Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Midlands Arts Centre, Birmingham

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Midlands Arts Centre, Birmingham

Last Thursday I woke up, looked out the window and saw the rain pouring down. This didn’t bode well for our evenings adventures. We had kindly been invited to review Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland at The Midlands Arts Centre (MAC) in Birmingham.

Luckily throughout the day the sun came out and the weather was just right for the outdoor performance. We set off, with a picnic blanket and some snacks, not entirely sure what to expect as we hadn’t been to an outdoor theatre show before.

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland was performed by Chapterhouse Theatre Company, as part of their Summer 2018 outdoor theratre tour. There was only one performance at the MAC, so we were lucky to be able to catch it before it continued its national tour.

The show was performed in the outdoor auditorium at the MAC. Seats aren’t allocated so a good idea to arrive early to get a good spot. However, as it’s not a huge space you will get a pretty good view wherever you sit. The seats are concrete and you are offered a small sponge cushion as you enter. Lots of people had also taken blankets to sit on and cuddle up, as well as picnics to enjoy.

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland stayed pretty close to the classic story by Lewis Carroll. All of the favourite characters made an appearance including the White Rabbit, the Cheshire Cat, the Mad Hatter and the Queen of Hearts. The story itself is a little weird and wonderful, but I think that makes it all the more fun for children. Mini particularly enjoyed when the Cheshire Cat separates his head from his body.

The cast were relatively small and there were a few quick changes behind scenes as they seamlessly transitioned between characters. It was great to see them all perform with plenty of energy and enthusiasm throughout the performance.

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

The set was relatively simplistic and didn’t change throughout, apart from a few props that were introduced on stage. I would imagine this is due to the limitations of performing outside and also only doing one show in each theatre. I feel that they had made the best of the circumstances however, it did leave some parts of the story needing quite a bit of imagination to follow with the basic set design.

The performance introduced new songs and the children were invited to dance along with the cast in the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party Scene. This worked really well in the open space and was a good way to interact with the younger members of the audience.

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

It was lovely to see the performance outdoors and the beautiful fairy lights in the auditorium added to the magical feeling. Being outdoors definitely added to the fun of the evening and also made it feel more relaxed. At the end of the show, all of the children were invited to meet the cast and have their pictures taken, which Mini was very happy about.

The performance consisted of two acts of around 40 minutes each. Just long enough for little ones to keep their attention, and not too late a finish time before bedtime. During the interval, the bar inside the Mac was open, which offered a good range of snacks and refreshments.

We all had a fun time watching Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and would definitely look forward to another outdoor theatre performance in the future

For upcoming tour dates of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland until 2nd September 2018 please visit the Chapterhouse Theatre Company Website.

Disclaimer: We were invited to review Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Midlands Arts Centre. All views and opinions are entirely our own.

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15 Comments

  1. Helen
    August 20, 2018 / 10:40 am

    This is such a fun idea and my daughters would absolutely love it too! Anything that brings magic to life 🙂

    • mommamack15
      August 20, 2018 / 4:52 pm

      Being outside definitely made it feel more magical

  2. August 20, 2018 / 4:00 pm

    What a lovely idea for little ones. Mine like Alice in Wonderland and I am sure they’d love to dance along too in the party scene.

    • mommamack15
      August 20, 2018 / 5:19 pm

      That was definitely a lovely touch, and it gave fidgety bottoms a chance to get up and stretch their legs too.

  3. August 20, 2018 / 4:09 pm

    I love shows in open top theatres, they leave such a different atmosphere. What a magical time it looks like you had!
    Xx

    • mommamack15
      August 20, 2018 / 5:18 pm

      I was surprised actually how much an impact it had on the overall experience, but it really did.

  4. August 20, 2018 / 8:16 pm

    This looks lovely. Open air theatres really have a magical quality about them. I’m not sure what it is, but everything seems that much more special, especially in the evening. You can never go wrong with Alice in Wonderland, especially when the kiddies are encouraged to join in x

    • mommamack15
      August 20, 2018 / 8:25 pm

      The fairy lights and warm drink to snuggle up to definitely helped with the atmosphere too 🙂

  5. August 20, 2018 / 9:03 pm

    Oh this sounds so lovely. So glad it dried up for you! I should think outdoors has such a magical feel x

    • mommamack15
      August 20, 2018 / 9:06 pm

      Me too, I really don’t think it would have had the same feel in the rain!

  6. August 21, 2018 / 6:09 am

    I have never been to outdoor theatre before. I can imagine the Twinkly lights were very atmospheric. Sounds like thy designed it with little ones in mind too x

    • mommamack15
      August 21, 2018 / 8:27 am

      I think over the summer they seem to be more and more popular now.

  7. August 21, 2018 / 2:25 pm

    Oh wow completely jealous!! This looks fab. Like the fact that it is outside in the fresh air too – what a fab event x

    • mommamack15
      August 21, 2018 / 9:16 pm

      check out the tour dates, there may be a performance near you.

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