Cast on stage in Alice in Wonderland at The Old Rep Theatre
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Alice in Wonderland at The Old Rep Theatre Birmingham: Review

[AD] Press tickets (photos courtesy of The Old Rep Theatre)

There’s nothing quite like sharing an old favourite story with your children is there? Especially when you were the star of that story. This Winter, Alice is taking a trip back to Wonderland at The Old Rep Theatre in Birmingham. And this time, her children are joining her. As Alice settles her three girls down to read them a story, a white rabbit runs by. With a touch of magic and a large pinch of nonsense, we are back in Wonderland.

Alice and children on stage in Alice in Wonderland at The Old Rep Theatre Birmingham
Alice and her children

About Alice in Wonderland at The Old Rep Theatre

This brand new adaptation of Lewis Carroll’s classic story is a collaborative effort between professional producers and year 13 students at Birmingham Ormiston Academy (BOA). Four separate casts made up of around 200 students perform the play from 20th November to 17th December 2021.

If the programme hadn’t said that these weren’t professional actors, I would have had absolutely no idea. They were all incredibly talented and brought the story to life with acting, singing and dancing that wouldn’t be out of place in the West End. We hadn’t realised that the production was a musical, so the upbeat, rousing songs were an unexpected treat.

Before the production even starts, we look through a huge keyhole on stage that sets the scene. The set is designed to look like the inner workings of the white rabbit’s pocket watch. Moving parts are operated by the cast, making its movement an integral part of the performance.

Cast on stage in Alice in Wonderland at The Old Rep Theatre
Cast of Alice in Wonderland

The story

Alice is sitting on the grass with her three children. They play around beside her while she reads a book. As they question why she bothers to read, she agrees to tell them a story. Alice explains the importance of nonsense and imagination. Enter the white rabbit. The girls run after the rabbit, trying to work out where he went. “Eat me” cakes and “drink me” potions are found on a table as they try to make their way into Wonderland.

We meet all the classic characters, along with some additions who add a touch of humour. After swimming through their tears, the girls find themselves in a Caucus race. The Duchess is on hand with her baby pig. A characterful cook obsessed with pepper joins the Duchess. Their to-ing and fro-ing shouting “pepper” “pig” was a little skit that drew a laugh from children and adults alike.

Three people with parasols portray the inimitable Cheshire Cat. Appearing and disappearing as expected but only as eyes and his trademark grin. The Mad Hatter and the adorable door mouse make an appearance, changing places in their never ending tea party. Of course, we are eventually introduced to the Queen of Hearts and her croquet lawn. And how does this adaptation of Alice in Wonderland end? Well, that would be telling. Alice in Wonderland at The Old Rep Theatre in Birmingham will be showing until 17th December 2021. Why not go and find out how the story ends?

swimming through tears on stage in Alice in Wonderland at The Old Rep Theatre
Swimming through tears

What we thought of Alice in Wonderland at The Old Rep Theatre

Alice in Wonderland at The Old Rep Theatre is an ideal family show. My girls were absolutely captivated, and even more so when they read in the programme that the actors are not so many years older than them. At half time, we chatted about the merits of the BOA. Both of my girls adore being on stage acting, dancing and singing. This is one of those productions that inspires children to fulfil their own dreams in the future. I suspect we will be looking into the BOA more when the girls are moving towards key stage 4 education.

It is often the way that a production enjoyed by children can be somewhat dull for the adults in the group. This is not the case with Alice in Wonderland at The Old Rep Theatre, far from it. The whole performance is full of colour, music, fun and of course nonsense. There are plenty of little moments to make you laugh and the songs are repetitive enough to get you singing along by the end.

The cast of Alice in Wonderland at The Old Rep Theatre Birmingham
The cast of Alice in Wonderland at The Old Rep Birmingham

What you need to know about Alice in Wonderland at The Old Rep Theatre

  • Booking tickets: Tickets for Alice in Wonderland at The Old Rep Theatre are available from the theatre’s website.
  • Performance dates and times: Various dates from 27th November to 17th December 2021.
  • Performance length: The production lasts an hour and 40 minutes including a 20 minute interval.
  • British Sign Language performance: A BSL interpreted performance takes place at 1.30pm on 14th December 2021.
  • Getting to The Old Rep Theatre: The nearest train station is Birmingham New Street. There are several car parks very close by.
  • Ticket prices: The standard ticket price is £21.50. Concessions are £19 and and a family ticket costs £72. Schools and educational groups have a special rate of £10.50
  • Other festive events in the West Midlands: Check out this post to find out what’s on for families in the West Midlands this Christmas.

[AD] Press tickets (photos courtesy of The Old Rep Theatre)

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