Up until yesterday, the closest I had ever gotten to the ballet was a movie poster for Swan Lake. Ballet was one of those things that I had never attempted to try for myself, but was always something I’d wanted to go along and see. However I’d simply never gotten round to it, like when you decide to learn Italian or take an evening class in cooking. You spend a lot of time intending to do it, but none on actually doing it.

Having been obsessed with Lewis Carroll’s imaginative tale of white rabbits, mad hatters and one very curious young girl ever since being a curious young girl myself, meant that not going along to the Scottish Ballet’s interpretation of the children’s classic was going to prove impossible for me. There I was, a ballet virgin, about to give it all away for intermission ice cream, a seat in The Box (usually reserved for The Queen and such folk) and of course, my favourite ever story played out before my eyes.

The creative team behind Cinderella and The Nutcracker are responsible for bringing Alice to Glasgow, a topsy-turvy tale of a young girl who finds herself in a dreamlike, strange land, after tumbling through a camera lens (the modern-day version of a rabbit hole, apparently) where she meets all manner of crazy characters, guided by Carroll himself.

The foundation of the story is basically the same, but the Scottish Ballet create their own twist with the aforementioned rabbit-hole as camera lens, Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee morphed into two naughty schoolgirls, the inclusion of a mysterious Axe-Man which adds a sinister component to the proceedings, and Humpty Dumpty (!), bringing a whole new level of eccentricity to an already bizarre tale.

The Scottish Ballet Orchestra provided a stunning soundtrack and each performer effortlessly glided throughout, giving life to some of my favourite fictional characters while showing them in a whole new light. Credible mention must go to Tomomi Sato whose airy portrayal of the mischievous White Rabbit almost had me checking for strings, and of course to Sophie Martin, who held her high-standard performance as Alice throughout.

After various versions of both book and film, I didn’t think I could love Alice any more until now – it’s a spellbinding tribute to a creative and imaginative tale.

Alice plays at Theatre Royal, Glasgow till Saturday 16th of April.

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