Dance / “Happiness is…Celebrating 40 Years of Canberra Dance Theatre”. Directed by Jacqui Simmonds at The Street Theatre. October 14. Reviewed by BILL STEPHENS
Based on Lewis Carroll’s famous 1865 story, “Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland”, the adaptation by Jason Pizzarello flows nicely from one adventure to the other. The logic-defying craziness is all there and the well-written script gives actors interesting characters to play.
There are two Alices in this adaptation – one “real’ Alice, who is trapped in a dream state, and a “dream” Alice, who actually participates in the adventures. Sarah O’Neil as the “dream” Alice gives a very nice performance throughout. Emily O’Brien as the “real” Alice doesn’t have as much to do, but is also a strong presence.
The large cast is obviously having a good time performing the show and there are some especially notable performances. Jim Adamik is great fun as the Mad Hatter, Alex MacPherson is a terrifically crazy Queen of Hearts and Janie Lawson gives a very good performance as a desperately diplomatic King Of Hearts.
Also impressive were Nicole Carr as the Cheshire Cat, Oliver Johnstone as the March Hare, Eryn Marshall as the Mock Turtle, Caitlin Simkin as the Caterpillar, Lucy O’Sullivan as Humpty Dumpty and William Best as the cute and sleepy Dormouse.
The set designed by Steven Galinec to an original design concept by Wayne Shepherd is simple and colourful. There’s well-executed choreography by Talisha Jackson and a mountain of great costumes by Fiona Leach. The face make-up designs by Janette Humphrey were especially well done and original music by Peter Best was tuneful and well sung by the cast.
Jordan Best has pulled out all the stops with this production for Ickle Pickle and the result is entertaining for children and adults alike.