• Katie Hardwick

From Wonderland to Neverland


Last week was pretty magical. I went to the Alice Underground press night on Thursday, and performed as Tinker Bell at a Neverland themed 21st birthday party on Saturday. Both interpretations of well loved stories from childhood encouraged people to explore, play, make believe and enjoy being child like in a welcome escape from adulthood.

ALICE UNDERGROUND

Les Enfants Terribles hosted a fabulous press night with Alice in Wonderland themed cocktails as we waited for our descent into the rabbit hole. I was very excited to see that the photo shoot I did for the show has made its way onto the merchandise! Not only am I on posters, badges and bookmarks, but I am also in a pen!

We were led through a warren of rooms, entering the story through a doorway of book pages. The decision, "eat me" or "drink me", determined which route through the story we would take, and we were divided even further when given a certain suit from the pack of cards. One of my favourite scenes was the rabbit and doors. The clever set, brilliant acting and just being physically in the middle of such a famous and well known scene from childhood reading was exciting. Very clever and comical.

We visited various characters which Alice meets on her adventures underground, with a puppet Humpty Dumpty, a spectacular set for a singing Mock Turtle and brilliantly acted Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee on harnesses flying over our heads. The tea party scene was energetic and again cleverly designed with an incredible set, and I loved the Red Queen in the final courtroom scene. I don't want to give too much away, but I want to book to return to the show and see where "drink me" leads after choosing "eat me".

My final joy was to see one of my students performing as the Dodo in the bar at the end of journey. I am inspired by how much energy the cast has and how much stamina they have both physically and mentally to keep performing so intensely six days a week...the run continues until the end of August. The set design is absolutely brilliant, I wished I could stay behind and explore it all.

Samuel Wyer is the genius behind the Alice Underground set design.

NEVERLAND

I travelled to Wiltshire to perform as Tinker Bell at a bespoke party for a 21st birthday on Saturday. Barns had been covered in leaves, a tree had been built indoors, chocolate treasure sat in the pirate bar and a laser show was set up to spectacular effect.

Tink of The Dream Performance commissioned Loz of DesignGuise to make steampunk style costumes for the main characters in the well loved story. There were acrobatic pirates and a giant crystal ball wielding Hook to welcome guests to the pirate bar and hog roast.

The party really started when Peter Pan, Mr Smee and Captain Hook fought with fire swords before crashing through the barn which was boarded up with planks of wood. As the guests followed Peter Pan into the barn, Tiger Lily and Tinker Bell somersaulted on aerial harnesses whilst and LED fairy twinkled on an aerial hoop.

As Tinker Bell I really enjoyed playing with the guests, stealing their hats and telling them off. The highlight of my night was stealing a guest's hat as he looked all around trying to work out where it hd gone. I even managed to replace it on his head without him realising I was flying above him.

The Lost Boys characters were played by acrobats and danced with guests, whist Tiger Lily and Tinker Bell later in the evening performed some silks.

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