This year marks 150 years since Alice in Wonderland was first published, and even now it remains a firm childhood favourite. In order to celebrate, Les Enfants Terribles have transformed the vaults under Waterloo Station into Wonderland. Alice is lost inside the looking glass, and it is up to you to try and save her…
Alice’s Adventures Underground is a truly interactive theatre experience, where every audience member becomes part of the cast. It becomes a personal experience, where your choices will influence the show that you see. Choosing “Drink Me” or “Eat Me” will lead you on a different path, and the allocations of card suits to each audience member also mean that you are unlikely to see the performance with the person you came with. Fear not, this means there is plenty to talk about on the way home as you swap notes. Each story is slightly different, meaning everyone gains a unique impression of the show.
Samuel Wyer certainly needs commending for the design, which has you rushing through corridors coated with book pages to meet a whole host of characters. The creative team have done incredibly well to bring this fictional world to life, and recreate such a popular literary tale in a unique way. From helping the Duchess to make soup, to learning secret actions, everyone is given a role in the production, making it feel as if you really have tumbled down the rabbit hole.
The experience did lack some polish – at times the playing cards appeared unsure of which way your group should be going next, and the sound was not always clear. However, for an immersive experience into the chaos, kookiness and hilarity of Wonderland, there could not be a better option on offer. The Mad Hatter’s Tea Party was particularly mad and enjoyable, with the characters running up and down the table in front of you, making you change places halfway through, and a Dodo running round for good measure.
If you enjoyed the Alice in Wonderland books, then a visit to Alice’s Adventures Underground is a great opportunity to visit Wonderland in all its chaotic glory. Coming out of the show feels a little like coming out of a dream – it takes a while to adjust to reality. The show is now running until the end of August and the journey into Wonderland is one that should be experienced.