Kulturkompasset | critics of culture events

Amazing Wonder.land at Chatelet, Paris


Amazing Wonder.land

at Chatelet, Paris

Created by Damon Albarn, Moira Buffini and Rufus Norris

Wonder.land a musical success at Theatre du Chatelet, until 16. June.

Wonder.land a musical success at Theatre du Chatelet, until 16. June.

Music by Damon Albarn, book and lyrics by Moira Buffini

Company-of-wonder-1.land_.-Photography-by-Brinkhoff-and-Mögenburg.jpg

Company-of-wonder-1.land_.-Photography-by-Brinkhoff-and-Mögenburg.jpg

Review by Henning Høholt, Photography-by-Brinkhoff-and-Mögenburg

PARIS/FRANCE: Once again an excellent musical in the heart of Paris, musical shows for the whole family : jazz, opera, musical, dance, world music, French songs. This time the musical WONDER.LAND at Théatre du Chatelet in English language.  A new musical inspired by Lewis Carroll’s iconic story, wonder.land is a coming-of-age adventure that explores the blurred boundaries between our online and offline lives. The secret is that it is renewed to the time of internet iPhone, up to our days, where “all” young people are living most of their life at the internet, flirting, discussing, loving, arguing, being friends, not friends, like, and all that.

Carly-Bawden-Alice-and-Joshua-Lacey-The-White-Rabbit-1.-Photography-by-Brinkhoff-and-Mögenburg.jpg

Carly-Bawden-Alice-and-Joshua-Lacey-The-White-Rabbit-1.-Photography-by-Brinkhoff-and-Mögenburg.jpg

This version of the history about Alice in the Wonderland. Well directed by Rufus Norris is build up around a nice actual history about a mother and father who has divorced, they have two children, Alice, and a small baby. Alice loves her iPhone, and don´t want to live with anything else, but her mother force her after a whole weekend with her iPhone in bed, to join her to the Supermarket, and in that the history developes in a great way, understandable by all the young ones that filled up the audience, and also by some of us, older ones, who likes musical. – Aly – Lois Chimimba is struggling with all the pressures of being a teenager: family, school, friends and her own insecurities. Then she discovers wonder.land – a mysterious online world where, perhaps, she can create a whole new life. The web becomes her looking-glass – but will Aly see who she really is?

Lois-Chimimba-Aly-1.-Photography-by-Brinkhoff-and-Mögenburg

Lois-Chimimba-Aly-1.-Photography-by-Brinkhoff-and-Mögenburg

Wonder.land is full of really good tunes, songs, ensembles, and a lot of fun. As usual, I find links to many other well known musicals, as for example Oliver, but that is a compliment, and it i swell arranged. The orchestra played excellent, and the choire is good, and even the iPhone choreography works very well.

Anna Francolini (Ms Manxome) and ensemble_credit Brinkhoff_Mögenburg-1

Anna Francolini (Ms Manxome) and ensemble_credit Brinkhoff_Mögenburg-1

The scenographic is well working, easy and good changes between the school room, where Alice and her student colleagues and their school master – Mrs. Manxome: excellent played and sung Anna Francolini  is playing their game around using or not using iPhone in the school, works very well, and the visual frame to get the stage to work as an internet world is outstanding and brilliant. Always disturbed by the brilliant  Hal Fowler – Singing beautiful as M.C. (Cheshire Cat./Caterpillar).

Hal Fowler (The Cheshire Cat)_credit Brinkhoff_Mögenburg-1

Hal Fowler (The Cheshire Cat)_credit Brinkhoff_Mögenburg-1

 Lois-Chimimba-Aly-andHal-Fowler-The-Cheshire-Cat-Caterpillar-1.-Photography-by-Brinkhoff-and-Mögenburg


Lois Chimimba  as Aly and Hal Fowler as The Cheshire Cat Caterpillar.-Photography-by-Brinkhoff-and-Mögenburg

Furthermore her father Matt : Paul HiltonDinah : Witney White Kitty : Abigail RoseMary Ann : Stephanie Rojas. The beautiful Wonderland figure Alice : Carly Bawden, The White Rabbit is always anywhere, well performed by Joshua Lacey. And last, but not least the handsome Luke Laprel : Enyi Okoronkwo. 

Leon-Cooke-Dee-Carly-Bawden-Alice-and-Sam-Archer-Dum-1.-Photography-by-Brinkhoff-and-Mögenburg

Leon-Cooke-Dee-Carly-Bawden-Alice-and-Sam-Archer-Dum-1.-Photography-by-Brinkhoff-and-Mögenburg

Beautiful costumes in the fantasy world, by Katrina Lindsay. Alice two costumes, one blue in the first act, and the red in the second, makes me remember the film versions, just that here it is much better, and the composition of her high healed shoes that makes it look like she is always on too tips, is very good.

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Rosalie Craig as Alice and Anna Francolini  as Ms Manxome  – the school headmaster. credit-Brinkhoff_Mögenburg

The use of moving effects of the participating actors functions very good. Light underlines and give great atmospheres for the pictures.

Combining live theatre and digital technology in dazzling new ways, wonder.land is brought to life on stage by an extraordinary creative team. With stunning sets, costumes, video projection and lighting, and a score by Blur’s Damon Albarn, this is a musical like no other: an Alice for the online generation.

Wonder.land - Applause. Foto Henning Høholt

Wonder.land – Applause. Foto Henning Høholt

wonder.land explores teenage issues and contains some strong language. It’s not suitable for children under 10.

Aplause foto with the good Orchestra. By Henning Høholt

Aplause foto with the good Orchestra. By Henning Høholt

Manchester International Festival and National Theatre co-production. Commissioned by Manchester International Festival, National Theatre and the Théâtre du Châtelet.

Running time : 2h20 with intermission – In English with French surtitles

Lois-Chimimba-Aly, (down)-and-Carly-Bawden-Alice (up)-Photography-by-Brinkhoff-and-Mögenburg

Lois-Chimimba-Aly, (down)-and-Carly-Bawden-Alice (up)-Photography-by-Brinkhoff-and-Mögenburg

Cast

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