The Wellingtonista

Random stuff about Wellington since 2005

Review: Alice in Wonderland

by Emma Maguire on November 18, 2019 in Theatre

Circa’s panto this year is Alice in Wonderland, and it is a mystical journey down the rabbit hole (Mt Vic tunnel), to discover fun, some quality Kiwi bangers, and utter manicism (in a good way).

Written by Circa stalwarts, Gavin Rutherford and Simon Leary (who play the Dame and the Mad Hatter respectively), it’s a tale as old as time – Alice follows the White Rabbit through to Wonderland, where the Red Queen – a thinly-veiled Jacinda Ardern – has been turned evil by her new pet, the Jabbawocky (no bets as to which local political figure that’s meant to be).

Together, the Dame, Alice, the Hatter and the White Rabbit – alongside a reluctant Tweedledum and Tweedledee – must save themselves and stop the Jabbawocky before the Red Queen cuts off all their heads.

Circa’s pantos are always very well done, and a great time for the whole family, and Alice is no exception.

The performances are very strong – Jonathan Morgan bringing some strong vogueing in as the Red Queen being one of my highlights – and the musical numbers are just fantastic.

This year, all the musical moments are Kiwi songs, and the cast revitalize a mixture of old classic Kiwi bangers, as well as some newer hits. I very much appreciated the inclusion of Opshop’s Maybe as one of the throughlines of the show, as well as Th’ Dudes’ Bliss.

Pantomimes are fun for the whole family, and this one is no exception. Though there are moments that are a little saucier, and some jokes about politics, any kids in the audience would be hard-pressed to not enjoy themselves during such a delightful and fabulous piece. I certainly did, and I was a childless solo audience member. It’s a damn good time.

Ring in the holiday season with this bit of fun. You absolutely won’t regret it.


Alice in Wonderland is on at Circa Theatre in Wellington until the 22nd of December. Grab your tickets here!

Emma Maguire

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