Tag Archives: Tom Richardson

“Alice, A Virtual Theme Park”

How much you enjoy Creation Theatre’s online show might depend on how many Zoom meetings you attend. I am afraid I go to too many. But since the experience is aimed at families, who don’t have to use it for work, here’s hoping for its success. The kids I saw watching seemed to enjoy it (along with a pet dog, who was very interested at one point).

In a series of meetings (be quick clicking from one to the next) we join the characters from Lewis Carroll’s novel. The performances are committed, I enjoyed Dharmesh Patel’s Mad Hatter and Annabelle Terry’s Cook. And there are inventive touches that Tom Richardson makes the most of – for Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee – that are a lot of fun.

It’s all out for interactivity. There’s the chance to shout and dance, as well as a card trick someone has to help with. And, very cleverly, draw too (you watch on your computer but have a phone ready for this bit). All the cast deal well with drawing in the audience. The narrative is hard to pick out, so it might be difficult to follow without already knowing the story – maybe make it bedtime reading beforehand? And it would be nice, as well as useful, to see more of Leda Douglas’s Alice. But Zoe Seaton’s adaption effectively emphasises the craziness in the original and makes it entertaining.

While it wouldn’t be a Zoom meeting without some glitches, conversations between the characters are clearly well rehearsed and Seaton has done another good job as director. The fact remains that too many people have too many of these meetings and, even if this is a lot more fun than most, it’s an unforgiving format. Credit to Creation Theatre for making so much of the technology… it still seems like a lot of work for little result to grumpy old me.

Until 30 August 2020