I saw Wonderland on 18th March at the Churchill Theatre, Bromley. The cast which was led by Michelle Pentecost, who played Alice, were all good. The vocals were clear and pitch perfect and the songs themselves were very good. However it just didn’t grab me. It felt quite ‘pantomimy’ in some parts and as much as I thought the story line had a good concept to it I actually didn’t like Alice so felt that I wasn’t really that invested in her.
The set, props and costumes served their purpose but again they didn’t particularly feel high end. I had seen pictures of the Broadway version before and was expecting something similar but felt that it didn’t quite match up.
Natalie McQueen, who played the Mad Hatter, had a great voice and was a vocal powerhouse. I liked her transformation but didn’t really like the character. She was not believable and so I found myself not really caring too much. I know that the characters are meant to be overly-dramatic and are from Wonderland so are not real but I still felt that the emotions could have been portrayed in a less dramatic and therefore more effective way. I did however really like her voice especially on ‘I Will Prevail‘ and ‘This is Who I Am‘.
Another one who stood out to me was Naomi Morris (Ellie). She was the only truely realistic character and her acting was really good. She spoke clearly and whilst her actions were dramatic they were believable, especially for a teenage girl.
The ensemble were good and I particularly liked Ben Kerr (March Rabbit), Divine Cresswell (Dormouse) and Dominic Owen (Cheshire Cat). The dance numbers had good ideas and I liked the choreography but the dancers were not always together and at some points it felt slightly clumsy compared to some of the other shows I have seen recently.
I came away from the theatre humming the Wonderland title song and had enjoyed getting the chance to see it. I think that the story line itself could be good and as a concept I like the idea but for me this production of it was just too over the top and ‘pantomimy’ with a slightly cheap feeling to it.