenblatt as Alice, wonderfully endearing and tireless as our underage heroine on a loopy quest to become a Queen (although existing Red and White Queens Karen Robinson and Lois Anderson may have some things to say about that). Unforgettable moments happen pretty much every minute or so, with Herbie Barnes and Darrell Dennis making a smashing Tweedledee and Tweedledum, and David Warburton’s Humpty Dumpty simply has to be seen…plus of course my beloved teachers Alix Sideris and Andy Massingham, knocking it out in a variety of different guises. 🙂 I can’t even really describe the things I saw, other than to say you really gotta see them too. And there are Jellybeans..!!! Screw it, just go. Go, and take whatever kids you know (and bring your own inner kid for sure), and get ready to have a blast on the other side of the mirror. Peace, love and soul,
Kevin Reid (and Winston)