Alice in Wonderland, always a favourite among the young and old, the seasoned theatre goers and the wee little ones just being introduced to the fabulous world of ‘pretend.’
This year, Melbourne Fringe offers a lovely adaptation of the Charles Lutwidge Dodgson children’s novel (written under the pseudonym Lewis Carroll) playing at The Theatre Husk in Northcote, until the 1st of October.
Directed by James Wardlaw and starring Veronica Thomas and Philippa Spicer, this version of Alice premiered at Last Year’s Melbourne Fringe where it was warmly embraced by audiences, and then it had quite a successful run at this year's Melbourne Comedy Festival as well.
The Husk is a quaint and intimate theatre, a perfect venue for the Alice target audience, whose attention tends to wonder easily. The stage is stark but, it had just enough odds and ends, and a gorgeous canvas backdrop, which enabled the story to come alive and assisted it in its unfolding.
Veronica Thomas – resembling a bit American actor Kristen Bell – was a delight to watch in the role of Alice. Veronica has a very animated demeanor, projecting her lines not only vocally but through her posture, hand gestures and facial expressions. She occasionally interacts with the young audience during the performance, and they really enjoy the opportunity to be on stage with Alice. During the show I attended, a little boy was so smitten by Veronica that he insisted on staying on stage, repeatedly hugging Veronica, who stayed in character the entire time.
Philippa Spicer, the only other actor in the play, actually embodied a slew of characters; transforming her voice, accent, facial expressions and donning different hats, sunnies, etc. Philippa was an amazing and versatile acting chameleon! Children and adults were in stitches throughout the show due to Philippa’s hilarious antics. She even managed to slip in a mention of mega boy-band 1 Direction, which made me and other grown ups burst out in a hearty laugh, whilst the little ones remained completely unfazed by it.
If you are looking for something to entertain your little ones during this school holidays, and if they are under the age of 10, Alice in Wonderland at The Husk Theatre is a wonderful little gem, and don’t worry, you will really enjoy it too.
Husky Theatre for Young People presents
Alice in Wonderland
Directed by James Wardlaw
Venue: The Theatre Husk | 161a Heidelberg Rd, Northcote
Dates: 24 Sep – 1 Oct, 2013