13-18 February 2017
Reviewed by Claire Turner
A new musical hit Southend this week – Wonderland. This is Alice as we’ve never seen her before. She’s all grown up and has a teenage daughter (who appears to be more grown up than her Mum).
It’s Alice’s birthday, her ex-husband is getting married, she’s just been fired and her car has been stolen. Alice is played by the very talented Rachael Wooding with Naomi Morris playing her daughter Ellie.
All of a sudden, a white rabbit appears, played by Dave Willets. Ellie is taken off into Wonderland. Alice confused by it all looks for Ellie and bumps into her neighbour Jack, played by Stephen Webb, they then bump into the white rabbit and are taken to Wonderland too – although there is no rabbit hole here!
Wonderland is bonkers, crazy, colourful – all you could imagine it is and more! It is always tea time and we meet the Mad Hatter, the March Hare, the Queen of Hearts, played by Wendi Peters (eating her jam tarts) and the Cheshire Cat. The costumes are vibrant and up to date.
Alice, Ellie and Jack are taken on a wild and wonderful journey to find out who they really are and who they really want to be. They meet different characters from Alice in Wonderland & Through the Looking Glass – the Caterpillar played by Kayi Ushe, The Cheshire Cat, wonderfully played by Dominic Owen, who tells them about The Looking Glass – where you jump through and when you come back you’re changed! Ellie and Jack jump through and their transformations are brilliant, they make the show even more wacky! Alice isn’t as keen to change… too much in her past she doesn’t want to meet – she doesn’t want to be in the real world.
The Mad Hatter wants to take over Wonderland with Ellie’s help and it’s up to Alice to try and stop this and decide between Wonderland and real life!
The singing is great, the dancing is crazy and it was a great night with lots of laughs and rapturous applause at the end. At some points the band are louder than the singing, but you can still just about hear their voices.
Tickets cost from £34 to £46 (includes booking fee).
Wonderland is at the Cliffs Pavilion in Southend until 18 February 2017. For more information or to book tickets click here or call the box office on 01702 351135.
Cliffs Pavilion, Station Road, Southend-on-Sea, Essex, SS0 7RA | 01702 351135