Brighton Fringe – A Trip to Wonderland

Alice in Wonderland (The Ballet) at Brighton Open Air Theatre, 3rd October 2020

In a year that truly has been ‘curiouser and curiouser’, it seemed fitting to take a step back into the world of live shows by rediscovering my inner child watching a balletic performance of Alice in Wonderland.

Postponed from its usual springtime slot in May, Brighton Fringe is currently putting on a diverse programme of events in socially distanced settings and it’s great to see theatre, dance and comedy on the city’s agenda once again.

At the weekend, London based Let’s All Dance made good on their promise of ’bringing the magic of dance to everyone’ with their trip to Wonderland, telling a familiar tale through a new medium for many and making ballet accessible to all ages with instantly recognisable characters, colourful costumes and a sprinkling of humour. The choreography made the dance look effortless, the children in the audience were mesmerised and the adults no doubt appreciated the addition of a liberal dose of hand sanitiser to the Mad Hatter’s spread of tea and Eat Me cake. It was heart warming to hear small voices around me gasp as Alice appeared twice as tall on hidden stilts and excitedly telling their parents, ‘I saw the white rabbit!’ in what, for some, may have been their first experience of live performance. At 40 minutes long, Let’s All Dance have really considered what works within the attention span of little ones and ensured that the show is entertaining for all ages. Brighton Open Air Theatre provided the perfect backdrop and, in an unexpected twist, the sun shone all afternoon.

2020 is very much the year when, if Alice were to utter, ‘Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast’, everyone else would probably agree. Leaving the worries of the world aside for a while, an escape to Wonderland was just what was needed.

You can find Let’s All Dance here, including details of further shows this year. The full Brighton Fringe schedule is on their website now.

Words and photos by Siobhan
6th October 2020