Monday, 21 December 2015

'' at the National Theatre

Went to see the new musical on the block, '' at the National Theatre last Saturday and I really wanted to like it. Not so much because it was (at least in part) by Damon Albarn but because I wanted a new magical Christmas show. In the event my expectations were far too high and that probably affects my view of the production. No, I didn't really like it and I think that's because it tried to cram too much into the plot, too many strands of social concern for it to work.

It's based loosely on the 'Alice In Wonderland' stories but, in this case, wonderland is an online app, hence the annoying 'dot' in the title of the play (it's pronounced wonder-dot-land). It's the tale of a girl who's bullied at school and who finds the new online game that means she can create an avatar rather than be herself. She's called Alice, of course, as is the head teacher, who takes over the school girl's phone and discovers the game. She takes over the avatar and starts to rule the wonderland as a cruel queen. Alice, of course, has to fight back and eventually wins. bringing her parents back together in the process.

It's quite spectacular in its way with a very creative use of the video wall at the back of the stage, odd costumes and very little set but it needs a narrative to take it forward and a bunny with a strange face and ears isn't sufficient for that. I was disappointed. Let's leave it at that.

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