If you enjoyed reading Alice in Wonderland as a child, or would like your child to experience the classic as well, Choiti Ghosh’s ‘material theatre version’ by the same name, is a great show to attend. Choiti has not reproduced Lewis Carroll’s novel chapter by chapter or line by line, but she has followed the central theme to create new images with objects so beautifully, that you will fall in love with it once again.
The show opens on a very contemporary note with four persons going about their daily chores – cleaning, washing, typing - quite bored to death. When the monotony becomes too much to bear, one of them - the Alice of the play – breaks free. With a song she declares, that she wants to dream about a girl who “likes adventures. She flies into the clouds and dives into wells. She rolls over mountains and plunges into tunnels.” That’s where the adventure begins.
Choiti informs us, “Alice in Wonderland is a very apt story to pick up in object theatre because it is full of metaphors. There are so many characters and situations which can be portrayed through a play of objects, that the story, in fact, adds to the medium. So you have a torch light against a dark background to suggest a rabbit hole, Alice’s gigantic size contrasted with ice trays that denote buildings, an aquarium implies Alice’s pool of tears and even pots and pans conjure up the Cheshire Cat. We just let our imagination run wild with Alice in Wonderland.”
Beautiful comic scripting, entertaining song sequences and equally appreciation worthy performances make the show a delight, especially the Mad Tea Party part. The actors actually pose riddles and questions to the audience, and not just Alice, making it a fun exercise for them. Add to that some shadow theatre, where Alice encounters the Queen of Hearts and destroys her garden, and it makes for a very pleasurable act.
Our Alice in Wonderland, Rachel D’Souza says, “We rehearsed for this show for over three months - constantly including some parts, deleting some and reinventing the rest; but the part I enjoyed the most were the musicals. I am a singer and love to exercise my vocals whenever possible. Additionally, I would transform into the storyteller, a puppeteer and Alice herself in parts. If that’s not experiencing a wonderland, what is?”