Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

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Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
© Manuel De Los Galenes
Lauren Cuthbertson as Alice
The Royal Ballet's biggest commission in recent years, Christopher Wheeldon's 'Alice' is visually stunning, thanks to designer Bob Crowley's OTT imagination. Dancewise, there's lots to recommend: the lovely Lauren Cuthbertson perfectly cast as curious Alice, a larger than life Zenaida Yanovsky stealing the show as a cruelly comedic Queen of Hearts and Kristen McNally's cleaver-clutching cook, to name but three. But the episodic nature of the book makes creating a full-length arc nigh-on impossible and the show is full of frenetic scene changing and busy stage business and not so much actual dancing. Bowling headlong into family entertainment is a bold move for Wheeldon, who's best known for his tasteful, abstract neo-classicism, and while there are some witty ballet-insider spoofs and quotes, it's a little disappointing not to see Wheeldon's choreographic voice come through more clearly. Very enjoyable nonetheless, and worth a visit for the costumes alone.


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