Review: Wonderland at the Regent Theatre, Stoke on Trent

Director: Lotte Wakeham

Musical Supervisor: Jason Howland

Music: Frank Wildhorn 

Lyrics: Jack Murphy

Book: Gregory Boyd & Jack Murphy

UK Book Adaptions: Robert Hudson

Wonderland brings back the tale of Alice in Wonderland into the 21st century, no longer is Alice a little girl, instead, a lonely hopeless mother who wants to escape to a world of fantasy and wonder where all your dreams come true.

The European premier has brought with it a fresh new take on the original Broadway book by Gregory Boyd & Jack Murphy. Robert Hudson manages to piece together the story into a full filled musical adventure. Although it does lack dramatic tension and the beginning seems to take a while to become free,  it’s is full of fun and bright and vibrant characters. Ben Kerr as the March Hare was particularly fun and boisterous.

The music is what really makes Wonderland sparkle. It’s full of ballads and company numbers that vary in many different genres, from a 90s Boyband number to the blues sound of the Mad Hatter and the Caterpillar. Kerry Ellis plays Alice and her extortionary voice allows the music to shine through. Similarly, Natalie Mcqueen has a stunning voice for the Mad Hatter. It was a shame that the sound mix, to begin with, wasn’t fantastic but improves as the show continues.

While Wonderland does have areas that would benefit from further development, it’s fun and is sure to entertain many people. It has the feeling of a Marmite musical, you’ll either love or hate it. At its core is a strong message with fantastic musical numbers that are not to be grumbled at. In a time of bad news stories, it’s a light-hearted and entertaining way to spend a couple of hours.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

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