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Theatre Review: Wonderland at Oxford New Theatre

PUBLISHED: 16:30 21 February 2017 | UPDATED: 16:40 21 February 2017

Kayi Ushe as the Caterpillar

Kayi Ushe as the Caterpillar

Archant

The classic tales of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass are given a modern-day twist in this fantastically fun musical adaptation

Ducking in from a mild evening in the beautiful city of Oxford, we headed into Oxford New Theatre in anticipation of the musical adaptation of Lewis Carroll classics Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass.

With a run of shows lined up until Saturday, if opening night was anything to go by, the entertaining, heart-warming musical will make for a delightful evening to enjoy with family and friends.

Excitement could be felt in the crowd even before the production began, and as soon as the curtain rose, a huge music number grasped the attention of the audience. You can’t help but be caught up in the show; tapping your feet and humming along to all the songs throughout.

Stephen Webb as Jack Stephen Webb as Jack

The musical adaption of the much-loved tale is given a modern-day touch with Alice (Rachel Wooding) as a single mother disillusioned with life, her lovelorn neighbour Jack (played by the brilliant Stephen Webb) and worried teenage daughter Ellie (played by the fantastically talented Naomi Morris).

Following the White Rabbit (played by theatre veteran Dave Willetts who rose to fame for his title role in The Phantom of the Opera), Alice, Jack and Ellie find themselves in Wonderland where they embark on a journey of self discovery.

Fans of ITV’s Britain’s Got Talent may recognise Rachel Wooding. Last year she wowed the judges and nation with her stunning rendition of ‘With You’ from Ghost. With a string of theatre and television credits to her name, in her role of Alice, Rachel exudes the passion, professionalism and presence that make her such a talented actress. And boy, can she sing!

Expect all your favourites; the always late White Rabbit (Willetts), the brilliantly bonkers Mad Hatter (Natalie McQueen) and the slick, stylish Caterpillar (Kayi Ushe), alongside a cast dressed in fantastic costume and performing against a stunning set.

West End and TV royalty Wendi Peters, known by most for her portal of outrageous Coronation Street resident Cilla Battersby-Brown, gives a marvellous portrayal of the Queen of Hearts. Fabulously dressed and rosy cheeked, she commanded the attention of the audience as much as her kingdom’s subjects through song, dance and quick wit.

Catch the production of Wonderland at Oxford New Theatre up until Saturday February 25 before the tour continues across the country. For information on tour dates and bookings throughout the UK visit the website.

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