Alex in Wonderland

– News

The Year 7 and 8 play this year was “Alex in Wonderland”, the story of a boy called Alex who loved stories, adventures and nonsense.  One day, he followed a rabbit down a tunnel into a land where curious creatures came to life and took him on the journey through Wonderland.

Alex (Ethan W) was lying by the riverbank one sunny afternoon, when suddenly a large white rabbit (Veer S), wearing a smart suit and calling, “I’m late, I’m late!” ran in front of him. Alex followed him down a rabbit hole. The tunnel led him into Wonderland, where his journey through a curious world of strange imaginings began. At the end of a long hallway of doors, he saw a beautiful garden, but he could not reach it. He drank a magic potion which made him grow and shrink, until he fell into a pool of his own tears. Swimming in the pool, he met all the creatures of Wonderland, including the Dodo (Timi O), the Lory (Rohan B) and the French Mouse (Zia D) and many other squirrels, foxes, badgers, birds and frogs all played by the boys in Years 7 and 8. In order to dry their fur and feathers, they danced the energetic Caucus Race.

Exhausted by the race, and terrified by the thought of Alex’s pet cat, Dinah, the creatures left the riverbank and Alex discovered the Caterpillar (Dhru P) and his group of woodland animals, ready to give him advice about how to cope with only being three inches high!  As Alex began to recite the poems that he remembered, the Youth (Kemji M-L) and Father William (Gursimar P) ran into the wood and rapped their own nonsense poetry, which is a strong element of Lewis Carroll’s writing.  They were brilliantly accompanied by the beats of the “Floss” dance group and the cartwheeling Frog (Tofunmi O-O).

Alex followed the signposts to find his way out of the wood, when there, in front of him, stood Tweedle Dum (Bardya B) and Tweedle Dee (Adrian L) who performed crazy songs and dances to entertain him, but were no help at all.  They were joined by the Walrus (Seyon S) and the Carpenter (Dylan P), who sang him a sad tale about eating the unfortunate oysters that they gathered along the beach.

Alex left this group of strange creatures, only to find a Frog Footman (Ali M) and a Fish Footman (Joshua C D) standing outside a large door.  Inside, the Duchess (Ozair S) and the Cook (Andrew A) were cooking and rocking a baby in a steamy kitchen, where the soup had too much pepper and was causing everyone to sneeze!  The Cheshire Cat (Sami A), who belonged to the Duchess, prowled around the kitchen dodging the flying plates, thrown by the angry cook.

Alex left this chaotic scene holding the baby, who turned into a pig!  He wandered deeper into the wood and came upon a tea party, where the Mad Hatter (Raffi C), the March Hare (Gunsagar P) and the Dormouse (Aaryan D) were singing and dancing around the table, whilst telling riddles and dipping pocket watches in tea cups!

Throughout his journey in Wonderland, Alex had been trying to reach the “beautiful garden” and he suddenly found himself standing amongst the rose bushes, which were white, but the Queen’s soldiers, dressed as cards, were trying to paint them red.  The Queen of Hearts (Adam V) was an irascible character, who regularly shouted “Off with their heads!” to anyone who did not instantly do as she asked.  Even the audiences were ordered to join in with the singing during the game of croquet, played using flamingos as mallets and with hedgehogs (Kemji M-L and Aaryan D) as balls.  The King (Garv G), the Knave (Dillan S) and all the cards and creatures left the rose garden and met the Gryphon (Affan K) and the Mock Turtle (Karran K) who sang and danced the Lobster Quadrille with the whole cast in party style. The Mock Turtle then treated Alex and the audience to an excellent rendition of “Beautiful Soup”.

All the creatures and characters were then found rushing to the Court Room, where the Knave was to be tried for stealing the Queen’s tarts.  The King managed to find everyone guilty, including Alex, who shouted, “Who cares for you? You’re nothing but a pack of cards”.  The characters then turned into fluttering cards and then into fluttering leaves.

Alex was, of course, back on the riverbank with Mr Dodgson (Krish D) and his brother, Edward (Niyan K), where he had fallen asleep. The whole story had been dreamt on a lazy summer’s sunny afternoon.

Alex is a story of imagination and wonder and the boys certainly had a great deal of fun bringing the story to life, with all the songs, dances and wonderful costumes and make up. Our thanks go to everyone who helped with the production, including the cast and stage crew of fifty boys, all the staff, and parents for their support. “These are the things that happen in a Wonderland” or in St Martin’s School!

Angela O’Farrell-Bernays

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