The Shaw Festival 2016 has an interesting line-up of plays that will be staged at four theatres in Niagara-on-the-Lake. A play that many people are looking forward to watch is Alice in Wonderland. This adaptation will have its world premiere at the Shaw Festival. It is about the adventures of ten year old Alice who falls down a rabbit hole and has several interesting encounters. The story appeals to both adults as well as children and the fantasy theme is wonderfully explored.
History of Alice in Wonderland
Written by Charles Lutwidge Dodgson who wrote under the pen name Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland was published in 1865. There’s an interesting story behind the creation of this evergreen classic. In 1862, Dodgson went on a boating trip with Rev. Robinson Duckworth and ten-year old Alice Liddell who was also accompanied by her two sisters. To entertain the young girls, Dodgson narrated a story to them that he had made up on the spot. He called it “Alice’s Adventures Underground”. Young Alice was so fascinated by the tale that the next day, she implored him to write a story especially for her. A few years down the line in 1865, the story actually materialized along with illustrations. It was published as Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and now 150 years later, it’s still a very popular piece of work. The Cheshire Cat, the Mad Hatter, the Mock Turtle, the White Rabbit, and the Queen of Hearts are all delightful characters that have appealed to people. Since 1865, the story has been adapted across various formats including television, movies and plays. The first stage adaptation of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland took place in 1886 and it made its Broadway debut in 1915.
Alice in Wonderland at Shaw Festival
The Shaw Festival has brought together a talented team to present the wonderful story. Peter Hinton has adapted the tale and the music by Allan Cole includes 19 original songs. These include popular songs of those times as well as well-known children’s songs that have been given a new twist by transforming them into Wonderland gibberish. The challenge was also to showcase a story that has fantasy elements such as Alice growing and shrinking, an interesting croquet game and creating a pool of tears to swim in. All these have been brought to life by designers Eo Sharp (set), William Schmuck (costumes) Kevin Lamotte (lighting) and Beth Kates and Ben Chaisson (projections). The story will portray the Victorian setting as it was in the original book while blending it with modern technology to bring forth the elements of fantasy.
You can watch this marvellous production at the Festival Theatre between April 27 and October 16, 2016.
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