Through the Looking Glass is a strange place, a place that is backwards, cause happens before effect, the lines blur between dark and light.
It’s to this land that we have been invited, to join Alice in order to reach the 8th square on the chess board and change from a pawn to a queen.
Brentwood Theatre has always been great at putting on alternatives to pantos for children at Christmas, last year’s Wind in the Willows was a sea of audience interaction and jokes with Toad and Badger. This year’s Through the Looking Glass is a more modern play, with music and lyrics (written by Bill Francoeur) that at times resemble more of a rock concert then a family show. As a member of the audience you are another character in the show and anyone that goes into the play ready to have a good time, clapping along to the music, singing along, will enjoy themselves.
Just like a game of chess the props were simple but they were used clever ways, with a large chess board in the middle of the floor that had lights, changing colours during different scenes. But one of the best scenes involved the use of a black light and some amazing fish props to create a underwater fish fantasy that left the whole audience stunned
My daughter is just below the recommended age of above 5 years old for the play, but she absolutely loved the show, despite maybe not understanding a lot of the jokes. Her favourite character was (of course) Alice, played by Sophie Farnham, who did a fantastic job of playing the young girl looking for adventure in wonderland, displaying her skills in playing the dynamic character of Alice
With only 8 actors in a show that had over 30 parts the cast did a fantastic job of keeping the story flowing. Katie Lawrence & Lydia Shaw played the White and Red Queen who are constantly at war but will travel far for their pieces
Amongst other characters Libby Grant & Laura Hawkyard played the characters Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee in a scene that took me back to the 1951 Disney film ‘Alice in Wonderland’ in a scene of puzzles and confusion
The music and lyrics were hilarious and had me in stitches several times throughout the night. One of my favourite songs was Humpty Dumpty’s story (played by Elliot Burton) about his journey down from the wall. But second to this was a song at the end of the show, reminding both the adults and child that being in power is not just a stroll in the park and comes with Responsibilities.
The whole night was a wonderful surprise, the ultimate test was my daughter who loved the night, clapped along to the tunes and cheered Alice along her journey. I would highly recommend this show to children of all ages, all who are brave enough to take that step through the Looking Glass
Alice Through the Looking Glass will be at Brentwood theatre until the 31st December
HornchurchLife’s Reviews appear in the Trident magazine and Musical Theatre Review. If you would like to feature them on in website or magazine, contact us at HornchurchLife@gmail.com