Wonderful whimsical Alice!
Sophie Clayton

This year, the Junior School brought all the curiosity and adventure of Wonderland to the Richard Whiteley Theatre for its production of Alice the Musical. The incredible set, characters, songs and storyline captured the imagination of the audience, old and young, immediately transporting them to a magical fantasy world. Based on Lewis Carroll’s timeless classic Alice in Wonderland, the production incorporated fun song and dance, offering pupils the opportunity for solos and group singing in a wide variety of musical styles.

This seamless, energetic and fast-paced production allowed no respite for the cast and they certainly met the challenge! It is hard to believe that such a complex show could be performed so effortlessly by such a young cast, and they deserve full credit for their brilliant performances.

In the role of narrator, Rafferty Bannister, Jack Hall, Max Scholey and Annabelle Skelton led us through the dream-like adventures, while Mathilda Evans embraced all the energy of the White Rabbit to add that further sense of confusion to Wonderland, throughout. The demanding role of Alice, a part shared by Darcy Ogden and Lily Truscott, was excellently portrayed and they must be commended for their vocal stamina and remaining in role while being on stage for almost the entire show. Elodie’s overbearing and impatient Queen of Hearts was so convincing she had audience members jumping out of their seats.

There were so many amazing characters on stage including the quirky and eccentric Mad Hatter played by Poppy Coward, the cool Caterpillar by Georgia Lewis, the operatic singing voice of Willa Bailey playing the Mock Turtle, and the confident rhythmic Mouse played by Charlie Bolles.

Performing Arts teacher and Musical Director, Mrs Wells said: ‘I am exceptionally proud of our KS2 cast. The enthusiasm and joy they brought to the stage was impressive. They clearly love the limelight! Our Year 6 in particular worked so hard at home, and in rehearsals, to learn their lines and develop their characters. The chorus singing was the strongest we have had in a number of years making this show a joy to direct.’

The real success of the performance was the exceptional teamwork from every single member of the cast. Each participant seemed to be having a fantastic time on stage.

Headteacher Mr Mundell said: ‘Alice was arguably one of the most challenging productions the school has ever put on with so many children involved. There were so many stand out moments and performances, and I was incredibly proud of all the children and staff for what they achieved. They took on their roles with such enthusiasm and commitment, from start to finish, and the production has been an unforgettable experience for them all.’