Alice in Lockdown – new UK open-air theatre tour
Looking for some culture to entertain the kids in August? Warwickshire's Heartbreak Productions’ latest family outdoor performance is coming to scenic venues across the Muddy counties.
A Red Queen, a white rabbit, some hand sanitiser, and (erm) a brawl over loo-roll all feature in this very apt new take on Lewis Carroll’s classic children’s novel.
Leamington Spa-based touring theatre company Heartbreak Productions is back on the road with their socially-distanced family show – Alice in Lockdown.
Venues include Oxford Castle and Prison, Coventry Cathedral ruins, Mill Gardens in Leamington Spa, Tamworth Castle, Somerset’s Bishop’s Palace and five historic rural Devonshire estates.
After the announcement that open-air theatre could resume, this enterprising theatre company jumped straight into action and created a bespoke script. In Heartbreak’s amusing new spin on Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Alice ventures through the Lockdown Looking Glass, exploring a curious world filled with Cheshire Cats, White Rabbits and Red Queens, all while keeping a safe distance of 2 metres and using PPE to do her shopping.
Whether battling Tweedle-dee and Tweedle-dum for the last loo roll or attending the Mad Hatter’s tea party via zoom, Alice’s socially-distanced adventures are the perfect antidote to the stay-at-home blues.
So pack up the picnic, pop the Prosecco, and hop down the rabbit-hole for this awesome open-air performance. It’s recommended for children aged 5+ with a 2 hour running time (including interval).
Heartbreak Productions has been touring the UK bringing quirky outdoor theatre experiences to audiences from Penzance to John o’ Groats for nearly 30 years.
Their 2019 tour included a steampunk themed Wuthering Heights, a celebrity-culture based modern adaptation of Romeo and Juliet, Noel Coward’s Private Lives, and David Walliams’ Gangsta Granny.
Often interactive and highly ingenious, Heartbreak is run by Maddy Kerr (exec director) and Peter Mimmack (artistic director) from their Leamington Spa base. The company specialises in reframing Shakespeare and Classics into modern/alternative settings.
It’s also recently carved out a niche for family theatre circles, performing outdoor adaptations of David Walliams’ titles as well as more traditional children’s literature. Sadly due to the pandemic Heartbreak’s had to shelve this summer’s plans for performances of The Great Gatsby, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Mr Stink, and Wonder with Grimm.
Maddy said: “Like other outdoor theatre companies, we were extremely disappointed, not just for ourselves and our actors, but for our audiences. We’re very grateful that restrictions have been lifted and look forward to the challenge of bringing entertainment to the wonderful UK audiences in these unpredictable and different times.”
ALICE IN LOCKDOWN, AUGUST 2020 – NATIONAL TOUR DATES & VENUES:
Here’s where you can join Heartbreak Productions this month :
Hartland Abbey, Bideford, Devon – Aug 12 a former abbey and current family home to the Stucley family.
Blackberry Farm, Milton Damerel, Holsworthy, North Devon – Aug 13 home to award-winning Lizzie’s Larder.
Tamworth Castle Grounds Aug 16 – TICKETS NOT YET ON SALE
The Bishop’s Palace & Gardens, Wells, Somerset – Aug 18 within the ancient ramparts of this medieval palace and protected by a moat, are 14 acres of stunning, tranquil gardens.
Dartington Hall estate, Totnes, Devon – Aug 19 & 20 a 1,200-acre award-winning destination between the Dartmoor National Park and English Riviera coast.
Castle Bromwich Hall Gardens, Birmingham – Aug 21 & 22 10-acres if walled garden in the grounds of a Jacobean mansion
Tapeley Park, Instow, Devon – Aug 23 overlooking the River Torridge and the North Devon coastline
Mill Gardens, Leamington Spa – Aug 26 opposite Jephson Gardens on the banks of the River Leam
Castle Hill, Filleigh, nr Barnstaple, north Devon – Aug 24 – TICKETS NOT YET ON SALE an historic country house venue with spectacular gardens
Stirchley Chimney, Telford, Shropshire, Aug 23 -a 62m high historic landmark on the South Telford Heritage Trail.