George Rexstrew speaks to Sue Flack, Escapade Theatre Company's co-founder and artistic director, about her upcoming production of 'Alice In Wonderland'.
Why did you choose to put on Alice In Wonderland?
Alice In Wonderland is a universal tale that reaches out to everyone. It’s a story of wonder and nonsense laced with lethal wit, word play and games, riddles and conundrums and questions with no answers. But, more than anything, it is a tale full of magic and adventure that everyone, young and old, can lose themselves in and revel in the nonsense. Given that this year is the 150th anniversary of Lewis Carroll’s original publication, we thought it would be a popular choice. We are even projecting Catalan subtitles to ensure that as many people as possible can enjoy the madness!
Tell us about Escapade’s adaptation.
Simply put, this is one of our biggest projects to date. We have put a modern musical twist on Lewis Carroll’s classic Victorian tale. All of our music is composed by Julian Jahanpour, who I’ve worked with since we staged Mack The Knife three years ago. He’s absolutely brilliant. Our steampunk aesthetic is also entirely unique to this production, which is stylish, punchy and, at times, sexy. At Escapade, we like to expose the pitiful side of mankind, as well as other dark aspects of society, such as corruption. And so, we are focusing on the dark world of Alice’s dreams, and her struggle in Dreamland/Wonderland. The Wonderland Guardians, who take her on her journey, confuse and misdirect her, and produce all the elements that appear in her dreams: doors, keys, eat-me-biscuits etc. As workers of The Dream Factory of Wonderland, it is these “guardians” who transform into our favourite characters, from The Mad Hatter and The White Rabbit to The Queen of Hearts and The Cheshire Cat. Today it is Alice’s dream, but tomorrow it could be yours!
How are rehearsals going?
We’re just putting the final touches to it now, and we’re really looking forward to getting into the theatre and using the real space. We’ve been lucky to have had a lot of the props and costumes for a while, so now it’s just about making it come alive under the lights!
In your opinion, what is the appeal of musicals compared to straight theatre?
Seeing talented actors sing and dance is always a thrill. The music helps tell the story and the numbers make for a little light relief, especially for modern day audiences, who can be less willing to sit through hours of classic text. Alice In Wonderland lends itself beautifully to the musical genre, and so it was a great option for us!
Can you describe the show in three words?
Alice in Wonderland! Or otherwise, vibrant, clever and irreverent.
Performed in English, Escapade Theatre Company’s production of ‘Alice In Wonderland’ will be showing at Teatre Gaudí from May 12th until June 5th. Tickets are available from €15 and can be purchased here.