Skip to main content

No results found

Waterperry web banner fxs4dz
What's On, Culture, Literature, Theatre

Alice – A Virtual Theme Park

Review

divider
Alice 1

You might well expect Creation Theatre to pull off a virtual theatre event, given the gadgets and multimedia in some of their in-person shows, and in this reimagining of Lewis Carroll’s classic (a collaboration with Big Telly Theatre Company and charisma.ai) they do a decent job. Alice – A Virtual Theme Park goes well beyond scenes merely performed on a Zoom call, interacting with the audience in a variety of ways – some more enjoyable than others – each performer working hard to keep things moving along.

The Zoe Seaton-directed adventure begins intriguingly, requiring viewers to exchange words with the Cheshire Cat (before tumbling down a dynamically animated rabbit hole). It is the sort of audience participation that doesn’t embarrass you in view of others, though I don’t think the same could be said for later in the show – I confess to turning my camera and mic off after a while, a bit self-conscious about what the Queen of Hearts (Vera Chok) and other characters might ask of me specifically. It seems a Zoom show has both the power to subtly involve spectators at the same time as placing them centre-stage in full view of everyone – perhaps to an extent not often achieved in the flesh.

Viewers dictate the order in which they explore the virtual Wonderland, clicking where they’d like to go next after each scene. One highlight is in the kitchen where Annabelle Terry (cook to the Duchess) once again proves her ability as a comic actor, her brutal soothing of the Duchess’ baby injecting some dark humour into the script. Another is a game in which audience members use a second device to steer personalised hedgehogs under archways.

The tech wizardry gives new life to more traditional aspects of theatre such as puppetry, and a diverse cast accomplish an impressive energy considering the circumstances, with Leda Douglas bringing a likability to Alice which is needed in a story full of eccentric but not necessarily affable characters. Alice – A Virtual Theme Park is a tad awkward at times, but also fun, inventive and – boasting a magic trick at the end – a cheery way to enjoy theatre in the absence of physical theatre spaces.

Alice – A Virtual Theme Park plays until 30 August

RECOMMENDED

Jake Bugg
Tue 2 Apr 2024

Singer-songwriter Jake Bugg will be on stage at the O2 later this month as part of his mission to bring live music back to the heart of Britain’s communities and grassroots venues. He is currently touring the UK in his bid to reinvigorate the local music scene of some of the UK’s smaller cities and towns and took some time out to tell us more.

Paul Foot 3 wi4hf6
Tue 2 Apr 2024

Award-winning quirky and alternative comedian Paul Foot is returning to Oxford this month with his new show, Dissolve which is set to be his most vulnerable and honest yet. We got in touch to find out what we can expect from his performance at Oxford’s New Theatre, as well as – in very Paul Foot fashion – getting side-tracked by King  Tutankhamen, and what  Jesus might have  achieved if  he'd been a plumber...

Katie otb8tw
Fri 1 Mar 2024

This month, Katie Melua will be in Oxford, helping to launch the Oxford Literary Festival’s new Programme in Georgian Literature and Culture.

Namvula BBC Music nuyc98
Fri 1 Mar 2024

Described as having a diasporic upbringing, singer-songwriter Namvula is also a gifted photographer and was co-founder of Film Africa, a London-based celebration of African cinema and culture. She now lives in Oxford where she will be performing later this month at The North Wall.