This week Wonderland arrives at The Mayflower Theatre in Southampton before continuing to tour.
Hailed by the New York Times as inspirational Wonderland is an enchanting musical adaption of Lewis Carrolls Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass, with a huge heart, a medley of magic and a whole lot of wonder. A timely and touching story of love in all its forms, its an adventurous exploration of who we are, who we want to be and the power of everyday magic in our lives.
In the tradition of the best stage musicals, Wonderland boasts a catchy score full of songs from Frank Wildhorn, writer of pop hits including Whitney Houstons. Where Do Broken Hearts Go? and theatre classics including, This is the Moment from his internationally acclaimed show, Jekyll & Hyde.
On an afternoon in February I visited the New theatre in Oxford to see Wonderland. Our Alice for the afternoon was Michelle Pentecost. When we first see Pentecost she is having a bad day. Something we can all definitely relate to, hung up on an ex and not identifying the good things we have right in front of us. Often we want to escape our surroundings and go into a different world or have other qualities to our personalities. Pentecost demonstrates vulnerability, desperation and a need to make changes for her daughter really well. Her voice sweet, she is everything you want an Alice to be.
Stephen Webb plays Jack with the charismatic charm I have come to expect when I observe his name in the cast list. The delightful Natalie McQueen was our feisty Mad Hatter, who also made you realise there’s always time for tea.
Showing Alice the way to Wonderland was the lovable White Rabbit, Dave Willetts who charmingly illustrates why he has been a West End leading man for many years. While formidable Wendi Peters as Queen of Hearts is a real power tour de force in the role. Other noteworthy performances go to Naomi Morris (Ellie), Divine Cresswell (Dormouse), Kayi Ushe (Caterpillar) and seemingly channeling his inner Alan Carr was Dominic Owen as Cheshire Cat.
An eclectic mix of genres my favourite numbers were – Wonderland, One Knight, I Am My Own Invention, This Is Who I Am and Finding Wonderland.
This really is a delightful modern take on a classic story. Its catchy numbers has your foot tapping and the performances were strong. It’s a fun show and dare I say it, given that we have it over Easter time, with a white rabbit, surely these are all good reasons to book your tickets now for its visit to The Mayflower.
There will be a full review with star rating after its press night at the Mayflower where Sarah Miatt will be attending.
Book HERE now.