Alice in Slasherland
Old Fitzroy Theatre
Despite “Alice in Wonderland” being an immensely influential piece of work among Carrol Lewis’ oeuvre, the men himself is fabled to have given in to neither instincts and less wholesome endeavours during his time, which is where one could draw parallels to the malevolence that materialized on stage with. Qui Nguyen's ALICE IN SLASHERLAND.
As the title suggests and thinly veils, Alice In Wonderland is an all-out homage to the horror genre with all its clichés and delights. Without pretending to have a sophisticated angle or twist, the play indulges in drawing all stops in the most unapologetic way, which make it one of the more amusing and entertaining theatre incarnations I have recently witnessed.
There is hardly a horror movie trope that is left untouched – set against a Samhain party, teenagers conjure the opening of a channel to the realms of Beelzebub with all the biblical references and allusions possible thrown in for good measure to ultimate release the dead.
The star of the show is the main protagonist’s smack talking, foul mouthed sassy hippity hoppity teddy bear, who shoulders the task of saving the day.
I have elaborated on the merits of Redline Productions and the longstanding institution that is the Old Fitzroy Theatre and tonight was another exercise in demonstrating what can be done in a relatively confined space with a limited budget. Video projections give the performance an additional dimension and the costume designs chosen are no really concealed tributes to what is known from b-grade slasher movies, including the deliberately exaggerated depiction of the demons.
The ensemble does an excellent job finding the right balance between humour, cartoonish simplicity and seriousness to add some depths to characters that usually do not scratch the surface of outworn stereotypes.
A high octane play with an energetic cast that frames a very entertaining evening with a few surprises and one that is both an homage as well as a persiflage and recommended not only for horror movie aficionados.