The best theatrical experience I’ve had this year: Alice’s Adventures Underground.

Les Enfants Terribles creates a masterpiece of promenade theatre that enchants, enthrals, and enraptures the audience.

I’ve got something to admit: prior to attending Alice’s Adventures Underground, I didn’t know a lot about Alice in Wonderland. I know, I know. What an amazing childhood I must’ve had. I honestly think it was just one of those things that passed me by. Don’t get me wrong, I knew the basic premise, but I definitely wasn’t an expert. So when my lovely friend Daniella asked me along for press night, I couldn’t refuse. It was time to take the plunge into the infamously weird and wacky Universe that Lewis Carrol created over 150 years ago.

When I arrived at The Vaults, I was gobsmacked. Right from the get-go, I was transformed into another world: one of intrigue and illusion. The foyer was beautifully designed (and the cocktails were to die for.) I instantly felt like I was in immersed in this world, and the show hadn’t even started yet: my only regret is that I didn’t get there sooner.


Above: Taste testing the delicious cocktails and curry chips prior to the performance. (Mine was aptly titled the Chesire Cat.)

I had no idea what I was about to experience when the 8:45 performance of the show began. What makes Alice’s Adventures Underground unique as a piece of promenade theatre is that the audience is given a choice: near the beginning of the performance we were asked whether we would like to EAT (some kind of jelly) or DRINK (a pineapple-like liquid.) Whatever we chose would affect the way the show unfolded for us. Later, we were sorted into card suits (I was a club, descended from soldiers.) This further affected our experience. Even before the performance came to an end, I immediately became curious as to what the other audience members who chose differently were confronted with, and it convinced me into deciding that I should probably return for a repeat visit.

Intricately designed by Samuel Wyer, and directed by Les Enfants Terribles founder Oliver Lansley, the show is beautiful in every sense of the word. Without giving away too much information, every minute detail has been carefully thought of: from the sprawling banquet hall to the tiny (and often claustrophobic) winding corridors.

I am gobsmacked at the talent of this cast, who perform 36 times a night, and who regularly rotate characters. They are not only actors: they are singers, acrobats, comedians, contortionists, puppeteers, and tour guides. Performers who are only fit for Wonderland.

Beg, borrow, or steal a ticket. You will not regret it.

Thank you to Daniella for bringing me along, and Raw PR for an incredible night!

Alice’s Adventures Underground is playing at the Vaults until September 23rd. Book your tickets here.

Marketing image courtesy of Jason Joyce.


The Girls Review: Blooming Brilliant

Gary Barlow’s and Tim Firth’s new musical is joyous, and not getting as much praise as it should be.

As I walked into the lovely Phoenix Theatre with my friend Naomi, I was met with some good news by the usher: “You’re sitting in the grand circle this evening? I’ll be able to give you both a free upgrade!”

Although  I was obviously delighted by this revelation, I will admit that I grew weary: why were we being upgraded? Why weren’t people going to see the show? It’s a Thursday evening performance, it should be close to sold-out, shouldn’t it? Is it terrible?


I know: just because a show isn’t selling that many seats doesn’t mean it’s an awful musical (commercial success does not equate to artistic brilliance Conor,) but the thought definitely crossed my mind.

Set in Yorkshire, The Girls tells the story of Angela (Annie) Baker, who is left widowed after the death of her husband John. In a desperate bid to help Annie in her time of grief, Chris, her best friend of forty years, becomes inspired to raise money for a hospital sofa to commemorate him with. Together, Chris and Annie convince their other friends to participate in a nude calendar, in the hopes of raising the much-needed funds. The result: this heartwarming and hilarious new musical.


Based on a true story, the show has proved to have an impressive shelf life (first the 2003 movie adaption, with a play that followed.) This musical version is written by Gary Barlow and Tim Firth. I really enjoyed most of the musical performances, but it definitely wasn’t the most memorable score. The cast all gave exceptional vocal performances, and the songs interweaved with the story effortlessly. From the rousing opening number (Yorkshire) to the emotionally vulnerable Scarborough (performed brilliantly by Joanna Riding.)

Each leading lady was given their moment to shine, and it’s simply impossible to pick a standout performance. The supporting cast was just as strong, and Ben Hunter, Chloe May Jackson Jenny, and Frazer Hadfield had the auditorium in hysterics. It was lovely to see three young performers in their West End debuts relishing every minute.

So, here’s to The Girls: the West-End desperately needs more shows like it.

The Girls is playing at the Phoenix Theatre until Saturday, the 15th of July. Get tickets here.