The Garden Suburb Theatre (GST) is a friendly and welcoming amateur theatre company.

We are a registered charity promoting involvement in the Dramatic Arts in North London. We welcome anyone who wishes to learn more about drama, either by participating in or coming to watch one of our diverse programme of shows.

Review

On Saturday evening my wife and I attended a matinee of Alice in Wonderland and wonderful it was.

The hectic trip to reach the Henrietta Barnet School in Hampstead on time proved well worth the price and perturbation. Once seated, the joy of the Garden Suburb Theate production immediately enveloped us. From the moment the just-opened curtains and lighting created the void of the rabbit hole Alice span down, the young audience leant forward, engrossed in the magic of the theatre.

Clemence Dane's libretto rendered the gems of the original in quick succession, each episode matching the standard set by the previous. Every song not only suited its situation in the story and seemed tailored to the vocal abilities of community performers, but always delighted.

A cast of many children , several teenagers, young adults and "grown-ups" never missed a comic opportunity with lines or actions. Only one performer sometimes rushed his speeches in his early role, but excelled in his later assumptions, provoking several guffaws from the delighted audience.

Alice is of course a huge role for a child, always on stage, always acting, always reacting to whoever held centre stage. Tempeste Hepenstall-Brown seemed twice Alice's "seven and a half exactly" but she suspended disbelief in capturing Alice's common sense and questioning, enquiring nature. Danielle Stagg stood out as the Frog Footman but even more so as the Mad Hatter. Gabi Maddocks, John Dansey, Imogen Colmans, Georgia Price, Mark Overall and Carl Underhill had the most marvellous lines to deliver and did them justice . But everybody else, from Laura Brocklesbury and her team as the Caterpillar and its legs down to the little girl who, at Alice's trial, agreed in glee to every sadistic command, created memories of stage humour that will live in my mind for years.

Rarely from an amateur group have I seen such a visually stunning presentation with delightful sets and costumes perfect for Lewis Carroll's masterpieces Alice in Wonderland and Alice through the Looking Glass. So many people were responsible for these visuals that it is impossible to list them.

As an audience member who went home elated, I can only say to the director Jon Musker, "Thank you".

Review by John Lanigan-O'Keeffe

This is a review of Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass

The original review is here: operetta-l@listserv.uh.edu