Last weekend I went to wonderland.
Now you know I’m a fan of Alice in Wonderland, what with the snowglobe, the theme restaurant and meeting the White Rabbit, so when I heard about this interactive show in London, I hopped, skipped and jumped to book tickets.
Accompanied by eight curious friends, dressed (as required) in red and/or black, we made our way to Waterloo Station, where our underground adventure down the rabbit hole was to take place. I wore black leggings covered in playing card suits underneath a simple red dress. I also accessorized with a playing card suit necklace as well as my Alice in Wonderland bag which I purchased in Tokyo – so I definitely looked the part! Comfy shoes are also a must as you are standing and walking for the majority of the event.
Our experience began in a dimly lit room filled with books, old photographs, mirrors and other vintage curios where we were soon surprised by the White Rabbit and, just like Alice did, we followed him through a passageway filled with torn pages from books as we ‘tumbled’ down the rabbit hole and began our 90 minute adventure underground.
I referred to this as a show but really it’s more of an immersive theatre experience, as the White Rabbit led us to a room where we were to make the decision that would set the course for the rest of our adventure…..
Do you pick EAT ME or DRINK ME?
As one of the world’s most indecisive people, I asked what some of my friends were planning on doing. Most of them chose EAT ME, so I decided I would be contrary and pick the DRINK ME route. I walked up to the little table in the middle of the room, picked up a small bottle of the drink (which tasted like sweet lemon) and proceeded through the large door on the left. As it turned out, three of my friends also chose this route too.
The decision making was over but we were then each handed a random playing card, half of those who chose the DRINK ME door became clubs, the other half became spades. I was given the 3 of clubs. Funnily enough, 3 is one of my lucky numbers.
After an encounter with the Cheshire Cat, we bid farewell to the Spades and were taken on our mission as Clubs to deliver the jam tarts to the Queen of Hearts. After being taken into the kitchen and then on to see Tweedledum and Tweedledee spin around on harnesses above us, we met the Knave of Hearts who had the jam tarts and encouraged us all to eat them so the Queen didn’t get an incomplete batch. Naughty. Little did we know, our friends in the Diamonds were spying on us at this point!
Without giving too much more away, we met some other wonderful characters including Alice in the looking-glass, as well as Mr Caterpillar and Bill the Lizard, the latter even gave each of us Clubs a badge for his Anti-Queen movement W.U.R.M. (Wonderland Underground Resistance Movement, if I remember rightly?) when he found out that it was us who stole the Queen’s tarts.
Soon we were reunited with all of the other suits for the tea party with the Mad Hatter, March Hare and Dormouse. We could have paid extra for tea but decided to just enjoy the spectacle. We were all sat around a huge grimy table decorated with broken crockery, while the performers paraded along the table like a catwalk, the March Hare in her slinky black dress was certainly catwalk ready – she looked awesome!
After the tea party, we skipped (we literally skipped) to the Queen of Hearts courtroom where we finally got to meet the fearsome Queen herself who had called court to find out who had stolen all her jam tarts. Gulp. The Diamonds pointed the finger at the Clubs, the Clubs claimed innocence, while the Hearts hailed the Queen. The Spades didn’t do alot but I hear they had been painting the roses red…
Fortunately, we were spared losing our heads as Alice appeared and saved the day! Unfortunately I don’t have much in the way of pictures as photography is not permitted in Wonderland… but that would ruin the magic of it all anyway!
Alice’s Adventures Underground has now ended for this year but the good news is – they are back next year! And I would love to go again and see where the EAT ME route takes me! Callooh Callay!