Alice’s Day

Saturday 4th July is Alice’s Day! We’re very excited that this coincides so nicely with The Streatham Festival, so that we can bring a bit of the Alice Day fun to South London.

What’s that you ask? What is Alice’s Day?

Alice’s Day is a an annual celebration of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, held in Oxford, where Lewis Carroll lived and worked for much of his life. Coordinated by The Story Museum, there’s an element suitable for all Alice fans, including carnivals, workshops, museum exhibitions, and lectures. This year is particularly special because it’s the 150th Anniversary of the publication of Alice, plus the connection to 4th July in particular. As so eloquently put by The Story Museum:

“One golden afternoon on 4 July 1862, Charles Dodgson, an Oxford don, took the 10-year-old Alice Liddell and her sisters on a boating picnic up the River Thames from Folly Bridge in Oxford. To amuse the children he told them a story about a little girl, sitting bored by a riverbank, who finds herself tumbling down a rabbit hole into a topsy-turvy world called Wonderland.

The story so delighted Alice that she begged him to write it down – the result was the 1864 handwritten manuscript Alice’s Adventures Under Ground, published in 1865 as Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland under the pen name Lewis Carroll, with illustrations by Sir John Tenniel. A sequel, Through the Looking-Glass, was published in 1871.”

So do come and join us for Alice in Wonderland at the British Home and sample some of the magic and mayhem of this classic book. Who knows where your imagination might take you?!

There’s even more fun to be had on Sunday 5th July when there’ll be a Mad Hatter’s Tea Party fete in the grounds of the British Home, for a double dose of Alice fun!

Get your tickets for Alice in Wonderland here.

Quick Questions in Wonderland with Rachael Stratton

We grabbed Rachael Stratton, who’s playing ‘Alice’ in our Streatham Festival run of ‘Alice in Wonderland’, for a quick chat.

Rachael-3 blog version
What’s your favourite scene or character in Alice in Wonderland?
I love the court scene. The Queen of Hearts is truly fabulous as she marches around accusing anyone and everyone of stealing her tarts. I don’t think I’ve ever been part of something so manic!

 
What was the last project you worked on?
I played ‘Gingy’ and ‘Pinocchio’ in an Italian Tour of Shrek the Musical earlier this year. The show was a lot of fun and of course getting to see different parts of Italy at the same time was a bonus!
 

What’s the last book you read?
I’ve never been a big reader but I really enjoyed working my way through the works of Danny Wallace. Particularly, Awkward situations for men which is a selection of short stories in which Danny finds himself in various situations that are awkward for men…He really nailed the book title!
 
Besides Alice, what’s your favourite past role (or favourite past project you’ve worked on) and why?
My favourite role has to be ‘Winnie’ in Seeds of Love. It’s a true WWII story about a maid and a gardener who sent secret letters to each other after they were forbidden from speaking in person.

 
Their original love letters were discovered about 6 years ago in an old condensed milk tin in a garden shed. The play was written after managing to find Winnie and Eric, who were still happily married and in their 90s, and reuniting them with their letters almost 70 years on. Replaying their life and memories in the same stately home where the secret lovers used to work back in the 1940s was something truly special.

 
What’s the best play/show/concert you’ve ever been to?
I am theatre mad so this is a really tricky question. I love lots of different shows for lots of different reasons *switches to serious thinking face*. War Horse is a beautifully told story and it’s so hard to get your head around the fact that the horses on stage aren’t real horses! Another show that stood out for me is The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee at the Donmar. It’s full of witty songs and colourful characters. It’s something I’d love to be in. Also Matthew Bourne’s Edward Scissorhands is truly magical. I could easily continue but I’m restricted to a word count!

 
Not a lot of people know that…
A friend of mine once accidently knocked me out with a golf club.
Top Tip: Don’t stand too close to people who are playing golf.

 

What’s your guilty pleasure?
If I hear a song that has specific dance moves to it like YMCA, Saturday Night, The Macarena, 5,6,7,8 (the list goes on!) I simply HAVE to do the full choreography. To be fair, it’s quite good exercise!
 
What really grinds your gears?
All girls know this to be true…It doesn’t matter how many hair grips we buy, they will all instantly disappear! Seriously, where do they go!? It’s like the shops employ people to walk around with giant magnets to get them all back just so they can sell them to us again at a ridiculous price 3 days later. Grrrrrr.

 

You can see Rachael as ‘Alice’ in Alice in Wonderland at the British Home, 4-5th July, 1.30pm & 3pm (both days). £6 adult/£3 child.

Tickets available now!

 

 

NEWS: Alice in Wonderland transfers to Streatham Festival!

*ANNOUNCEMENT KLAXON*

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SONY DSC

We are almost as thrilled as the Mad Hatter…

Following the success of our fabulous run of ‘Alice in Wonderland’ at the Battersea Library for Wandsworth Fringe, we are transferring the show to The Streatham Festival 4-5th July at a BEAUTIFUL venue, ‘The British Home‘ in Streatham.

We’ve got 2 shows a day (1.30pm & 3pm), and tickets will go on sale at www.blackshawonline.com very soon…

Quick Questions in Wonderland: Rosie Marsh

We grabbed Rosie Marsh, who’s playing The March Hare/Dormouse in our upcoming production of Alice in Wonderland at the Battersea Library, and fired some quick questions at her…

 

Rosie HeadshotWhat do you like best about playing your character in Alice in Wonderland?

I like the fact that my main characters are physically connected, which makes the challenge of creating two completely individual personalities that bit more stretching and exciting! Plus they’re both completely bonkers which is always great fun to play.

 

What’s your favourite scene or character in Alice in Wonderland?
I always loved the mad hatters tea party and feel that this is how all tea parties should be conducted. Apparently I was never a fan of ‘the walrus and the carpenter’ poem; my dad told me that when he read it to me as a child I used to cry when the oysters got eaten!

 

What was the last project you worked on?
I sang in a production called ‘Bunco’, which was a piece of new writing at the proud archivist. I got to sing sixties ballads and wear a blue wig, it was brilliant.

 

What’s the last book you read?
I am currently reading a book called ‘the other twin’ by Dan Vyleta. It’s about a brutal murder which happens in Nazi occupied Austria and a doctor trying to figure out who’s guilty.

 

Besides Alice, what’s your favourite past role (or favourite past project you’ve worked on) and why?
Ooh this is a really tough one, it was probably my first Edinburgh experience where I was in a play I’d co-written with my friends. There were 7 of us sharing a one bedroom flat for a whole month, performing every day, seeing loads of theatre and drinking far too much. It was absolutely magical.

 

What’s the best play/show/concert you’ve ever been to?
I saw an amazing production of Romeo and Juliet at Statford Upon Avon years ago; they started the play by two of the Capulets dragging a Montague onto the stage, tying him to a wooden stake, lighting up a flame torch and almost setting fire to him, which was stopped by the entrance of the prince. It was absolutely terrifying and the only time I’ve really seen a production of the play really grasp the destruction and danger of the rivalry.

 

Not a lot of people know that…

I have a tattoo

 

What’s your guilty pleasure?
Passing judgements on people’s menu choices on ‘come dine with me’ and shouting things like ‘YOU’VE NEVER BAKED A SOUFFLE BEFORE AND YOU’RE DOING IT NOW?!?ARE YOU QUITE MAD!?!’ at the telly.

 

What really grinds your gears?
People who don’t practice their recipes before going on a dining competition show to win £1000.

 

You can see Rosie perform the role of March Hare/Dormouse (and other assorted characters) in Alice in Wonderland at the Battersea Library 2-16th May 2015 – more details and buy tickets here.

 

Quick Questions in Wonderland – Michelle Bristow

We grabbed Michelle Bristow,  Associate Designer on our upcoming production of Alice in Wonderland at the Battersea Library, and fired some quick questions at her…

 

What’s your favourite scene or character in Alice in Wonderland?

The White rabbit! And of course, the Queen of Hearts.
What was the last project you worked on?

Maze and JV2, for the Jasmin Vardimon Dance Company. And before that was Character, by Blackshaw.
What’s the last book you read?

I’m currently reading the Wolf Of Wallstreet.
Besides Alice, what’s your favourite past project and why?

So many to pick from….Alice was brilliant the first time round, but I’m enjoying it even more this time, the site specific element has added so much to the process.
What’s the best play/show/concert you’ve ever been to?

I’m going to see Fleetwood Mac in June, so ask me this again then!

 

You can see Michelle’s work in Alice in Wonderland at the Battersea Library 2-16th May 2015 – more details and buy tickets here.

Quick Questions in Wonderland: Richard Stratton

We grabbed Richard Stratton, who is playing Tweedle Dum (& other various roles) and also done wrote the play – for our upcoming production of Alice in Wonderland at the Battersea Library, for some quick questions…

 

StratWhat do you like best about playing your character in Alice in Wonderland

The best thing about playing my characters in Alice is that they’re all a different kind of crazy. Each of them is mad in their own way and it’s been fun finding those different types of madness and switching between them.

They’re also very active, there’s little time for rest if you’re on stage and I think that’s the same for everyone else too!

 

 

What’s your favourite scene or character in Alice in Wonderland?

I think it would have to be either the Mad Hatter’s tea party or the scene where Alice meets the door that she enters wonderland through. The tea party is such a classic scene from the book and it was a joy to work on. Plus, the characters in it are probably my favourites alongside the mock turtle who sadly didn’t make it in to this version.

While I tried to stay as true to how the tea party is in the original as I could, with the door scene I found I could put my own twist on it and try my hand at creating a new interpretation of the character of the door. It was really fun to create a character that fit comfortably with the other, established character of wonderland.

 

What’s the last book you read?

I recently finished ‘So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed’ by Jon Ronson. It’s an exploration of the rise of public shaming (primarily online), why it happens and how it affects those who find themselves targets. Really interesting, worth checking out, particularly if you spend a lot of time on Twitter!

 

Besides Alice, what’s your favourite past role (or favourite past project you’ve worked on) and why?

Tricky. My favourite past role was probably Lt. Ralph in Our Country’s Good. A wonderful play and a fantastic character to have the chance to take on.

 

What’s the best play/show/concert you’ve ever been to?

Even trickier! I certainly can’t choose one. Anything by Punch Drunk has to be up there and Mercury Fur by Philip Ridley left me in what I can only describe as a state of shock when I saw it and the Chocolate Factory (certainly not for kids though!). More recently though I’d have to say The Scottsboro Boys; I’ve never seen a musical like it!

 

Not a lot of people know that…

When I was little I had a teddy bear called Mr. Spiv.

 

What’s your guilty pleasure?

Terrible action movies on Netflix. Every time I think I’ve found the worst, they add another!

 

What really grinds your gears?

Dancing dog acts! Don’t really know why. I love dogs, but not when they’re dancing!

 

You can see Richard’s work in Alice in Wonderland at the Battersea Library 2-16th May 2015 – more details and buy tickets here.