Because pantomimes aren’t just for Christmas! The New Theatre Royal in Lincoln, along with a few other theatres across the UK, are bringing back Easter pantomimes. Oh no they aren’t, oh yes they are. Alice in Wonderland is on until the 7th April 2018 and it’s a perfect day out during this awful British weather we keep having to put up with.
Alice in Wonderland – The Cast
Patrick Kearns played the highly entertaining Dona Kebab in the theatre’s Christmas pantomime Aladdin. He has returned in Alice in Wonderland as the March hare and the Queen of hearts. He is as funny, witty and entertaining as he was back at Christmas. His accent as an Irish hare and Queen of hearts who couldn’t pronounce her R’s are brilliant and again he managed a few hilarious ad libs. This man is guaranteed to put a smile on your face. He also wrote the script for this pantomime. So hats off to him.
It was also good to see Ian Crowe back again. He played Abanazar in Aladdin and this time he returned as the mad hatter and the king of hearts. Perfect roles for him and I knew it was him as soon as he started rolling his r’s. CBBC’s Christopher Johnson who played Cous Cous in Aladdin also returns as the white rabbit. The white rabbit was apparently Jamie’s favourite character in the pantomime and he loved it when he disappeared down the rabbit hole.
Alice is played by a lady with a beautiful voice, Sophie Towns. She was very elegant in her role and played Alice very well. I must admit I was a little jealous. Alice in Wonderland was one of my absolute favourite books growing up. I still have a much treasured copy that was handed down to me by my Dad. I often used to imagine myself as Alice.
What to Expect from Alice in Wonderland as a Panto
We were there for the relaxed performance on the bank holiday Monday. It was aimed at toddlers however I’d say that most of the children there were 5+. The show itself lasted for just under 2 hours which included an interval. After such a long pantomime (over 3 hours) at Christmas it was good to see them back to a much more child friendly couple of hours.
Alice in Wonderland wasn’t quite as concentrated on following a pantomime format as Aladdin at Christmas. It was more focused on the story and songs. Of course there was the usual tongue in cheek jokes and shouts of he’s behind you. I’d say audience participation wasn’t as full on however that didn’t mean it wasn’t fun.
I was a little disappointed that my favourite part of the story of Alice in Wonderland was omitted from the performance. This is the part when Alice tastes the different foods and drinks and gets smaller and bigger to try and fit through the doorway etc. It was a shame this wasn’t included. However, there was the traditional lateness of the white rabbit and the craziness of the Mad Hatter’s tea party. The Cheshire cat also made quite a surreal appearance and it was funny when the kids twigged that there were two cats instead of one. Of course there was plenty of ‘Off with their heads’ by the Queen of Hearts and many other traditional parts of the story.
In all honesty, it didn’t matter what was or wasn’t part of the show. The songs were all very good with some specially written for the show plus mainstream songs which the audience could join in with. As well as the cast mentioned above they also had some children and actors on stage who were all very good in their roles. It wasn’t a massive cast but it didn’t need to be.
We were there as three generations as there was my Mum, myself and my son. We all had a smile on our faces, laughed out loud, clapped along and declared it one of the best theatre performances that we’ve been to in a long time. There’s also a bit of a surprise for the vast majority of the audience which I won’t spoil. I will only say that the King of hearts perhaps enjoyed himself too much!
The costumes were all very good and I especially loved the scenery back drops. As always the New Theatre Royal is a lovely setting for seeing a show and I recommend you purchase some tickets before the Easter season has ended.
To buy tickets visit www.newtheatreroyallincoln.co.uk or call 01522 519999. Alternatively, you can visit the Box Office at New Theatre Royal Lincoln, Clasketgate, Lincoln, LN2 1JJ
Tickets start at £8.
Disclaimer: We received complimentary tickets for the purpose of our review. All words are my own and photos of the cast are courtesy of the New Theatre Royal in Lincoln. Please do not copy any of my text or images.