December 2018: Students stage amazing adventures with Alice in Wonderland

TWO very different versions of the classic Alice in Wonderland story delighted packed houses at Haslingden High School.

The Sixth Form Theatre was the setting for a year 8-10 production in the first half, which had been adapted by teachers Lizzie Anthony and Jade Brady and followed the traditional Lewis Carroll story.

Then there was the somewhat darker interpretation for years 11-13 written by Head of Drama, Andy Anderson.

He said: “I wrote the script just before the summer and it took about a week. I made Alice a teenager who was stranded in London and her family were stuck in a migrant camp in France; as the story unravelled, the audience realised that she was not in ‘Wonderland’.

“All the key characters were there – rabbit had come over in the back of the lorry with her while the Mad Hatter was a busker she met.

“Both versions worked really well and at the end of the second performance we brought the two Alices and the main characters from both productions together.

“The students were absolutely magnificent and they were so professional, committed and dedicated turning up to many rehearsals.”

A cast of 60 performed the two interpretations over three nights.

The younger cast has been rehearsing since before the summer holidays and the older cast from September.

Three hours of rehearsals were held every week for the two casts, along with a technical weekend rehearsal.

Mr Anderson added: “The audience absolutely loved it. I was a bit nervous about how my version might go down because it was contemporary, but they worked really well together.”

Technician Nick Smith provided the sound and lighting, Sharon Jeffries the costumes and Sally Tembo and the art department the props and banners.