Alice and Alan’s Adventures in Wonderland

 Alice and Alan’s Adventures in Wonderland follows Alice (Jenni Little) and her brother Alan (Andrew Wang) as they discover the world that is Wonderland and the outrageous creatures that call it home.

Presented by: Blancmange Productions & Slide CabaretVenue: Slide Bar & Cabaret, Oxford St, Sydney
Tuesday, 22 February, 2011 
Alice and Alan’s Adventures in Wonderland follows Alice (Jenni Little) and her brother Alan (Andrew Wang) as they discover the world that is Wonderland and the outrageous creatures that call it home. This Wonderland is a sexual melting pot where inhibitions and morality are worn away by the locals who constantly crave and desire lust.  Alan succumbs rather quickly, too quickly perhaps, and has promiscuous sex with several male characters throughout the play but his sexual appetite in insatiable and anyone is fair game including the waiters. Alice however controls her desires right through the journey but breaks out just in time, much to the delight of Tweedle-Dee and Tweedle-Dum, a lesbian couple who openly adore her. This show will delight the Mardi gras crowd it is catering for as there is enough fun and raunchiness to keep them watching, but as a show it doesn’t quite reach any great heights at all. There are plenty of tawdry jokes and witty remarks to keep it light and plenty of flesh to gawk at along the way as well. The songs are a bit hit and miss, there were too many ballads but the up-tempo tunes were catchy and more appropriately placed. The cast were giving it 110% all night and you could see the hard work taking place with some appearing stronger than others. Stand out performances by Hugh Monro as the Red Queen, Shondelle Pratt and Luisa Lyons as Tweedle-dum and Tweedle-dee, and Ray Chong Nee as the Mad Hatter. But the strongest and most engaging performance was Martelle Hammer’s Cheshire Cat as she relished every word, every action and every moment whether hanging from the hoop that dropped from the ceiling or prancing and prowling around the stage. Rory Pie was also enjoyable as the out-and-proud White Rabbit and the heckling Fireman. The biggest drawback is that this show needs to be more fun for the audience. The humour is mostly internalised by the performers, particularly the siblings and creates a division or wall between them. If the action could be played to crowd more personally and intimately there would be more reactions from the audience than what was offered up at the preview. The siblings were not likable enough at the beginning either as they were too modern to begin with, which gave them little room to delve into the seedier depths. Perhaps a bit more “Brad and Janet’ innocence was called for to create a greater pay-off.  But that’s just the show and this production is dinner theatre with superbly designed themed dishes to tantalise the taste buds. To compliment the three acts of the show there are three courses beginning with a ‘Tea and Cakes’ entrée. Duck parfait with Tea Jelly and crispy toast (my least favourite), delicious Salmon Tartlet, Gruyere goats cheese cup cake that was fluffy and creamy topped with a Parmesan Tuille, and a sweet-on-the-outside, savoury-in-the-middle Mushroom Macaroon that melted in your mouth.  But not to be outdone, the main meal ‘Smoked Caterpillar’ looked every bit as it sounded. However it was chicken wrapped in spinach in the shape of a caterpillar, decorated with two eyes and was a very filling and appealing dish. Dessert was ‘Pasta of the Day” to round off the aptly named “Topsy Turvey Menu” consisting of Chocolate Tagliatelle with Grand Marnier ice cream and topped with white chocolate shavings. Overall, it is inventive and satisfying gastronomy by Marc Kuzma. If that wasn’t enough for you, you could purchase a cheese plate for $20 or a Long Island Iced Tea in a Teapot for $14. There is certainly a lot to enjoy at Alice and Alan’s Adventures in Wonderland, the fun dishes alone are worth sampling and of course the chaotically absurd romp happening onstage and around you. Drink the wine, get the Tea Pot, and as long as you’re not expecting Noel Coward you will more than likely leave with a smile on your face and a confused stomach. Topsy Turvy Fun! Booking information:  Performance Dates: Tuesday 1 March, Wednesday 2 March, Monday 14 March (ACON Charity Gala)

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