Lucy reports on a fine summer afternoon spent at Catton Park, watching Strange Fascination Theatre’s production of Alice in Wonderland.
Tickets were provided in return for a review.
Who’d have thought I’d have missed it so much during lockdown? I suppose you don’t know what you’ve got til it’s gone…
When I was invited to see one of two sell-out performances of Strange Fascination Theatre’s production of Alice in Wonderland at Catton Park in Norwich, I was delighted.
Read more: Matilda the Musical
I was even more delighted to discover that the performance was going to be outdoors. Not only is it the ideal way to enjoy an August afternoon, but it’s also ideal for social distancing purposes. Lots of lovely fresh air, blowing away both the germs and the cobwebs. What could be better?
When we arrived at Catton Park, we were ushered to a space on the grass – 2m away from other spectators – where we popped down our picnic chairs and blankets ready for the performance.
It was the perfect afternoon to be outside. It was warm and bright, but not so sunny that you’d get sunburn. There were birds singing in the trees and dragonflies darting overhead. It was idyllic.
There were lots of families with children in attendance, as well as groups of adults – allaying our fears that we might be a tad too old to enjoy the performance.
On a purely practical note, the toilets were open during the performance too, and the number of people going in and out was closely monitored.
Alice in Wonderland was fun, engaging and energetic.
Over the course of two hours, the small cast dashed around the stage and darted into the crowd before they disappeared backstage for costume changes and props. It was a truly immersive experience.
There was just enough audience participation to keep children engaged too, but not so much that adults felt awkward.
Props were used to great effect throughout.
We were encouraged to imagine Alice growing tall, then shrinking down small. The Cheshire Cat puppet was also ingenious and well-executed.
If I’m honest, I do find Lewis Carroll’s novel slightly menacing and disorientating, but Strange Fascination handled the story beautifully, so kids and adults were giggling throughout.
Our verdict? Go see Strange Fascination Theatre’s next performance. It’s highly recommended!
To find out more about Strange Fascination Theatre and their upcoming performances, be sure to Like their Facebook Page.