This was a pretty original take on the traditional Alice in Wonderland story and, at first, I found myself mesmerised by the concept – which asks what might happen if the heroine fell down the rabbit hole and found herself in a psychiatric unit, amongst characters teetering on the verge of madness. There are glimmers reminiscent of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, as well as echoes galore of the original work by Lewis Carroll.
The audience are treated to croquet games, smoking caterpillars in the guise of doctors, and of course, the traditional tea party. The references to the main characters are subtly done, but they are all there alongside the pills, wicked nurses and an unusually street-wise Alice, who even carries the odd packet of weed in her pocket.
The members of the Rabbit Hole Theatre Company carried off their parts convincingly, and supported each other in a slick, fast paced production. But there is one significant let-down: the ending comes as fast as Alice's decent down the rabbit hole, and left me feeling rather disappointed as to the final result.
So it's a shame the play doesn't end as strongly as it starts, but the company should be proud of this piece of theatre. There were some lovely touches, use of clever lighting, and strong performances throughout. I left wondering just what Mr. Carroll would have made of this slightly dark adventure in Wonderland; I think he might well have approved.