In Jabberwocky Productions’ Waiting For Alice, the Mad Hatter, march hare and dormouse prepare a tea party, unsure as to exactly why. The turtle is worried; whilst the white rabbit has dreams of grandeur – and a watch which is two days slow.
This short piece is built around a clever conceit: the characters from Wonderland have yet to be fully written. Lewis Carroll is seeking a protagonist for his unfinished work and – via a booming and authoritarian disembodied voice – issues instructions to the nervous rabbit to find him one.
As we sit down and join in the tea party to the sound of live violin, the hatter, hare and dormouse are played largely for comic effect. This is less effective than the other two characters, who possess more of an awareness of what is happening: that their futures and fates are about to be committed to paper forever.
The actor playing the white rabbit puts in a splendid turn: bewildered and eager to please as he scurries around searching for the absent Alice. But it is the turtle who impresses most, with a pathos-filled performance built around the realisation that – whilst she used to be real – she is about to be turned into a mockery of her former self.
Just falling short of its clever premise, Waiting for Alice is still however an enjoyable and well-acted piece which aims to show how deep the rabbit hole of the creative process may actually go.
Waiting for Alice runs from 11-29 Aug (not 15) at 12:30 at Pleasance Courtyard. More details here.