Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland is 150 years old this year and to celebrate a major immersive subterranean theatrical enterprise has taken over the Vaults at Waterloo, transporting visitors on an odyssey as bizarre and magical as anything Lewis Carroll could have conjured.
Two shows, Alice’s Adventures Underground (the original title of the novel) and Adventures In Wonderland, will now run until the end of August after the initial short run this month was oversubscribed.
Theatre company Les Enfants Terribles, Emma Brunjes Productions along with Shoreditch’s Creature Of London have joined forces to create the shows, taking three years to choreograph and dress the spectacle.
The shows – one designed specifically for children – combine storytelling, live music and circus. Puppets are designed by a creative team that includes Finn Caldwell from War Horse and Max Humphries from Cirque de Soleil. A large cast will play out the story in 33 unique rooms of dizzying proportions.
And on Monday nights The Wonderland Sessions will host a variety of companies and speakers to present an exploration of Alice as a cultural institution. Each week a different contributor will present an exclusive event from inside Wonderland, with readings, discussions and live music.
The first is Being Alice (April 20) and features actress Fiona Fullerton, ballerina Lauren Cuthbertson and opera singer Fflur Wyn discussing taking on the iconic role.
The Vaults , London SE1
Alice’s Adventures Underground
Alice’s Adventures Underground allows theatre-goers to experience Wonderland as a fully formed world.
Each audience member will have choice to Eat Me or Drink Me, which will direct how their experience of the 90 minute show will unfold in elaborate sets that feature a giant tea table, a hazy caterpillar lair, Cheshire cats, a terrifying Queen of Hearts, and enough tea to make anyone go mad.
After the show, audiences will be encouraged to linger in the Wonderland bar which will form a lively part of the world, with its own cast and installations, including a hedge maze and flamingo croquet.
Previews until Apr 15, perfs Apr 16-Aug 31, £35-£47.50, start times at 15 minute intervals
Adventures in Wonderland
Guided by Les Petits Theatre Company – the children’s offshoot of Les Enfants Terribles, Adventures in Wonderland offers children (5+ with accompanying adult) the chance to fall down the rabbit hole. Each child’s 45 minute journey through Wonderland will be different, but all will be invited to the largest, maddest tea party around and the chance to play croquet with Alice herself.
Apr 11-Aug 31, £12.50 (adults £18.50), start times at 15 minute intervals