Absolute Alice (Stratford Factory Productions) 2012 Toronto Fringe Review

Absolute Alice opened to a full house at Toronto’s Fringe Festival which was really nice to see at a venue as large the Factory Theatre Mainspace. The show is an updated version of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland.

As I watched this show and even after it was over I kept thinking to myself, “How am I ever going to write a review about this?” There is just so much going on onstage yet I find myself at a loss for words when it comes to describing this show. It’s not that nothing happens, but that so much happens that I don’t know where to begin.

This quirky production has wonderfully elaborate costumes, a fabulous set and fantastic props. There is great blocking onstage for this large cast of 19 performers and every single person gets a chance to shine.

Lucy Martin is perfect as Alice and so believable as a little girl. The chemistry between the actors is amazing and their interactions are so natural and fun to watch.

There are a couple of dance party scenes where the entire cast dances together and you can just tell they’re having a great time.

That said, I did have a few problems with the overall production. To me it just didn’t feel finished. When the show ended I felt like the entire play was rushed. I understand it’s quite a feat to try and cram all the elements of Alice in Wonderland into a 55 minute performance and I feel like they should have either lengthened the show or skipped over a few parts.

I mean it was really amusing to see all the references that make the story what it is, but instead of giving the Fish and Frog a line each they could maybe have left them out? This is just mine and my show partner’s opinion, because on the flip side I understand how, for Alice in Wonderland fans (which I am), it would be really nice to see every aspect of the book covered. All in all it’s such a fun and whimsical show that it just needs to be a bit longer.

If you’re looking for something a little extravagant and over-the-top theatrical this Fringe then you should watch this show. It is definitely entertaining and even pretty hilarious in parts.

Details

  • Absolute Alice plays at Venue 12, The Factory Theatre Mainspace (125 Bathurst St.)
  • Show times: July 07 09:15 PM, July 08 01:15 PM, July 09 05:00 PM, July 11 03:30 PM, July 12 11:00 PM, July 13 04:00 PM, July 15 05:15 PM
  • All individual Fringe tickets are $10 at the door (cash only). Tickets are available online at www.fringetoronto.com, by phone at 416-966-1062, in person at The Randolph Centre for the Arts, 736 Bathurst Street (Advance tickets are $11 – $9+$2 service charge)
  • Value packs are available if you plan to see at least 5 shows

Photo of Lucy Martin.