REVIEW: The audience were in Wonderland on opening night at the Forum

Wonderland runs from 21st - 25th March at the Millennium Forum

The Millennium Forum was immersed in magical fantasy last night as Wonderland brought the story of Alice’s adventures to life.

Loosely based on Lewis Carroll’s iconic tale, Wonderland brings the 19th century story by the scruff into the modern day.

Frank Wildhorn’s contemporary take follows Alice, her young daughter Ellie and Jack, the guy from downstairs who longs for Alice to even get his name right never mind notice him.

Alice’s life is in turmoil. The single mother who has recently lost her job finds out that her ex-husband, who she still has feelings for, is getting married. She needs a reality check and it comes in the form of the White Rabbit.

The quirky bouncing character, played by West End legend Dave Willetts, leads the fearsome threesome into the rabbit hole which in this case is a lift shaft in their bland depressing tower block.

The gloomy lift opens out into a world of magic and fantasy, exactly what we have come to expect from the tales Alice in Wonderland. With a vibrant set and an incredible catchy score, the show had the audience gripped from the off.

All the characters are there in this fantasy world. The all fun, all dancing, tea loving family of eccentrics bring the energy to the party and help the story flow throughout.

The Mad Hatter, beautifully played by Natalie McQueen, goes through her own journey throughout the show. The lovable kooky character tries to find herself with the help of Ellie, played by Naomi Morris who is someone to definitely keep an on in the years to come. The young actress steals the show on many occasions with her performance as Alice’s young daughter.

Wonderland wouldn’t be Wonderland without a few jam tarts on the go and the jam tart loving Queen of Hearts is played by Wendi Peters, well known for her portrayal of Cilla Battersby-Brown in Coronation Street.

West End rising star Michelle Pentecost played the role of Alice superbly. Her strong vocals and believable performance in the shows lead role was captivating and her chemistry with Stephen Webb as Jack, totally convincing.

The show is full of the traditional life lessons associated with Alice in Wonderland. A coming of age story while not clinging to the past, always move forward and never look back.

The vocals are strong throughout, and the story is captivating from start to finish while also appealing to all ages. So if you want to escape the real world for a few hours, head on down the rabbit hole to the Millennium Forum to catch Wonderland, but don’t be late, be late, for a very important date.

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