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We chat to the Olivier Award-winning composer behind the music in Alice in Wonderland at the Playhouse

1 year ago

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We chat to the Olivier Award-winning composer behind the music in Alice in Wonderland at the Playhouse

Be warned about the earworms, because audiences heading down the rabbit hole at Liverpool Playhouse’s new production of Alice in Wonderland are going to come out with its tunes well and truly wriggling around in their heads.

Vikki Stone, writer and music composer of this new production of Alice in Wonderland, says: “Music is a huge part of the show and I wanted to write pop, feel-good tunes that are really catchy and people are going to come out humming and singing songs that they’ve never heard before.”

Vikki knows a thing or two about grabbing the audiences’ attention.

Liverpool Playhouse - Alice in Wonderland
Credit: The Other Richard

She was writer, co-adapter and musical supervisor of Olivier award-winning Hey Duggee Live which is currently on a major UK tour, and she was delighted to be involved in Alice in Wonderland.

“I think it’s a really interesting time in musical theatre, because there’s stuff being written that’s musically out there but, what can I say, these are just banging tunes,” she smiles.

“They’re also tunes that young audiences can really get into. There have been shows recently like Six that have developed younger audiences, and this is younger still than that. This has songs that 10-year-olds (and above) will love, that are cool, and age-appropriate!”

Credit: The Other Richard

In the new production, Alice is a techy teenager who gets propelled into a strange new world of music when she slips with the screwdriver as she tries to fix her dad’s old stereo. She meets some new friends and some variations of ones we know from Lewis Carroll’s original tales, like the Queen of Charts, the Queen of Clubz and the Dad Hatter.

The inspiration for Vikki’s original music which will have people up on their feet ‘comes from all over the place’.

As well as Six, she says: “It’s from modern Disney, that musical theatre/pop crossover, and stuff I love, like Harry Styles, who musically sings some really interesting stuff while being mega, mega popular.

“There’s some funky grooves going on in his work and this show, and we’ve also got a rap battle which is a real product of theatre company Stockroom’s co-writing because it’s not something I would have written myself. I don’t consider myself an expert in grime but two of the writers of the show are and they wrote the lyrics to the rap and I put together the grime sounds with their help.” 

Liverpool Playhouse - Alice in Wonderland
Credit: The Other Richard

Vikki adds: “It’s important to have original music championing British writers as there aren’t many opportunities for new musical theatre writing in the UK. In the wider theatre industry big hits like Hamilton are transferred over from Broadway. Six is a good example of one that is from the UK but there aren’t many and it’s great to be one of such a small number of homegrown shows, and debuting in Liverpool is brilliant.

“I’m grateful and proud to be able to bring new musical theatre writing as exciting as this to a city which is unrivalled for live music. There are plenty of bars that routinely employ live musicians and I would imagine it’s among the highest in the country, and at different levels.  The general public can sing so there’s everything from open mics to karaoke, and you go from that to brilliant bands and new talent.

“In our show the actors also play instruments as well as their roles which isn’t something that happens usually, so it has a gig feel too and that’s really cool.”

Book tickets to see Alice in Wonderland at the Playhouse here.

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