Down Down Down the rabbit hole – Alice Adventures Underground

I went along to a special press / blogger evening and I adventured down the White Rabbit’s hole which is an immersive spin on Lewis Carroll’s classic ‘Alice in Wonderland’. This 2017 Olivier Award nominated adventure has returned to The Waterloo Vaults. It first had a successful run back in 2015 where it had fully sold out but now it has returned for 2017 with even more adventure to have along the way with some new characters.  Usually you can’t take photos on your journey but because I attended a special press night we all got to meet the characters after and take photos with them which was very special and I feel very privileged.

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Firstly you all wait in the Wonderland bar area in where you can purchase food or drinks or even record a mad wacky clip at the photobooth with your friends.  Everything that can be had in the Wonderland bar is odd but ever so nice.  I had a drink that consisted of vodka and rhubarb and on top of the jar in which my drink was served was a strawberry tart with a straw through it and my chips were smothered with cheese.

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When my time came to adventure through Alice Adventures we are called upon over the loud speaker system and even the clock on the wall changes and shows the time slot for the next batch of adventurers to get a move on as you certainly don’t want to be late for this very important date. I skipped and hopped along to the queue and waited then we were all ushered into a room full of nick knacks, a mountain of books, sparkly grand chandeliers, an old piano and of course a looking glass.  A blonde-haired, blue-eyed young lady appears behind the looking glass. Presumably she is Alice however she can’t remember her name. She keeps on saying ‘Who am I?’ eventually she disappears from the mirror. That would be the last we would see of Alice for a while but she does appear again later on through our adventuring travels. Magic starts to happen all around us and then the bookcase swings wide open. We move through the tunnel lined with book pages and our adventure begins.

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We watch a projection above our heads and become hypnotised by the swirls that go on round and round so round and round and round we go until for evermore once we were behind but now we find we are forward, backward, inward, outward, we join the chase and nothing could be drier than a folly caucus-race as we adventure on.  

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I am now faced with a room with two doors and see the White Rabbit for the first time and a card suit character.  This is the time you have to decide like Alice which door / path you would like to take either the small door in which the White Rabbit hops through so you will drink from the brown bottle that looks like poison and labelled ‘drink me’ to shrink or do you want to go through the large door with the card suit. To go through the bigger door will involve you eating from the ‘eat me’ plate. Well I just had to hop and skip and follow the adorable White Rabbit through his door so I knocked back the drink to shrink down to his size and went on through the door. The rabbit then gives us all a playing suit to determine which card suit you are and in which path you will be following.

I was given the 4 of clubs which is ironic as 4 is my lucky number. From here on you will move through many elaborate rooms and meet various characters such as the marvellous crazy Cheshire Cat, the chain smoking high Caterpillar, the very mad Mad Hatter etc.  Some characters are puppetry and they truly done very well along with the real actors/actresses who all act out their roles very well and marvelled with the most amazing costumes.

Near the end you get to have tea at the Mad Hatter’s tea party (with cocktails in teacups) and finally onto the court room and meet the very red queen.  Will you leave with your head remained in tack.

This adventure truly does make you come out feeling curious and curiouser as in what if you came back would the other paths lead you into in the mad world of Alice Adventure Underground.  I was told there are in fact 33 rooms, each with an elaborate set.  They hold the show 12 times a night consisting of 670 audience members. There are 39 cast members in all and all play four characters each on a rotating basis.

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This is the best madness immersive theatre by Les Enfants Terribles that anyone can experience and one that would most certainly take you back to your childhood.

1 Comment

  1. Louise Joy says:

    I absolutely loved this – thanks so much for letting me tag along! I have popped my own review up on my blog, if you’d like to see an excerpt:
    I would also like to include a shout out to the fab acting skills in this show. The tea party scene is mesmerizing in it’s own and the attention to detail with the outfits and set (in this scene but throughout also) is amazing. I absolutely loved the character who led our group (their name escapes me right now!) but they were hilarious and displayed the type of acting that could be seen in a movie.
    http://www.formidablejoy.com/2017/05/lifestyle-alices-adventures-underground.html
    xxx

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