This week I reprised my role as the Mad Hatter and Lewis Carroll (and many more!) for Rough Magic Theatre’s Alice in Wonderland at the Hebden Bridge Arts Festival.
I love doing this show (I first toured in it in 2008) so I jumped at the chance to return. The Alice show is choc-full of comedy, slapstick, audience interaction, song, dance and puppetry, and it allowed me to brush up on a number of techniques all at once. It also plays to an audience of children who, as any children’s Entertainer would be happy to tell you, are the harshest and most forthright of critics. It’s a huge challenge to keep them entertained for a whole hour and I never shy away from a challenge.
At last count, I was performing as 14 separate characters in the show. It’s a great way to keep in shape as a performer but you’re knackered by the end of it. Playing that many characters and making them all completely different is tricky but I had great fun putting it all together in rehearsal. Going from playing a stout, ugly, nasal, sneering (cross dressing) Duchess to a limber, rolling, feline Terry Thomas-voiced Cheshire Cat requires quite a bit of vocal and physical acrobatics!
It had been a few months since our last showing of Alice in 2010 but getting back into it was a little like riding a bike. The venue was a little noisier than I would’ve preferred, being a community space with a working man’s club upstairs, but we had a good-sized crowd and the show went without a hitch.
Hopefully it won’t be too long until the show is dusted off again. You can find more details about Alice in Wonderland and Rough Magic Theatre here.
I’ve now been given a shooting date for A Price on Life, which will go before the cameras this Friday. It will end up as an internet viral demonstration piece and I’ll have a link to the YouTube video for it as soon as it’s ready.
Beyond that, I’ve not much to report.
You never know what’s round the corner in this job!
Till next time,…..