• Amy Toledano

Alice, A Virtual Adventure presented in Creation Theatre, Big Telly Theatre Company and Charisma.AI

What is it?

The wacky and inevitable end point of a society that has spent far, far too long on Zoom.

What is it about?

An online, interactive, family-friendly ‘theme park’ which takes one of the most adapted stories on the planet – Alice in Wonderland – and one of the most unexpected winners of 2020 – Zoom – and exploits both for all their boxes of tricks are worth. We’re invited to a video call and then, from the off, presented with a series of choices, such as do you want to meet the Queen of Hearts, or the cook who makes her tarts? Each character then winningly and ingeniously introduces themselves into the story, often with a relevant exercise – a game of musical statues, for example, in which losing means ‘losing your head’.

How did it make me feel?

Considering how well-trodden Alice in Wonderland is, there was a real thrill in having no idea what to expect beforehand, and being repeatedly surprised. Plus, as someone who now holds a world-weary pride in my Zoom expertise, I found the technological sleights-of-hand that this show pulls off genuinely jaw-dropping. Part of the delight of Alice is the surprise element, so I won’t say too much, but some savvy tech magician (credited as Illusionist Paul McEneaney) has clearly fallen through a Zoom hole into a video conferencing wonderland. It’s very much in these moments of tech magic that the game of the production lies, and any narrative through-line is secondary. I found the first section, where the audience has the most ability to make choices to meet different characters, dragged for this reason, but the momentum picked up again once we were more decisively carried along by the story.

Where is it playing?

You can buy tickets on the Creation Theatre website, and will be sent a Zoom link to join the event nearer the time. It’s on from 1st – 30th August, at 4pm and 7pm.

Anything Else?

The interactive elements will hold particular charm for children, but any grown-up theatre goers craving the community of theatre will get a kick from watching the rest of the audience. Never in a ‘real-life’ theatre can you see other spectator’s reactions so clearly, and I found it an especial joy to watch a child upend themselves in imitation of the March Hare’s ‘synchronised swimming’.

Grace x

Alice, A Virtual Adventure is playing on Zoom until 30th August 2020.

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