Down the Rabbit Hole
April 5, 2022
At Bamboozled Productions, we strive to open minds and hearts to the wonderful world of make-believe. We look for performances that tantalise people’s imaginations and lead them down a rabbit hole of fantasy, drama, and creativity. Much like Lewis Carroll did in his 1865 English children’s novel Alice in Wonderland.
A young girl named Alice follows a white rabbit down a rabbit hole into a fantasy world of anthropomorphic creatures. It’s a fine example of nonsense literature, however very few treat it simply as a piece of joyful nonsense. Instead, over the past 150 years, Alice’s fantastical adventures have provoked many elaborate theories about hidden meanings and what Carroll was really up to in writing this so-called children’s story.Some have said it represents a child’s quest leading out of childhood to adolescence, with many events correlating with the steps in a child’s growth and progression.
According to editors Charles Frey and John Griffin, “we read about Alice’s quest for her own identity and growth, her understanding of logic, rules and the games people play, authority, time and death”.
Others have made the connection between food, eating disorders and mental illness. Starting with a bottle (“DRINK ME”) that makes Alice shrink down to fit through a tiny doorway and a cake (“EAT ME”) that transforms Alice into a giant, many believe this theme of devouring food throughout the narrative is reflective of Carroll’s own challenges with anxiety and perhaps having an eating disorder himself. “We’re all mad here. I’m mad. You’re mad.” – The Cheshire Cat
Then there’s a whole generation of readers who think of Alice’s journey underground as reference to some kind of drug trip; cue the hookah-smoking caterpillar and magic mushrooms.
And last, but not least, many think it’s all about dreams, as Carroll’s story develops by generating a real dream’s mix of vagueness & vividness. Nothing remains the same for long in the story and reality is forever called into question.
Images from Alice-in-wonderland.net
Take for example the renowned characters like The White Rabbit, The Hatter, The Cheshire Cat, The Caterpillar, The Queen of Hearts…“The whole thing is a dream” proclaimed Carroll “but that I don’t want revealed to the end.”Whatever theory you align yourself to, what’s agreed by all is that Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland is a timeless classic that has had a huge influence on popular culture and literature. Carroll takes us, the reader, all down the rabbit hole into the wonderful, and sometimes not-so-wonderful, world of make-believe. “Imagination is the only weapon in the war against reality” – Cheshire Cat
Come down the rabbit hole with us next at Fringe in the Hills happening over this Easter Long Weekend. With over 40 eclectic shows spanning across comedy, theatre, music & children’s shows, there will be loads to spark your imagination.“Well! I’ve often seen a cat without a grin,” thought Alice; “but a grin without a cat! It’s the most curious thing I ever saw in all my life!” – Alice.