Review: Jasmin Vardimon: Alice

Jasmin Vardimon: Alice

Theatre Severn

18th-19th October 2022

Over the years there has been many ways that the story of Alice in Wonderland has been represented, re-packaged and re-sold to myriad of generations. It lends itself well to interpretation. Could that be because Lewis Carroll, with his mind skewed by opiates, was far from clear on any meanings that his story might have? Possibly: But it does however, leave other mediums to have a go at representing this age old tale. Jasmin Vardimon is no exception and with the use of sound, movement, costume and a little bit of fun this modern dance production found yet another way.

Possibly booked into an over optimistic space, as a business idea it can’t have made them a very lot of money. They were barely half full tonight and with another day in town one can imagine fingers will be crossed as may be wallets for a time to come. But even though economics is not within the remit of the Critic one wonders sometimes how they might survive these big tours.

The design of the piece was great fun. Set within the pages of a huge story book Alice danced and romped between the pages trying to get a fix on just who she was and just what life was too. I’m sure for any little girl growing up, the world can dip and dive between fascinating and utterly terrifying all in one fell swoop. That message came across loud and clear. Lewis Caroll was also aware of indicating problems faced by young children growing up too and a parity was easily forged.

Whilst some scenes from the classic book were obvious for example, one saw the Caterpillar, The Cheshire Cat and The Queen Of Hearts, and the sense of surrealism was achieved magnificently as in the book, some of the scenes were not as clear as others. Sometimes meaning or even association with anything remotely to do with the tome were sadly lost on this lowly reviewer. Some scenes, whilst beautifully danced lost their way to relevancy somewhere in the foothills of not remotely connected. However, it was all carried of with such beauty that there was always something to occupy the mind.

The dancing was astonishing, to see a human simply float as though it were a leaf being blown by an air blower, was astonishing. One saw the the movements danced almost to a Fosse(esque) discipline there wasn’t a finger put out of place and if there was it was because it was supposed to be.

Overall, a delightful piece in parts, a little indulgent in others but all in all this piece is a delight for true pure dance fans; and for anybody else that only ever sees a body doing what it does on a daily basis, go and see these moves.

The show runs for one more night.

This is a Three Star Review.

Owen J. Lewis

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Owen Lewis Owen Lewis

Owen Lewis was born fifty something years ago in the land of the black puddings. For the geographically challenged that is in Lancashire. Moving to Shropshire From 1970 Owen was brought up in Church Stretton. His first real job was in radio. After starting on BBC Radio Shropshire he became known on Marcher Sound, broadcasting throughout the North West for several years. After a university degree course in Theatre, Owen became an actor and went on to play "Pirate Bill" in The Alton Towers Hotel. He also made several television appearances. Returning to university he took his PGCE enabling him to teach. That saw him on the Essex coast as a drama teacher and latterly as a Creative Educational Liaison Officer making films and creating new teaching methods to employ on children in need of more help in their fundamental learning skills. Three times Published playwright Owen ultimately wants a house boat in Amsterdam to focus on his work as Playwright and Poet. See more on www.ojlwritingservices.co.uk.

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