Stage

Epic Ballet Rescues Alice in Wonderland From Johnny Depp

By Giles Hardie December 11, 2017
Alice in Wonderland ballet PHOTO: Daniel Bould

REVIEW: It's all your favourite bits of Alice in Wonderland plus puppetry, video, magic... and lots of dancing

A Christmas ballet trip might sound like something reserved for 8 year old girls with their 80 year old grandmothers but The Australian Ballet is here to rescue you from that misconception and to save Alice in Wonderland from the Tim Burton crafted prison she had been imprisoned in.

Whatever your preconceptions of Alice or ballet, this production, entitled Alice's Adventures In Wonderland, is here to disabuse them... and blow your mind in the process.

Alice in Wonderland The Queen PHOTO: Daniel Bould

Playing until 22 December this epic production - yup three acts, but you won’t want it any shorter - features amazing puppetry, dazzling tap dancing and some glorious stage magic, all wrapped up in the most sumptuous set and costume design.

It also delivers the best and most original version of Lewis Carroll’s story that has been delivered in decades.

And most importantly of all, at no point does the Mad Hatter, or any other character for that matter, do anything remotely close to the Futterwacken.

Yet of course dancing is central to this production, and the ballet traditionalists will have LOTS to love as Alice, her mother and Lewis Carol himself, all dance their way through the amazing world of brilliantly balletic cards, flamingoes, hedgehogs, hatters, butchers, caterpillars and of course the scene stealing and scaffolding covered Queen of Hearts.

It says a lot for the quality of the dancers that they more than hold their own against a stage including a giant performer-grabbing sausage press, a mind-blowing video interaction and a multiple-puppeteer created Cheshire Cat that is larger and larger every time it appears.

Alice in Wonderland The Cards PHOTO: Daniel Bould

Oh, and if you're wondering which story you're getting? It's the original passed through the lens of magical dance - no NOT the Futterwacken - this is a glorious adaptation with a score that you'll wish would be used in ever film you ever see. 

In short, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland is the ballet that desperately cries EAT ME! DRINK ME! But most importantly SEE ME!

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland runs until 22nd December at the Capitol Theatre