Lewis Carroll’s classic Alice In Wonderland gets a modern, queer and very adult twist at Slide next week with the premiere of new Australian musical Alice and Alan’s Adventures in Wonderland, or Wonderland for short.
Created and produced by Stephen Carnell with book and lyrics by Steve McGrath, the story transplants Alice from Wonderland into modern day Oxford St.
Comic actor Hugh Munro will don drag to play the Red Queen, a “screaming heebie-jeebie with a heart of gold”.
“Alice experiences her sexual awakening through a gay male. It’s a good way to do it! He shows her the way through the darkness of Oxford St,” Munro told the Star Observer.
“Alice in Wonderland has always been really about a teenage girl waking up to her sexuality. We’re just making it a bit more obvious.
“It’s very modern and not old-fashioned at all, which is a relief. It really is a 2011 panto for adults. The script is modern, funny and a little bit dark.”
Each of the characters is given a uniquely queer twist — the Cheshire Cat becomes a drug-addled bisexual, while Tweedledum and Tweedledee are an emo lesbian couple.
Munro said he was relishing his particularly camp role in the production, which requires seven costume changes a night.
There’s also an integral fundraising element to the show: the creative team behind Wonderland raised $8000 last year for ACON with the production 4Play. They’ll once again support the organisation by donating a significant proportion of the ticket price for the March 14 performance, and will have a bucket collection for ACON at the end of each of the five shows.
Munro credited Carnell with the decision to donate to ACON.
“[Carnell] really is an icon of gay theatre. He’s generous with every production he does. When he announced we’d be fundraising for ACON, nobody questioned it. We’re all so happy to help however we can.”
info: Wonderland plays at Slide for five shows from February 21 – March 2 and an ACON Gala performance on March 14. Tickets through Ticketek. Visit www.slide.com.au