Writer: François Pandolfo
Director: Angharad Lee
Reviewer: David Doyle
The audience are there to watch a live recording of a radio version of Alice in Wonderland starring a West End star, a bright young talent, and an actress who has just graduated. Locked in the studio with only themselves, the audience, and the piece’s director, things descend quickly into surreal chaos.
As veteran actor Nick proffers suggestion after suggestion, the actors begin to improvise, and an entirely new show comes to the fore. It isAlix in Wundergarten, in which Alice become Alix and Wonderland becomes West Germany. What happens in between is the crux of the piece and offers a surreal look at the creative process, and how work gets made and remade over time.
The surrealism of the piece, which mirrors Alice’s time in Wonderland, ultimately overshadows everything else, and the investigation of the creative process becomes lost to a series of bizarre vignettes. Character development suffers and the show itself becomes rather confused. As the show builds it largely feels as though it has nowhere to go and offers no real sense of conclusion or plot.
There are some moments in the piece that are genuinely funny but far too often what is happening feels forced and becomes somewhat tedious as a result. A show clearly made with the creative process of actors in mind, there isn’t enough to keep the average audience member interested, and unfortunately the show simply isn’t as funny as it needs to be in order to cover the fact that it isn’t as thematically strong as it hopes.
Runs until Monday, 29 August 2016 (odd dates only)