Theatre goers will be thrust into the heart of the action of a new production from students at the University of Northampton.
Club Wonderland, which has a four-show run at Northampton’s Royal & Derngate in June, sees the audience become clients of a cabaret club popular with curious characters.
Part immersive theatre, part promenade performance and part cabaret, this unique theatrical experience is inspired by the life of Lewis Carroll, his unusual relationships and his famous tales, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through The Looking Glass.
The production is a collaboration between the University’s final-year Acting & Creative Practice students and Royal & Derngate’s Creative Learning Associate Erica Martin, the production’s writer and director, with original music and lyrics from Josh Bird.
Erica said: “We will be putting the audience at the heart of the performance, as they are led from the main cabaret hall to small rooms, including a gambling den, a chillout lounge and the Queen of Hearts’ boudoir.
“Immersive theatre can often comprise too much action and not enough of a storyline or characters – but that’s not the case with Club Wonderland.
“The students have been part of the creative process and have brought the script to life in such amazing ways – they’ve come in with so many skills which they will have developed on their course, I’ve been completely blown away by them.
“The entire cast of 18 is ready to work in professional theatre, which is testament to how their course prepares them for industry – the audience is in for a treat.”
Sally Cook, Senior Lecturer in Acting & Drama, said: “I’m absolutely delighted the students are having this opportunity to work with industry professionals, to professional standards. The fact they are also allowed to have creative input into the production is amazing, as creativity is a huge part of the degree course.
“To hear how impressed Erica is with them is incredibly satisfying.
“For the students to be able to say they have worked in immersive theatre at Royal & Derngate will make them even more employable when they graduate.”
Performances of Club Wonderland take place in the Royal Auditorium at 2.30pm and 7.30pm on Friday 8 June and 2.30pm and 7.30pm on Saturday 9 June.
To book tickets, visit www.royalanddernate.co.uk. Find out more about the Acting & Creative Practice degree at www.northampton.ac.uk/study/courses/acting-creative-theatre-ba-hons/.