Recreating the magic of Alice...

Recreating the magic of Alice...


The Bangalore School of Speech and Drama (BSSD) recreated the magic of ‘Alice in Wonderland’ to commemorate its tenth anniversary at the Chowdiah Memorial Hall recently.

It was a fantastic journey and Bangaloreans followed Alice down the rabbit hole to come face to face with some of the strangest adventures and fascinating characters in all of literature.

‘Alice in Wonderland’ is very hard to adapt on stage as it is filled with many bizarre instances.  Alice shrinking and growing periodically is one of them. BSSD adapted innovative ways of portraying such instances and had three kids portraying the role of Alice, each depicting different sizes.

Consisting of a huge cast and elaborate sets, their depiction of ‘Alice in Wonderland’ was successful in recreating the magic of the original narration in spite of the limitations of theatre.

The background music score aided in making the audiences aware of the changes.  The diabolical queen of hearts played by Hannah John requires special mention for her brilliant dialogue delivery. ‘Off with his head’, a frequently used dialogue in the play, left most people in the audience chuckling with delight. Another character known for his uncanny sense of humour bordering on to utter nonsense and profound philosophical mullings is the ‘Mad Hatter’. Hasnain Shaikh did a good job of depicting the eccentric character and left a lasting impression on the audience.

Alice falling down the rabbit hole and swimming in her own tears were both innovatively depicted.  Said Zulfia Shaikh, the director of the play on the challenges faced by her, “We had a cast of 60 kids. Children have an innate ability and all they need is the right script.

The real challenge here was the script because it is so blatantly crazy. We had to work with very specific lighting and music to do justice to it. Technologically, we were stretching ourselves.”

Nitin Kumar, an audience member appreciating the play said, “It had been a while since I had read the book. The play refreshed my memory. I really liked it and loved the way the different characters were portrayed.”

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