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AKArts presents Alice in Wonderland

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by Nathaniel Mason (subscribe)
Adelaide event photographer and writer, discovering, capturing and sharing the things that make SA a great place as a photographer, explorer and family.
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Go down the rabbit hole
Jumping down the rabbit hole with both feet, Aussie Kelpie Arts have taken audiences on a spin with their version of Alice in Wonderland. Playing at Star Theatres Thursday May 24 to Sunday May 27, Aussie Kelpie Arts (AK Arts) interpretation is based on Lewis Carroll's timeless classic, Alice in Wonderland, presented in their own style where parody meets scary movie, popular favourites are remixed and the fourth wall is often broken.

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (commonly shortened to Alice in Wonderland) is an 1865 novel written by Lewis Carroll. For the unacquainted, the story follows a girl, Alice, who follows a White rabbit into a rabbit hole and a fantasy world beyond, populated by peculiar, anthropomorphic creatures. Alice In Wonderland is considered to be one of the best examples of the literary nonsense genre.

AK Arts Alice in Wonderland at Start Theatres
Racheal Leahcar and Alex Manfredi as the Queen and King of Hearts

AK Arts have taken the nonsense theme and run a mile with it. Apart from the headband, Carolina Fioravanti is far from the Alice we typically know in her denim and sass rendition of an Alice with attitude. Tabitha McLean plays the skittish White Rabbit, with Sash Elliott as the Mad Hatter and Asha Perry as the March Hare, each of whom are as colourful and mad as expected.

On Alice's journey through Wonderland, she is misled by the Kanye-esque, pink striped Cheshire Cat of Lindsay Nash, her character and courage questioned by John Telford as the dazed Caterpillar, and misunderstood by Emily Bollen and Joseph Nicholls on multiple occasions as the garden flowers and guards. Puppeteers Stacey Andrew and Josh Gilham bring amusing life to entertaining puppets in typically nonsensical tangent, with a rendition of the Walrus and the Carpenter. Rachel Leahcar is a stern Queen of Hearts, opposed by Alex Manfredi's suitably soft King of Hearts with great character from Maggie Aylett, channelling Maleficent as the much feared and surprisingly lyrical Jabberwocky.

In the small Star Theatres arena, the set and lighting is effective and affords a few extra laughs when characters announce the occasional extended change - notably Alice's 'shrinking' scene to fit through the cleverly animated door. Under Musical Director Tim Naulty, modern pop songs take topical twists to fit the story and the piano is always spot on. While voices vary in the cast, solo moments, duets and ensemble numbers show potential and will no doubt grow over the course of the season. Costumes by Remy Low mixed street with character and created some great visuals including the Maleficent styling of the Jabberwocky, feathered Gryphon and her own portrayal of the Mock Turtle.

AK Arts Alice in Wonderland at Start Theatres
Lindsay Nash as the Cheshire Cat

Among the splicing plenty of pop-culture references into a classic tale, the message certainly remains present throughout Alice's journey in wonderland from writer Josh Heaysman. Mixing the modern with fantasy, Alice's many encounters with the strange an unknown help her to discover her courage and sense of self in both the modern and fantasy worlds.

In 2017, Briggs & Heaysman Theatre Co. have joined with Australian Kelpie Music, bringing the two into one company, aspiring to offer musical compositions, arrangements and theatricals shows under one banner of Aussie Kelpie Arts (AK Arts). As a young company, kudos go to AK arts for taking on the challenge of original productions and creating opportunities for performers. Bringing on mentors, more experienced, seasoned performers and directors will no doubt benefit the troupe in future undertakings.

AK Arts Alice in Wonderland at Start Theatres
Josh Gilham as the Gryphon

Star Theatres (Theatre Two or The Chapel)
145 Sir Donald Bradman Drive
Hilton, Adelaide, South Australia

Performance Dates:
Thursday the 24th of May 2018 at 7:30pm
Friday the 25th of May 2018 at 7:30pm
Saturday the 26th of May 2018 at 2:00pm
Saturday the 26th of May 2018 at 7:30pm
Sunday the 27th of May 2018 at 2:00pm

Adults - $25
Concession - $18
Family* - $75

*Family tickets include 2x Adult & 2x Concession OR 1x Adult & 3x Concession. Parental guidance recommended.
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*Nathaniel Mason was invited as a guest
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Why? Alice in Wonderland, but not as you know it
When: May 24 to 27, 2018
Phone: 0411 510 627
Where: Star Theatres
Cost: $25 Adults, $18 Concession, $75 Family
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