The Adventures of Alice in Wonderland Review – Theatre Royal Nottingham

We found Wonderland!

Tickets gifted in exchange for review.

With a friendly Alice, a clever design set, loveable puppets and some delightful music – The Adventures of Alice in Wonderland had a good balance of sensory and entertainment to keep young audiences engaged for the duration of the 60 minute show – plus an interval perfect for a snack break (snack time at every opportunity…toddler parents am I right?)

The stage version has been well adapted by Wise Owl Theatre Company to pay homage to the original book “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” by Lewis Carroll so famously known.

The family show is notorious for being pretty scary (we’ve all been there!), but this version was pretty toned down with the only scary parts being the Cheshire Cat being extremely large and separating and the shouting from the Queen with “off with her head!” which did scare some of the audience members which then in turn scared some of the toddlers who hadn’t picked up on the language.

Wise Owl Theatre Company

This production combines imagination, tunes and beautiful costumes to take children on a journey with Alice as she looks for her next imaginary adventure. As she enters the surreal Wonderland, we meet some delightful characters, such as Dee and Dum, The White Rabbit, the Caterpillar, the Cheshire Cat, the Mad Hatter, The King of Hearts and the little hiding mouse. Just watch out for that Queen of Hearts!

I really enjoyed the roles of Dee and Dum and the King of Hearts. I felt the clumsy and daftness fed right into my humour. My 18 month old meanwhile was fascinated by the Caterpillar turn Butterfly giving an audible ‘wow’ as it entered stage. Those colours really were spectacular!

The use of the staging and the puppetry was expertly crafted. With Matthew Forbes, the associate puppetry director at National Theatre involved in the creative who has Lion King on his list of accolades it comes as no surprise that the puppets were both stunning, believable and true to form. I also appreciated the use of the staging, props and puppets to highlight the changes in size that Alice faces.

We had a great day heading on the train to catch The Adventures of Alice in Wonderland at Theatre Royal Nottingham. The buggy system for family shows was exceptional, the theatre is truly stunning and the staff were incredibly helpful and lovely. The trip was made even better by the glorious blue skies and sun we are blessed with at present.

We’re all mad… for Alice here! At times the show was a little scary and some of the humour and jokes were definitely dated and went above little ones heads. Definitely use your own judgement on this one and keep in mind it runs true to the story. Our 18 month old was clapping along and enjoying it but others were a little more distressed. She did get weary and agitated come the last 5 minutes or so of the performance, I think mainly due to getting tired. With the interval it made it a longer show than she is used to (with the exception of panto which she loves).

I would recommend this one to older children who can tolerate mild peril.

Theatre Royal Nottingham 17 APR – 18 APR 2023
Running Time: 55 minutes plus a 20 minute interval
Age Recommendation: 3+

Produced & Directed by Christopher Brookes
Written by Jack Lane
Puppetry by Matthew Forbes
Design by Kevin Jenkins
Puppets & Props by Liz Johnson
Costumes by John Bale


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