A TV screening of a production of "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" by the Royal Ballet, staged at the Royal Opera House in London. It's the first full-length score commissioned for the Royal Ballet in 20 years.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Lauren Cuthbertson ...
Sergei Polunin ...
Edward Watson ...
Zenaida Yanowsky ...
Mother / Queen of Hearts
Christopher Saunders ...
Father / King of Hearts
Steven McRae ...
Magician / Mad Hatter
Eric Underwood ...
Rajah / Caterpillar
...
The Duchess / Introduced by
Ricardo Cervera ...
Vicar / March Hare
James Wilkie ...
Verger / Dormouse
Kristen McNally ...
Cook
Ludovic Ondiviela ...
Footman / Fish
Kenta Kura ...
Footman / Frog
Leanne Cope ...
Samantha Raine ...
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Storyline

A TV screening of a production of "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" by the Royal Ballet, staged at the Royal Opera House in London. It's the first full-length score commissioned for the Royal Ballet in 20 years.

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ballet | See All (1) »

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Drama | Fantasy | Music

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Release Date:

23 April 2011 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Alicia en el País de las Maravillas  »

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A real treat for ballet fans
6 June 2011 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

I love classical music, ballet and opera and have done for as long as I can remember. I was all for seeing a ballet adaptation of Alice in Wonderland. The story itself with its colourful characters and somewhat episodic but interesting structure is timeless, and I was not really worried about its transition from book to ballet form as it worked with The Tales of Beatrix Potter(though all the stories of hers combined are much simpler than Alice in Wonderland in all fairness).

This was a big surprise, because there were scenes that I was initially worried of whether they would work, such as the Mad Matter's Tea Party, and a real treat for any ballet fans or for any children introducing themselves to this great art. It does do a fine job with a timeless but somewhat problematic story. Like the book itself, the basic structure is episodic, but I don't consider that a problem. My only slight criticism is the slightly overlong first act where some of the comedy and drama doesn't always come together, but there are so many things to like about this Royal Opera House production you probably won't mind.

First of all, Joby Talbot's music is outstanding. I was interested in what it would be like, I have heard a few of his compositions before and they are very nice and interesting on the whole. The percussion-driven ballet score he composed here gives the production a certain magic that is very much needed, and is also energetic and memorable. Christopher Wheeldon's choreography also impresses in my view. It uses all these traditional moves that we are used to seeing in ballet productions, and they are used to make for some genuinely entertaining scenes such as the Queen of Hearts' Rose Adagio, tender "love" duets, a thrilling ensemble dance with cards and my personal favourite the tap-dancing Mad Hatter.

I loved the look of the production as well. The prologue is very charming and beguilingly danced and sets the tone of the whole production very nicely. The costumes and sets are consistently very colourful, and the effects are not only gorgeous but have an appealing oddball and hallucinatory sense about them. The second half is even better than the first half, with the comedy a little more focused and the pace and dancing more exciting than before.

There is much to praise in the performances too, everybody does a solid to outstanding job, but I would like to give honourable mention to Simon Russell Beale who sends up a comical storm in both his acting and dancing. Lauren Cuthburtson is absolutely excellent in the title role too, not bland in any way, she dances a dream, looks the part and manages to be funny, engaging and un-twee throughout. Barry Wordsworth also does a rock-solid job conducting the superb orchestra whose playing is suitably stylish and filled with great energy.

Overall, a treat to watch and even better than I thought it would be. 9/10 Bethany Cox


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