Christmas Panto review: Alice in Wonderland, The Remix

Alice in Wonderland, The Remix Christmas Panto runs 1-31 December 2022 at Brixton House, Brixton. It is suitable for kids age 7+.

Opposite Brixton Village and surrounded by awesome street-art, Brixton House is a strobe-lit community centre with built-in theatre. It feels like the house of Lords, a long thin rectangle with seats along either side, so the actors are playing 360 degrees and you all get an immersive experience.

Alice in Wonderland in Brixton Panto poster with blue background

Image Designed by Guy J Sanders, Illustrated by Israel Kujore

‘Alice’ is the first ‘home-grown’ theatre production in Brixton in 40 years, an empowering moment for the creative team, performers and Brixton House staff. It grew out of Brixton’s diverse, creative community and the two lead characters, Alice and Mum are BAME.

The re-write uses only the main story line, the bit about Alice going underground, meeting a bunch of fantastical characters, the Queen being nasty, and Alice waking up after a dream. Other than that, it’s a blank slate. For starters, the rabbit hole becomes Brixton tube station and the tunnel is the Victoria Line! Clever punning on tube station names ‘the Stockwell market’s crashed’ provides lots of laughs. I think the title could even have been ‘Alice in Underland’.

The set is a tube carriage, minimalist, with benches either side doubling as prop cupboards. Tube posters are adapted ‘See it. Slay it. Sorted.’ making reference to the Queen’s dreaded Jabberwocky which keeps everyone in order.

As this is a Brixton panto, the music is all rap, and a Rapperturg sits on the creative team.  Alice has her own rhymes which she repeats to help her manage her swirling emotions and give her strength to face down her fears. As my friend Nikky said, empowerment is a major theme in the storyline also.

madeleine in brixton for alice in wonderland show posing for mums magazine

In true panto-fashio, the acting is high-octane, expressive and pacy, a full-body work out at times, when the train speeds out of control. The costumes are eccentric and charming, with common low-budget items finding surprising new uses.

The big theme which has been layered in is the importance of family solidarity, as the journey begins with them off to visit Nani (Gran), and ends with the healing of the mother-daughter relationship. On a personal level, Alice learns many life lessons as she navigates past all the characters. And mum learns a few too.

Say no more, it’s a total one-off. Go see.

 

The story

After an explosive argument with Mum on a Victoria line station, eleven-year-old Alice leaps onto the tube seconds before the doors hiss shut.

Trapped on a train speeding into Nonsense, surrounded by weird and wonderful passengers, and at the mercy of a Queen who won’t relinquish the controls, can Alice turn this train around?

Multi-award-winning company Poltergeist weaves rap music together with the sights and sounds of Brixton into a hundred-mile-an-hour Christmas adventure. This alternative family Christmas show is created by Poltergeist.

 

Tickets available from here.

 

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