I am currently teaching four physical actors how to become Alice in Wonderland's Dodo character on aerial hoop, for the Alice Underground show opening next week. Les Enfants Terribles are busy creating a true wonderland in Waterloo's Vaults, ahead of opening the immersive show in which you travel the tunnels experiencing the sensations and meeting the characters that Alice does in the famous novel.
My first session with the actors was a full on day of tuition in a room filled with sawdust and the sound of drills, followed by another shorter session once the bruises and sore hands had healed. Excitement is growing as the highly anticipated show is nearly ready for the public! The actors have had a crash course in aerial hoop basics, how to warm up for aerial performance, and how to maintain their strength and flexibility with stretches after each show. The job is a tough one even for an experienced aerialist with long sets, a mask to obscure vision and a room full of audience with drinks in their hands. But the actors have all taken to aerial hoop brilliantly and seem to not be afraid of heights yet.