Jessamy James and Tanya Wylie in Alice Through The Looking Glass - Photo: Cultivated

Lewis Carroll’s surreal tales of the young Alice’s adventures have an enduring charm; this new adaptation for outdoor performance focuses on his second instalment of life in Wonderland.

This time the ever-curious girl pokes her head through a mirror to enter a backwards world where things never seem to make sense for us humans, who lack the ability to remember things that happen in the future.

Norwich’s Plantation Garden, with its gorgeous flowers and esoteric architecture, is a perfect setting for the tale, which is touring across East Anglia.

Jessamy James plays the part of Alice, joined by writer and director Simon Michael-Morgan as the White Night, and Humpty Dumpty; Tanya Wylie as the White Queen and Tweedledum, and Arianna Gasperini as the Red Queen and Tweedledee.

There is plenty of comic action, with Wylie and Gasperini particularly entertaining in their role as ‘basics’ and a rota of smaller roles. As Alice, James is more earnest than endearing, but is still a captivating central character.

Unlike the recent Hollywood film adaptation this version sticks broadly to the book’s plot, although it is condensed for time and one suspects to be perceived as more family-friendly. In doing so, it loses some of the peril too, so Alice never really feels out of control or in danger.

That makes it a whimsical diversion for a summer’s day, but it lacks some of the dramatic punch that made Strange Fascination’s earlier adaptation of Alice In Wonderland a real belter.

  • Performance dates include Thorington Theatre, Suffolk on August 15; Carlton Marshes and Nature Reserve, Suffolk on August 19; Newmarket Memorial Gardens on August 24; North Walsham Memorial Park on August 25; Ladybelt Country Park, East Carleton on August 27; and Wisbech Castle on August 28. Tickets and further details at