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Ian Lace
MusicWeb International, August 2012

TALBOT, J.: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (Royal Ballet, 2011) (NTSC) OA1056D
TALBOT, J.: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (Royal Ballet, 2011) (Blu-ray, HD) OABD7090D

What a treat this is—such an imaginative treatment of a favourite story. There are extraordinary, eccentric sets and special effects; colourful, larger-than-life, argumentative characters and extraordinary costumes. The use of video projections, supplementing stage-set mechanicals provides the necessary magical transformations including Alice’s journey down into Wonderland, and her sudden changes of size to fit through a series of doorways. Equally awesome are the realisations of Wonderland’s menagerie including the giant Cheshire Cat, its realistic supple movements accomplished by a team of animators using a similar sort of mechanical magic that made War Horse so realistic.

Lauren Cuthbertson, as Alice, is excellent, her every movement suggesting the actions and emotions of this curious, spirited pre-adolescent.

Christopher Wheeldon’s choreography is very imaginative and fitting for every character. Besides Alice, the eccentric contortions and threatening figures created for the Red Queen—Zenaida Yanowsky constantly twisting in seemingly impossible positions—underline her unfortunate disposition beautifully. There is room also for the buffoonery of The Duchess splendidly played by Simon Russell Beale…The corps de ballet shine, their playing-cards scene quite ingenious and splendidly danced.

The DVD is available in a Blu-ray alternative format and there is a very helpful documentary, ‘Being Alice’, that traces the development of the ballet and covers its choreography, set and costume designs and lighting.

An entrancing new look at the story of Alice in Wonderland which will certainly figure in my 2012 recordings of the year choice. © 2012 MusicWeb International Read complete review



James Reel
Fanfare, March 2012

TALBOT, J.: Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (Royal Ballet, 2011) (NTSC) OA1056D
TALBOT, J.: Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (Royal Ballet, 2011) (Blu-ray, HD) OABD7090D

This must be a stunning show on stage, with its down-the-rabbit-hole video projections and inventive use of video as part of the backdrop and even action in a few other scenes; it translates surprisingly well to television. But the best reason to watch this at home rather than from a distance in the theater is that we are able to see that Lauren Cuthbertson as Alice is not only a fine and indefatigable dancer (never leaving the stage for the ballet’s nearly 70-minute first act), but a nuanced actor.

Talbot’s score, here and throughout, is colorful and cinematic, making inventive use of percussion and of recurring motifs, and at all times is finely meshed with Wheeldon’s choreography. Barry Wordsworth leads the orchestra in a performance of gusto and enchantment.

On Blu-ray, the picture quality is notable for its warmth of colors and clarity of detail, with the DTS surround audio providing the orchestra fine richness and depth.

In every way this is a wonderful release. © 2012 Fanfare Read complete review on Fanfare



Joel Kasow
Fanfare, March 2012

TALBOT, J.: Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (Royal Ballet, 2011) (NTSC) OA1056D
TALBOT, J.: Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (Royal Ballet, 2011) (Blu-ray, HD) OABD7090D

Joby Talbot has done brilliantly, providing danceable music where required, atmospheric music that is also accepting of choreography, the occasional parody; for the big garden dance at the end of act I he is clearly no stranger to the music selected by John Lanchberry for the delightful Tales of Beatrix Potter. © 2012 Fanfare Read complete review on Fanfare




Lawrence Devoe
Blu-rayDefinition.com, December 2011

This retelling of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland will have great appeal for balletomanes of all ages…this ballet is an outright winner. There is enough over-the-topism to keep viewers engaged. © 2011 Blu-RayDefinition.com Read complete review



David Denton
David's Review Corner, December 2011

A spectacular video release that you simply must have for Christmas. With costumes that are a riot of colour, sets that must have cost a small fortune, and every visual trick of the trade at their disposal, this must be the most commercial new ballet the Royal Opera House have presented in decades. The music from Joby Talbot is modern but has that ready attraction that will not offend conservative ears. Not wanting to sound in any way derogatory, it could well have been the backdrop to a breath-taking Hollywood film. The score is choreographed by Christopher Wheeldon who uses Lewis Carroll’s well-known story and adds a character, the Gardener’s Boy, as the link between the various elements of the story that follows. He unfolds it with very explicit ballet sign language so that even the ballet newcomer would not miss out on the action. Dramatic, riotously funny, and an all-action wondrous presentation, we move from scene to scene in a rapid progress eventually arriving at the Queen of Hearts section that seals the triumph in every way possible. Zany, the artists of the Royal Ballet going way beyond the expectations of the corps de ballet as they fill the stage with such numerous characters, Zenaida Yanowsky—who takes both the Queen and Alice’s mother—enjoys a massive triumph as the show-stopping applause makes clear. Lauren Cuthbertson looks young enough and has the innocent face for Alice, but now, having named two of the cast, I will go no further as it is such a team event that you could continue naming everyone with words of excellence. True the video team have helped with some of the effects you would not have seen in the theatre, but it is forgivable. The booklet tells us that Talbot sees the score as one in progress, but I hope it stays just as it is, and that it becomes part of our Christmas festivities. You will certainly have to replay the video a few times to see all of the action that takes place, the production team whizzing cameras in and out of the stage action to allow us to see the detail while keeping in mind the whole scenario, and they have been remarkably successful. I have seen it in Blu-ray, the sound and colours stunning in that format, but here is also a version in standard DVD (OA1056D).



Cinemusical, November 2011

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland will likely be one of Talbot’s more endearing works. It…is one of his finest…There…is plenty to draw from here to make that a reality. The Opus Arte sound and production is stunning with excellent sound and picture that makes it feel as if you are there in the house…this is a work that will stand up well on subsequent viewings and hearings. © 2011 Cinemusical Read complete review






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