I'm a total sucker for interactive theatre, and Alice's Adventures Underground is a choose-your-own-adventure promenade piece that doesn't disappoint. Through a maze of stunningly designed rooms in The Vaults beneath Waterloo Station, you'll follow one of four stories (depending on which card suit you end up in) and meet a host of characters from the original Alice in Wonderland novel. As well as a group of hilarious guides taking you round (shout-out to Club No. 5 who ushered us Clubs), you'll be beguiled by aerial gymnastics, puppetry, projections, and the biggest Mad Hatter's Tea Party you ever did see, complete with complimentary colour-changing cocktails. You'll probably be separated from your friends, but it doesn't matter – when you're reunited you can compare the different rooms you explored. Be warned though, exciting as it is – the rapidity with which you're rushed along corridors, up and down staircases, and through small doors, means it's not one for people with mobility issues. Also – underground spaces and theatrical lights means it is hot. I highly recommend dressing like it's July in Spain, and making full use of the cloakroom to get rid of coats and bags.
I was kindly invited to a blogger preview night, which included a drinks party with the crew and cast afterwards. It was great to meet the actors and ask how the hell they managed to remember all their cues in this fast-paced maze! It's an amazing feat of stage management that all four stories run simultaneously, not just for one group, but for many; there's twelve shows a night, with a performance starting every fifteen minutes. We weren't allowed to take photos inside, but here's a sneak peak of the tea party (above), which we got to visit after the show. It's fun to be part of the whole "change seats!" action of this scene, as is sitting on mushrooms with the caterpillar, and taking your seat in the Queen of Heart's tense courtroom.
Devised by Les Enfants Terribles, this is Alice's second adventure in London, the first run in 2015 was a sell-out, so make sure you book soon if you want to see this run which finishes on the 23rd of September. Shows run every fifteen minutes from 5.45pm to 9pm, and the experience lasts for ninety minutes. There are weekend matinees, and also a children's experience suitable for ages 5-10. Tickets cost from £31.50 to £71.50 for premium tickets with all kind of exciting bonuses, they also include entrance to the Wonderland Bar for pre and post-show cocktails, live music, photo booth, and food from Saucy Chip. You'll definitely want to prolong your experience in this magical place, hearing nonsense verse, discovering what's behind closed doors, talking to people through mirrors, and feeling like a child again as you follow a talking rabbit around Twin Peaks-esque corridors (above). This could well be the London theatre event of the year.