Sunday, December 20, 2009


at Riverside Ice and Leisure


Riverside's Alice on Ice had hordes of very talented skaters – the principals breathtakingly so at times – and superb costumes. Much of the ticket price must surely have gone on sound and lighting, both impressively inventive.

But it was only sporadically successful in any artistic sense. Don McNab's lavish production was at its best when music, choreography and character all came together, as in the opening Edwardian garden party, with its bassinets, parasols and a stylish taste of croquet to come. A neat pas-de-deux, and loads of rowing youngsters.
Other scenes, though, lacked focus: the Seaside [where the Edwardian bathing attire was better suited to the story – and the ice – than the Club Tropicana outfits], the Courtroom, and the Mad Hatter's Tea Party, despite Amber Ferguson's adorable dormouse.
Among the many scattered delights were the caterpillar, the red playing cards, the detectives and the candy-striped Cheshire Cat [Jane Faux].
Cat Clements' confident, athletic Alice was ably partnered by James Hunt as the White Rabbit. Steve Adcock was an impressively characterful Knave, with some brilliant routines, and, as the Queen, Helen Taylor successfully combined dramatic and skating skills. Choreography was by Louise Evans with Paula Austin.
Only when the whole cast assembled for the Someone Else's Dream finale did we see the scale of this annual extravaganza. Next year, Treasure Island gets the Riverside treatment.

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