By Mae Velasco [currents events bureau chief]
Alice in Wonderland is an awesome traditional British panto written and directed by Ellie King. I really enjoyed this community theatre play done at the Surrey Arts Centre from Dec. 16, 2010 – Jan. 2, 2011. As December’s edition from Playboard describes a British-style Pantomime, the common elements required would be:
– a story where good triumphs over evil
– jokes (most of them very old and corny)
– popular songs of the day
– a pantomime dame, usually a middle-aged man dressed in a ridiculous woman’s costume
– a principal boy, the hero of the pantomime, usually played by an attractive young woman
– a very nasty villain and a very lovable fairy
– lots of audience participation
I truly support community theatre because I think the play would bring local neighbours supporting amateur and professional actors, family, and friends. It truly is enjoyable. I brought along a friend who’s not familiar at all with theatre plays and she loved it. The humour was done well, the characters meshed well, the actors’ age ranged from a cute child to seniors and their love of the play shone bright. Their principal role was played by Amanda Ram, who was Prince Albert the White and Alice was played by Crystal Weltzin.
Our very own Jennifer Campbell played Daisy, one of the flower girls and the daughter of the pantomime dame, Patti Cake. Amanda Smith-Weston, also from Kwantlen played Tweedle Dummer. Every time the nasty villain would come around the audience would “Boo!” And everytime the fairy of the show hits the stage the audience would just clap out loud. The audience was delighted to participate. There was even a time when Alice was so lonely that a child from the audience shouted “I’ll be your friend, Alice!”
Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance” was put in the mix and political against Gordon Campbell had the crowd in stitches.
Alice in Wonderland was definitely a hit. I would definitely see another play by Ellie King. You should just sit back and relax. Enjoy a theatre play and check out.