Last year, we thoroughly enjoyed watching Iris Theatre’s Alice in Wonderland. This summer, they have returned to the St Paul’s Actors’ Church to present us with Alice Through The Looking Glass.
The show starts with a bang. A theatrical and powerful opener to the show starts right in the heart of St Pauls’ Actor’s Church, where the audience are greeted by a whirlwind of activity and drama. The Looking Glass is, in many ways a reversal of the Wonderland world. We felt confused about the show to begin with, but that is its point. The plot unravels and makes sense as it goes along, with the young Alice taking us on an adventure with her, as we go from scene to scene, which is played all over the beautiful grounds and we loved the interactive feel. For fans of Lewis Carroll who have loved the book, seeing it come to life as a play is a joyous moment.
We loved Anne-Marie’s turns as the powerful Red Queen and as the loveable, hilarious and zany Mosquito, she also demonstrated great operatic moments and is able to switch from being serious and splendid sounding, to being slapstick-silly and a comedy performer in the blink of an eye. That said, the entire cast are so strong and so talented. Jos Vantyler gave many hilarious turns and his facial expressions were priceless, Dafydd Gwyn Howells as Tweedledee had us in stitches. Valerie Cutko gave her all in to the performance and really shone for us as Mrs Grey, White Queen and Rose. She has great grace, composure and a wickedly delightful glint in her eye – ready to scare the unsuspecting children and adults in the audience alike, a truly wonderful performer. Laura Wickham again proved what a great actress she is, by playing Alice with the bravery needed but with a wide-eyed innocence.
All of the magic in the book is brought to life in this stunning adaptation. The show has a pantomime feel to it, with a lot of slapstick, wacky costumes, campness, crowd interaction and utterly British moments and be prepared for the water pistol! But if you start to feel comfortable, they will reign it in and show you that this is anything but a pantomime. Again, the Iris Theatre has delivered and make a family-friendly show that appeals to children and adults alike, with plenty of surprises. We can safely say that you will be thoroughly entertained by this production and love every aspect of it. It is hard not to be sucked in by every moment and the scary moments are played with such reality, it almost feels real and as if it is actually happening (even for the adults)! Each actor fully embraces their characters and they inject more than what is expected of them. The finale is pretty special and you must catch it whilst you still can, the show will be running until the end of August as it would be a shame for you to miss it.