We’re all familiar with the well known tale of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, from lavish tea parties, to talking chess pieces, but what of it’s sequel, Through the Looking Glass, And What Alice Found There? Written by influential author, Lewis Carroll in 1871, the narrative follows Alice as she once again escapes to an unknown world populated by an array of fantastical creatures. But whilst on her travels, she discovers a book… The Jabberwocky… but what does it say? What does it mean?
A book compiled of nonsensical words and verses, The Jabberwocky has to be considered one of the greatest pieces of poetic surrealism ever created. Considering that the world of Alice in Wonderland suspends the belief of its readers, to think that a book within the story transports readers to another dimension completely is magical.
Steve Tiplady‘s production at the Little Angel Theatre encapsulates the enchantment, the mystique and the brilliance of the world created by Lewis Carroll. Perspectives shift as the hero, a young boy referred to as ‘beamish’ transforms from a small marionette puppet in the distance to a larger puppet who outgrows his house and appears closer to the audience.
Peter O’Rourke‘s set design astonishes as it becomes the inhabitable playground for the play’s protagonist, from broken wooden beams slowly appearing to sink underwater, to overgrown exotic forests, The Jabberwocky continually leaves you questioning where our hero will end up next. Fragments of the poem eerily echo throughout the performance, a staunch reminder that the world inhabited will not be at peace until the dreaded Jabberwocky is defeated.
Mandy Travis, Stan Middleton, Sarah Wright and Nele De Craecker animate the beautifully designed marionette puppets, as ‘mimsy borogroves’, the ‘bandersnatch’, the ‘Jubjub bird’, and the ‘Jabberwock’ all take their moment to inhabit the stage, each with their own presence, putting their own stamp on the performance. The element of danger persists until the very end, a thrilling piece of theatre that will have the whole family on the edge of their seat! 4/5
Review written by Lucy Basaba.
The Jabberwocky is currently showing at The Little Angel Theatre until Sunday 1st February 2015. For more information on the production, visit here…
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