Big Telly Theatre Company: Alice – A Virtual Theme Park, Preview
By Conor O’Neill
‘You’re late, you’re late, for a very important date!’ screams the press release, and of course my ears pricked.
Big Telly Theatre Company have been on my peripheral for quite a while now, but I’ve yet to see a show. With their latest production we’re invited to go down the rabbit hole, take our seats at a wonderful tea party, smirk at a smiling cat, play mad-man chess, put our collective heads on the chopping block of a murderous Queen and ask what colour pill we’ll be taking?
Yes, in partnership with Oxford’s Creation Theatre and Charisma.ai they’ve only gone and adapted Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland; to push things further, it’s set in a theme park!
Zoe Seaton directs her adaptation of everyone’s childhood favourite and fantastically bizarre story of a poetry loving girl and her flights of fancy that defies belief yet touches so many bases that it’s long been part of pop culture.
Throw in award winning writer, Charlotte Keatley – whose play My Mother Said I Shouldn’t was acclaimed to be one of the most significant of the 20th century – and you know you’re in for a good time.
And how is this possible? Well, Charisma.ai have worked with the BBC, Sky, to name a few big corporations, they’re basically top notch at interactive and immersive storytelling. Their high-tech approach has made it possible for us to see theatre during lockdown. And if we ever needed removal from the reality it’s now.
Big Telly Theatre Company’s founder and director Zoe Seaton says: “We wanted to be wildly ambitious and imaginative with this show and Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland is really freeing as a story. It’s so playful and already so surreal, mixing reality with illusion, a perfect combination for digital.
“The idea for setting it in a theme park is also an ingenious, unconventional way of looking at Alice’s adventures with the audience and plays upon the skill of the actors, storytelling and drama.”
And the actors? Well, their names are new to me, the seven strong cast boast credentials such as Soho Theatre, RSC, Shakespeare Globe, New Vic Theatre and TV hits such as Game Of Thrones.
Some of the cast are returning from the creative production trios’ acclaimed The Tempest, Interactive and In Your Living Room theatre that made a splash in The Guardian, BBC 4’s Front Row and from over the pond, Time Out New York.
The show runs from August 1st to the 30th. Tickets are £20 per device and are on at 4pm and 7pm with the performances running for approximately 90 minutes.
To book your ticket phone the box office on 01865 766266 or visit http://www.creationtheatre.co.uk
So I’ll simply state ‘Don’t be late, don’t be late, for a very important date!’