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Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
SOLD OUT 2pm Sunday 29 October
BALLET broadcast AS LIVE from the Royal Opera House (filmed live on 23 October)
Follow Alice down the rabbit hole in Christopher Wheeldon’s exuberant ballet, inspired by Lewis Carroll’s much-loved book.
At a garden party on a sunny afternoon, Alice is surprised to see her parents’ friend, Lewis Carroll, transform into a white rabbit. When she follows him down a rabbit hole, events become curiouser and curiouser…
Christopher Wheeldon’s glorious ballet burst onto the stage in 2011 in an explosion of colour, stage magic and inventive, sophisticated choreography. Joby Talbot’s score combines contemporary soundworlds with sweeping melodies that gesture to ballet scores of the 19th century. Bob Crowley’s wildly imaginative, eye-popping designs draw on everything from puppetry to projections to make Wonderland wonderfully real.
Alice encounters a cast of extraordinary and instantly recognisable characters, from the highly strung Queen of Hearts – who performs a hilarious send-up of The Sleeping Beauty’s famous Rose Adage – to a playing-card corps de ballet, a sinuous caterpillar and a tap-dancing Mad Hatter. But the ballet does not avoid the darker undercurrents of Lewis Carroll’s story: a nightmarish kitchen, an eerily disembodied Cheshire Cat and the unhinged tea party are all here in vivid detail. The delicious result shows The Royal Ballet at its best, bringing together world-class dance with enchanting family entertainment.
This is a ballet that eloquently and respectfully reflects his Royal Ballet heritage (from its three-act structure, reliance on mime, and alternation of grand waltzes and intimate pas de deux, to its very Ashtonian reliance on largely cross-dressing comedy) while nevertheless feeling entirely 21st-century and absolutely its own thing … top marks go, above all, to Lauren Cuthbertson. As Alice, she avoids all the possible pitfalls of an adult playing a child, bringing pathos, wide-eyed innocence and matter-of-fact resourcefulness to the character, and never forgetting, amid all the elaborate stagecraft, to dance with great delicacy and impeccably classical precision. Wheeldon created the role on her, and it still feels like the part she was born to play. Mark Monahan, The Telegraph
Tickets: Full £19 Adult concessions £17 18 & under £10
Running time: 2 hrs 50 mins (inc two intervals)
Doors open: 1.30pm
Certificate: This screening is certified 12A As Live. Click here for more information