Being forced into an arranged marriage, Alice dreams about true love. At her engagement party, a White Rabbit appears and takes Alice on a disorienting journey to a new world: Wonderland. She is spun around and around on a revolving stage until she lands in front of a writhing, hissing, black-clad punk-rock Caterpillar who reveals her destiny: she will free Wonderland from its oppressor.
Flying actors, circling stage, loud music, fantastic costumes and state of the art light effects: The Freedom Theatre’s unconventional adaptation of Lewis Carroll’s legendary novel is its largest and most technically advanced production to date. Alice in Wonderland combines dance, music, acrobatics, circus and comedia dell’arte, using real and virtual scenography, video projection, extraordinary lighting and mirrors to transform the whole theatre hall into a Wonderland.
In The Freedom Theatre’s version, Alice escapes a reality of poverty, oppression and conservatism where she is constrained to doing chores in the home. In Wonderland Alice meets magical creatures that mirror her personal life and experiences, forcing her to reflect on her identity. She struggles with who she is and what is “right” or “wrong”, “normal” or “abnormal”. Wonderland is such a strange, dangerous world – yet Alice realizes that the other world, which purports to be the real one, is the one where she is robbed of her freedom. As she journeys through Wonderland, she grows and learns how to make her own choices.
The illusionary characters in Wonderland reflect reality but at the same time turn it upside down. By doing so the performance shines a different spotlight on today’s Palestinian society. It is a subversive, radical, humorous, extravagant, larger-than-life production that manages to tackle issues such as the position of girls and women in the community, while simultaneously questioning many of the social restrictions that limit the roles available to both women and men.
Alice has an energetic verve and visual originality that would rival the most daring European and U.S. productions—including the Red Queen’s rousing lip-synch of Blondie’s song ‘One Way or Another’ (‘I’m gonna getcha getcha getcha getcha’) and a sexy tango at the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party to Freddie Mercury’s ‘I Want to Break Free.’ – Theatre Communications Group…
It will be our biggest scandal yet, I hope. – Juliano Mer Khamis
The production of Alice in Wonderland received support from Al Jazeera Children’s Channel. In 2011 the Acting School programme was supported by Sida, Freedom to Create and UNFPA.