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Alice Bounces Back

by on 6 January 2022

Fresh Pot of Mad Party Tea

Alice Bounces Back

Putney Theatre Company at Putney Arts Theatre, until 8th January

Thomas Forsythe investigates

“You mean you can’t take less. It’s very easy to take more than nothing.”   So says The Mad Hatter in Alice in Wonderland.  

Putney Theatre Company has almost taken this as its motto for the company of its own Alice in Wonderland, a musical version of Lewis Carroll’s much loved enigmatic story, written by the PTC Writing Team. 

By mid-December, excitement was at its peak as the Putney Arts Theatre’s resident company, Putney Theatre Company, was ready to journey with Alice and with everyone’s favourite wacky, weird and wondrous characters, on a rumbustious, rousing and rowdy ride   through Wonderland. 

It was the week before Christmas and nothing stirred, not even a mouse … except for the dreaded Big-C pestilence.  Despite the company’s best efforts and practices, their show, which was to open on the 16th December for eight performances taking it almost to Christmas Eve, had to be postponed at the eleventh hour due to a number of their company succumbing to Covid.

However, it takes more than a pandemic to depress the spirits of the PTC members.  Like many other enthusiastic thespians, they have been determined not to let the fruits of their hard work wither on the vine.   Christmastide has given opportunity to keep their vision fresh and to get the show back on the road… asap.   Directors, Frances Bodiam and Jim Dixon and choreographer Shakira Hylton forsook their Christmas pud.  With a bit of guerrilla rehearsing, gritted teeth and the help of the theatre management team and their technical wizards, they have been able to squeeze in four performances at the Putney Arts Theatre, before the set has to be taken down for the next scheduled show.

So, rather like Alice downing the “Drink This” bottle, the run has been halved, but the show runs from Thursday 6th until Saturday 8th January, and they have managed to pop in a Saturday matinée too. 

However, many of the pre-Christmas audience couldn’t make the new dates at such short notice.  Hence there is plenty of opportunity for others to shake off the January blues (hang-overs?).  It promises to be a family friendly show and it’s definitely one for children of all ages.  Alice meets many recognisable characters down our rabbit hole and finds that they “do like to sing” and, with original and catchy songs written by Emily Robbins and Simon Herd, so will the audience by the end of the show.

Now after all, the Mad Hatter and his equally mad tea-party, the Queen of Hearts who can’t resist chopping off everyone’s heads, the grinning Cheshire Cat and the infuriating Caterpillar will be joining the ever curious Alice on that rejuvenated, joyous journey down the rabbit hole.

Watch out, here comes the March Hare, “I’m late, I’m late! For a very important date! No time to say ‘hello, goodbye,’ I’m late, I’m late, I’m late!” 

Don’t worry, old friend, you have a second chance.

Thomas Forsythe, January 2022

Photography courtesy of PTC

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  1. Alice in Wonderland | Mark Aspen

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