Alice

by Jennifer Bartel

directed by Larry Bartel

Performed to Full Houses in the Open Air at

Mottisfont Abbey

on

17th to 27th July 2002


CURIOUSER AND CURIOUSER – WRITER’S NOTES

I took the starting point that ‘Alice’ is all about a little girl who’s adult in her ways, meeting a group of adults who behave like children. Because the adults are still bigger, they still have all the control, and expose Alice to their irresponsible, reckless, selfish and vindictive ways. Alice constantly questions their behaviour, and is endlessly told that it’s perfectly normal, and that it’s her behaviour that is aberrant. The adults hold positions of responsibility, and Alice strives all through the play to gain the status of a queen so that she can be on a level footing with them. When she achieves that, they still reject her, causing her to bemoan ‘I thought when I was a queen too they’d stop doing that!’. She spends the whole play struggling to gain acceptance and admission into the society she’s place in, and has to endlessly compromise her own identity to do so.

The play took three months to write, and six months to edit! The Maskers held a company reading last December and after that there were three more drafts before final scripts were published for rehearsals. During rehearsal time very little in the script has changed, though a few lines have been scrapped, and a couple added in. Working as part of the company has been strange, because I’ve seen at first hand the difficulties presented by what I have written. The logic leaps that escaped my notice when I read my work a hundred times have stared everyone else in the face, the constant repetition of similar lines and words have hindered actors including me from learning their lines, and one question has constantly pestered me: ‘Where did Act Two scene Eight go?’ This scene was cut, but I didn’t adjust the numbering of the following scenes, so ‘2.8’ is a regular fixture on the rehearsal schedule and the play has a ghost scene – very Lewis Carroll.

Lots of people I know have been incorporated into the script. For example, Humpty Dumpty is really my eccentric grandfather. Some of the children I teach may recognize questions they have posed for me being uttered by Alice. Teaching teenage boys makes me realize how many of our adult rules are ridiculous, and a typical teenage disregard for authority and ridicule for the dictates of society has crept into the play.

Jennifer Bartel. July 2002.


Cast
Alice Emily Yates
Bess Jennifer Bartell
Pawns Matt Avery, Joel Cottrell, Jez Minns, Anthony Rodriguez
Red Rook Andrew Wolfe
White Rook Emma Carrington
Red Bishop John Carrington Snr.
White Bishop Mark Pontin
Lily Charlotte Williams
White Queen Hazel Burrows
White King Alan Watson
Red Queen Sarah Spencer
Red King Paul Baker
Courtier Tim Phipps
Tiger-Lily Julie Baker
Jabberwock John Souter, Ken Hann, Liam Meggison
Rose Sarah Lynn, Catherine Blandford
Larkspur Mollie Manns
Daisies Sonia Morris, Angie Stansbridge
White Rabbit Pete White
Tweedledee Joel Cottrell
Tweedledum Matt Avery
Caterpillar John  Carrington Jnr.
Playing Cards:
Three John Carrington Jnr.
Four Hannah Stansbridge
Five Andrew Wolfe
Six Charlotte Williams
Seven Anthony Rodriguez
Humpty Dumpty Alec Walters
Haigha Emma Carrington
Hula Helen White
Unicorn Jez minns
Lion Liam Meggison
Mad Hatter Brian Stansbridge
March Hare Tony Lawther
Dormouse Helen White
Red Knight Alec Walters
White Knight Jennifer Bartel
Mock Turtle John Souter
Lobster Babs Williams
Lovely Icecream Girl Emma Carrington
Cheshire Cat Ken Hann, Jan Ward, John Carrington Snr.

 

For the Maskers
The Director Larry Bartel
Music Composition Neil Sands
Director's Assistant Di Brown
Production Manager Christine Baker
Stage Manager Angela Barks,
assisted by Martin Pettifer, Claire Snook, Caroline Shutt, Paul Dawson-Plincke, Helen white, Emma Carrington
Lighting Crew Graham Dennis, Clive Weeks, Nathan Weeks, Mark Bluemel, Phil Moody, Lucy Gradidge
Sound Lawrie Gee, Ian MacDonald, Martin Whitaker, Jan Gee
Technical Effects Tony Lawther
Stage Design Peter Liddiard
Construction Peter Liddiard, Roger Lockett, David Jupp, Jim Officer
Costume Designer/Maker Serena Brown,
assisted by Christine Baker, Sarah Lynn, Kay Hann, Doreen Metcalfe, Helen Officer, Di Rumble, Janice Russell Taylor, John Souter, Sarah Spencer, Amanda Stoodley, Kate Ward, Babs Williams
Properties Ella Lockett,
assisted by Gill Buchanan, Amy Hayes, Irene Shiell, Jean Durman, Mark Moriai, Mick Bartel, Elizabeth Lynn, Partick Trant, Richard Mears, Simon Pimlett, Tim Score and pupils at St Edward's School, Paul Vincent at Southampton General Hospital, The Nuffield Theatre
Dance Choreography Berenice Cottrell
Musical Director Tim Cain
Musicians Belinda Drew - Piano
John Foyle - Bass/Cello
Chris Jones - Percussion
Mark Godfrey - Trumpet
Kate Ward - Saxophone
Rachel Smith - Clarinet
Kim Versey - Violin
Joel Cottrell - Guitar
Rehearsal Pianist Ann Cain
Front of House Rosie Bartel, Julia Jupp, Stephanie Bartel, plus a host of Masker volunteers
Mottisfont Ticket Kiosk Helen Officer, Heather Christinsen
Marketing and Publicity Jan Ward,
assisted by Alison Ayres, Jo Young, and the Company
Box Office Turner Sims Concert Hall
Hair Stylist Seven, Romsey
Photography Clive Weeks
Illustrations Edwin Beechcroft
Pyrotechnics Mike Jones from Pains Wessex
Poster & Programme Design Piers Cross

 

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Shirley's own LOCAL theatre!

Maskers Theatre Company
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Southampton
SO15 3LX

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Established 1968

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