Alice in Weegieland – The Tron Theatre, Glasgow

Writer: Johnny McKnight

Music: Ross Brown

Director: Kenny Miller

Reviewer: Lauren Humphreys

I challenge you that nowhere else in the Pantosphere will you find songs with lyrics featuring Idi Amin, Mussolini and Robert Mugabe, than at the Tron Theatre in its irresistible festive offering, Alice In Weegieland.

The Tron has always set itself apart with it’s originality and innovation. With the unbeatable writing of Johnny McKnight, whose finger is firmly on the pulse of Glasgow and its inhabitants (as well as the wider political and cultural world), and featuring Tron favourites Julie Wilson Nimmo (Catty the Caterpillar) and Darren Brownlie, in arguably his most outstanding performance yet, as the Queen of Hearts, this is set to be the unmissable show of the festive season.

Alice (Daisy Ann Fletcher) has just failed her ballet exam when she bumps into (and is instantly entranced by) an eye-poppingly clad young dandy called Knavey (Scott Fletcher) but Alice being a strong-willed, independent young woman stands firm and refuses to follow him when he jumps down the rabbit hole to the fantastical Weegieland. It’s only when her best friend, Dinah the cat, is lured there, that Alice takes the plunge to save her.

From the finely tuned, and utterly hysterical words, the eye-dazzling set and costumes, the fabulous songs from Ross Brown to the glorious individual performances, this may look and sound crazy, but it’s a production of the highest quality that would put most of the other big city pantos to shame.

The whole production is filled with stand-out performances: Brownlie’s show-stopping turn as the Queen (he still has the best legs of any dame in the UK); Wilson Nimmo’s masterclass in panto comedy; Scott Fletcher’s Knavey with his dodgy Elton John wig and Joe McFadden accent and Jo Freer’s Dora the Glaswegian Dormouse (the most on-point wee Glesga wummin’ parody you will ever see). Less successful is Daisy Ann Fletcher as the titular Alice, she’s hard to warm to and seems ill-at-ease with the quick-fire comedy. That said, the others more than compensate.

The Tron panto shows that the most entertaining productions can be realised by a tiny creative team and an equally tiny cast – size really doesn’t matter. Truly terrific at the Tron yet again this year.

Runs until 7 January 2018 | Image: John Johnston

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The Scotland team is under the editorship of Lauren Humphreys. The Reviews Hub was set up in 2007. We aim to review all professional types of theatre, whether that be Commercial, Repertory or Fringe as well as Comedy, Music, Gigs etc.

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One Comment

  1. Didn’t think it was up to previous McKnight efforts, but it was still enjoyable enough. Songs weren’t as strong, the script not quite as sharp and, above all, there wasn’t enough of McKnight onstage!
    In fairness to the cast, the evening was partially spoiled by a drunken audience member who yelled and heckled throughout the whole of the first half, treading on their lines and generally throwing them off their stride. My impression is that this discouraged McKnight from doing his normal audience participation for fear of getting entangled with the drunk.
    The man, a guy in his late 60s, was stopped from coming back in for the second half, but the show never felt as if it got properly onto the front foot. It wasn’t down to any lack of professionalism on the cast’s part, just a very strange circumstance that threw the evening off balance..
    Oh well, maybe next year.

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