Filled with fun and adventure, Chickenshed’s 2005 production of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland provides plenty of entertainment.

If you and your children are in need of some lively and playful entertainment then make sure that you catch the Chickenshed’s production based on Lewis Carroll’s classic story before the 31st January.

Filled with heaps of imagination thanks to the fabulous set design by Keith Dunne, whose creativity really makes the most of all the space on stage to transport the audiences to the world of Wonderland, it is a production that is filled with joy.

As always with Chickenshed productions, it is not just a celebration of the story itself but also inclusivity and community spirit which really shines through in the way all of the cast interact with each other – particularly during the big musical numbers such as ‘Wonderland’ and ‘ I’m Easily Pleased’ – which like all of the musical numbers are wonderfully catchy.

The whole production with its impressively big cast is really bold, with some great characterisations that make you smile. Peter Dowse as the Mad Hatter is wonderfully eccentric, adding a real energy to the chaos of the tea party. Meanwhile, Loren Jacobs as the Cheshire Cat is suitably mischievous and Gavin May at the White Rabbit captures his nervous and unsettled personality well.

It has to be said that this adaptation is impressively faithful to the book – which might seem overwhelming in terms of some of the conversations the characters have for younger audience members and does require a good understanding of the original as opposed to say the Disney version.

But it is certainly ambitious in terms of creating an imaginative show – highlighted in the little details including the way the caterpillar is made out of humans swaying effectively to reflect the insect’s movement. Meanwhile, the costumes capture the variety of characters and animals with great playfulness.

Throughout, you can tell that directors Christine Niering, Louise Perry and Mary Ward (with such a large ensemble it is no wonder three directors were needed!) have complete fun – really embracing the madness of the story itself. This is really captured in the chaos that takes place at the Duchess’s home or in the court scene towards the end.

Overall, this production is a delightfully energetic take on the story that really reflects the original story well. If you can can catch it it will be sure to entertain audiences young and old.

By Emma Clarendon

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland is available to watch through youtube until the 31st January.

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐