Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (and Through the Looking Glass)

Written by Lewis Carroll

Thurs 1st - Sat 3rd December & Tues 6th - Sat 10th December 1988

Directed by David Hemsley-Brown

Join Alice and Dinah the cat as they tumble into Wonderland. Meet the White Rabbit, the Mad Hatter, the Queen of Hearts and a host of colourful characters in a musical adaptation of Lewis Carroll's classic fantasy. Whether revisiting old friends, or meeting the inhabitants of Wonderland and the Looking Glass World for the first time, adults and children alike will be charmed and entertained by this lively production.

AuthorLewis Carroll

Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (1832 - 1898)

Lewis Carroll was born Charles Lutwidge Dodgson near Warrington. He was educated at Rugby and Oxford and went on to teach mathematics at Christ Church college. From a young age, he wrote poetry and short stories, sending both to various magazines, between 1854 and 1856 and enjoying moderate success.

The first work published under his pseudonym Lewis Carroll, was a romantic poem called 'Solitude' in 1856. In the same year, he met the new Dean of Christ Church, Henry Liddell, who was to become a life-long friend and heavy influence on his work. Indeed, Liddell's daughter was the famous Alice, on whom 'Alice in Wonderland' is said to be based.

Dodgson never seemed to be at ease with the immense fame endowed upon him after the success of 'Alice', indeed, he remained teaching at a job he purported to dislike for many years, even though he became increasingly wealthy. He also suffered from a stammer throughout his life and never married. He is buried in the Mount Cemetery Guildford.

PlayAlice's Adventures in Wonderland (and Through the Looking Glass)

'Alice's Adventures in Wonderland' was written in 1865 and tells he story of a girl named Alice who falls down a rabbit hole into a fantasy world populated by peculiar creatures. A fine example of literary nonsense, it describes Alice's encounters with a talking white rabbit and mouse, and a sequence where she is reduced and enlarged in size, and then nearly drowns in a sea of her own tears. She then meets a dodo, a caterpillar, a baby (which turns into a pig) and has tea with a Mad Hatter, a Dormouse and a March Hare. Leaving the party she further encounters living playing cards from the suit of hearts. She is drawn in to the trial of the Knave who is accused of stealing the Queen's tarts, but having declared the whole procedure nonsense and having been sentenced to death, she awakes to find the whole episode has been a dream.

'Through the Looking Glass' was published in 1871 and is the sequel to 'Alice's Adventures in Wonderland'. It is set in winter, exactly six months after the first book. While playing with her cat and kittens, Alice discovers that she is able to step through it to an alternative world. Even though it is night time, and has been snowing, she visits a sunny spring garden. She sees a "bread-and-butterfly" and various life-sized animated chess-pieces, such as the Red King and Queen and the White Knight. She also encounters various nursery rhyme characters, such as the fat, twin brothers Tweedledum and Tweedledee, Humpty Dumpty and the Lion and the Unicorn. The story ends as Alice wins the chess game, is crowned a queen and wakes (as in the first story) to find it has all been a dream.

The Bench Production

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (and Through the Looking Glass) poster image

This play was staged at Havant Arts Centre, East Street Havant - Bench Theatre's home since 1977.


AliceJustine Spencer
White RabbitJo German
First FootmanRob Finn
Second FootmanRichard Heyburn
TweedledumIngrid Corrigan
TweedledeeJanice Bell
WalrusJim Hemmings
CarpenterPete Codd
CaterpillarPeter Holding
DuchessIngrid Corrigan
CookVincent Adams
Cheshire CatJo German
Knave of HeartsAnne Baillie
Queen of HeartsJanice Bell
March HareVincent Adams
Mad HatterPeter Holding
DormouseFrances Vigay
Seven of SpadesZoë Corrigan
Five of SpadesAlice Corrigan
Two of SpadesFrances Vigay
King of HeartsDavid Hemsley-Brown
First SoldierRob Finn
Second SoldierRichard Heyburn
Mock TurtleVincent Adams
GryphonPeter Codd


Director David Hemsley-Brown
Stage Managers Karen Bickers, John Valentine
Props John Scadding
Lighting Design Jacquie Penrose
Lighting Operation Howard Cawte
Costume Design Jane Hemsley-Brown
Set Design David Penrose
Musical Director Ruth Prior
Front of House Terry Cattermole

Programme Notes

It all began with a trip up the river Isis taken by the Reverend C.L. Dodgson with his friend, the Reverend Robinson Duckworth, and the three young daughters of the Dean of Christ Church, the Oxford college where Dodgson lectured in Mathematics.

The middle of the three daughters was Alice and it was for her in particular that on that 'golden afternoon' of 4th July 1862, Mr Dodgson began to tell the story that was first written down as 'Alice's Adventures Underground'.

The manuscript was accepted for publication and John Tenniel was commissioned to illustrate it. In 1865 it was published under Dodgson's pseudonym of Lewis Carroll as 'Alice's Adventures in Wonderland' and has been constantly reprinted since, entertaining, amusing and confusing children and adults alike for over one hundred years.

Production Photographs