Proving once again that blondes have more fun, incurably curious Alice is at the heart of this walk-through adventure in Wonderland that’s filled with whimsical, wild and weirdly eccentric wonders.
Ah, sweet Alice and her wonderland: such a place of fanciful delights, wondrous oddities and larger-than-life characters. I wonder if Lewis Carroll ever dreamed that his fictional characters would earn such a warm spot in his readers’ hearts that even a century-and-a-half after he first concocted her adventures, children and adults would still be delighting in his magical tale.
Any Alice adventure worth its salt is filled with out-of-this-world novelty and oddity aplenty, and this walk-through adventure doesn’t disappoint, dotted as it is with a cast of crazy critters and spectacle all around. There’s even a chance to drink something we probably shouldn’t ought to, and nibble on jam tarts
The premise of Adventures in Wonderland is that Alice is missing and the audience are invited by a cast of well-loved characters, including the White Rabbit, the Mad Hatter and the Tweedle twins, to help find her.
Your journey takes you from one scene to another, with each set artfully and artistically put together from the literary nick-nacks and dusty books of Lewis Carroll’s study to the vibrant striped walls of Tweedle Dee and Dum’s nursery and the myriad doors in the Queen’s chamber.
There’s also some very clever trompe l’eoil trickery (a sloped floor and stripes that trick the eye) makes it really look as it the rabbit is shrinking to miniscule proportions after downing a mysterious ‘Drink me’ potion, and a puppet Cheshire cats brings mischievous charm (though his big eyes are just a little creepy in the dark) while a witty Humpty Dumpty cracks jokes from a lofty wall.
And the long room is quite a spectacle as we are finally united with Alice at the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party and you get to pull up a pew and munch on jam tarts – just make sure the Queen doesn’t spot you or heads will roll!
We really loved this world of wonder and all its crazy eye-popping, jaw-dropping spectacle that will appeal to kids – and their accompanying irresponsible adult – who like to leave their comfort zone in favour of a crazy kingdom where unusual is the norm.
Why go To join Alice and a host of crazy larger-than-life in her fantastical voyage of adventure.
Who is it best for Curious fans of Alice who love all things quirky and off-the-wall. And anyone with a taste for jam tarts.
Our Favourite Bit The imaginative sets really create an other-worldly fantasy aura and we enjoyed a game of Queen’s Flamingo Croquet in the Wonderland Bar afterwards.
Top Tip Check the location of the venue so you take the direct route as it’s a bit tucked away and you can get a bit lost in the back streets of Waterloo. Access is from Launcelot Street, off Lower Marsh. (Exit Waterloo via exit two onto Waterloo Road. Walk towards the Old Vic and turn right onto Lower Marsh. Launcelot Street is on your right after Greggs the Bakers).
Don’t Go If you suffer from claustrophobia or fear of the dark. Some of the spaces are quite small and scenes may be intense for those who don’t like surprises or the unknown (though there are escape options within scenes). Bear in mind that you will be required to stand for the majority of the one-hour performance and there is no access to toilet facilities during the show.
While You’re Here Head down to the Southbank Centre, a few minutes’ walk along the river, to get involved in the Festivals for the World summer showcase of events. Fans of urban street art might also like to wander through Leake Street beneath the railway arches. Also known as the ‘Banksy Tunnel’ or ‘Graffiti Tunnel’, you can often see graffiti artists honing their craft on the walls. Don’t linger too long, though: those spray can fumes can be very strong!
Fun fact Alice’s character was based on a real-life little girl named Alice Liddell, the daughter of the Dean of Christ Church College, Oxford. Alice was in fact not a blonde as famously illustrated in the book, but a brunette. She is also famous for wearing a ribbon to keep her long hair away from her face, which became known as an Alice band.
Did you know? In 1998, Lewis Carroll’s own copy of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland was sold at auction for $1.54 million to an anonymous American buyer, making it the most expensive children’s book ever sold at the time.
Author notes Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (1832–1898), better known by his pen name Lewis Carroll, was an English writer, mathematician, logician, Anglican deacon, and photographer. His most famous writings are Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, its sequel Through the Looking-Glass, which includes the poem Jabberwocky, and the poem The Hunting of the Snark, all examples of the genre of literary nonsense. He is noted for his facility at word play, logic, and fantasy.
About Les Enfants Terribles Run by Artistic Director Oliver Lansley and James Seager, Les Enfants Terribles is dedicated to creating original, innovative and exciting theatre to challenge, inspire and entertain. In 2013, they joined forces with Creative Acts to launch the children’s arm of the company Les Petits Theatre Company. Using well-known and well-loved children’s literature, they aim to take stories from page and stage in creative and exciting ways.