Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Magic Missing from Wonderland; DANCE

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Magic Missing from Wonderland; DANCE

Article excerpt

Byline: SIOBHAN MURPHY

Alice In Wonderland

Coliseum ***

AS A family-friendly Christmas treat, the English National Ballet's Alice In Wonderland is serviceable enough but - despite some nifty illusions worked into the action - it's not as magical as it wants to be.

This adaptation of Lewis Carroll's story, created by former artistic director Derek Deane, is built around a patchwork of Tchaikovsky pieces that never feel like a coherent whole but emphasise the episodic nature of the piece, as Alice (Venus Villa) dashes from one set piece to another in an effort to cram in as many well-known characters as possible.

So we whizz through a dizzying number of well-executed scene changes and encounter a vast array of strange creatures, kitted out as per Tenniels's original illustrations. All very impressive, but the choreography itself can verge on the bland, with little here to make you catch your breath. Villa stomps and huffs her way through her (almost constant) time on stage, so much so that you end up wishing you could give the little madam a slap. …

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