Following in the footsteps of the recent Deep Into Darkness, Geekenders Theatricals goes down the rabbit hole with an immersive production of Alice in Glitterland at East Vancouver’s WISE Hall.
Based on the works of Lewis Carroll, Alice in Glitterland hits many of the iconic moments from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and its sequel. Forget the potion that makes Alice shrink and grow, in this show it is designed to induce a surrealistic world where you can join the Mad Hatter’s tea party or take part in the Queen of Hearts’ croquet game.
Between hitting many of those distinctive moments from Carroll’s books, there is plenty of dance. Given past Geekender productions, it comes as no surprise that much of it is of the burlesque variety, with pole dancing and hoop work thrown in for good measure.
But like the much darker predecessor, which recently wrapped its run around the corner at The Cultch, there is little actual narrative. Instead, we must use our own prior knowledge of the Alice stories (it is best to brush up before you go) and piece it together on our own.
Between the recognizable moments, there are great swaths of time where we are left to our own devices to wonder the space. There are rooms to explore, but during our visit they were static as the large cast performed their dance routines non-stop in the larger playing areas. Audience participation is also key and I recommend opting for the white masks which signify your willingness to be approached, which may very well get you a coveted one-on-one with a character.
The most satisfying thing about Alice in Glitterland is in creator Fairlith Harvey’s choice of music. I’d buy the soundtrack.
Alice in Glitterland continues at the WISE Hall (1882 Adanac St, Vancouver) as part of the Vancouver Fringe Festival. Visit vancouverfringe.com for tickets and information.