A night in Wonderland left a city audience of mad hatters smiling like Cheshire cats at Aberdeen’s HM Theatre.
Co-written by Jack Murphy and Gregory Boys with original lyrics by composer Frank Wildhorn and lyricist Jack Murphy, this adaptation of Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass has enjoyed sold out seasons in Tampa, Texas and Tokyo.
The stage set is dark and sombre as Alice, all grown up turns the big 4-0! It’s not the happiest of birthdays as she receives a letter from her ex-husband to say he has remarried. Her car is stolen, making her late for work, resulting in her losing her job. She forgets to buy food and even loses her keys. Alice has a devoted daughter, Ellie, who often feels like the parent, and a shy neighbour Jack who has taken three years to pluck up the courage to talk to her.
But she feels down in the dumps and fed up with her life when the adorable White Rabbit (Dave Willetts) appears, ready to take her away and escape to the magical world of Wonderland, albeit in a lift and not down a rabbit hole!
The stage transformation is quite phenomenal and is lit up with spectacular colourful backdrops and a wonderful array of elaborate costumes.
Once in Wonderland, with similarities to the book, Alice meets an eclectic mix of characters including a deceiving Cheshire Cat, a suave Caterpillar and an absolute bonkers Mat Hatter (Natalie McQueen).
And without giving too much away, like all good fairy tales she begins to realise that her life maybe isn’t as bad after all and maybe they can all live happily ever after.
Doing a star turn in the title role is Rachel Adams (ex-Britain’s Got Talent finalist), who plays a believable Alice with absolutely stunning vocals; her rendition of Once More I Can See was my favourite of the night. She is ably supported by her love interest Jack (Stephen Webb), who later transforms into a singer in a boy band complete with cheesy dance moves.
Alice’s daughter Ellie (Naomi Morris) almost stole the show with perfect comic timing, playing a hilarious stroppy teenager after looking through the glass. She was outstanding singing an incredible ballad called Home.
Lastly, ex-Coronation Street and West End star Wendi Peters is perfectly cast as the Queen of Hearts with a powerful voice, hilarious facial expressions and massive heels, although she hasn’t got that big a part.
With an uplifting score full of big power ballads, some of the most brilliant choreography and colourful flamboyant costumes, everyone should escape to Wonderland. A great feel-good night out for all the family.
Wonderland runs until Saturday.