The long awaited news finally came out today. “Wonder.land” the musical which Damon Albarn has been working on for some time is finally finished and will premiere this summer during the Manchester International Festival.
wonder.land is inspired by Lewis Carroll’s iconic Alice in Wonderland and ofcourse this will not be the story we all know of a girl falling in a rabbit hole. The wonder.land musical is set in current time and the so-called rabbit hole has been replaced by the virtual computer world. Aly, 12, loves this extraordinary virtual world. Bullied at school and unhappy at home, wonder.land lets her escape from her parents, from teachers, from herself.
Online, Aly becomes Alice: brave, beautiful and in control. But some of the people she meets – the weird Dum and Dee, the creepy Cheshire Cat, the terrifying Red Queen – seem strangely familiar. As hard as Aly tries to keep them apart, real life and wonder.land begin to collide in ever more curious and dangerous ways.
Damon Albarn says: “I’m fascinated by the idea of going down a rabbit hole, the otherworldliness and what that might mean. Alice aside, the Queen of Hearts, the Duchess, White Rabbit, Caterpillar were the most threatening characters of my childhood. I was genuinely very frightened of them as a kid.”
He said the idea was suggested by Alex Poots, artistic director of the Manchester International Festival which will stage the production first from July 2.
Poots said: “In Alice In Wonderland we have found something I have been looking for for some time: an inspiration that is both curiously and eccentrically English and yet has a universal currency.”
The musical with music by Damon Albarn, lyrics by Moira Buffini (Tamara Drewe, Handbagged) is directed by the National Theatre of the new director Rufus Norris. wonder.land will be designed by Rae Smith, with projections of 59 Productions and lighting by Paule Constable, the design team behind ‘War Horse’.
Albarn has previously created stage works such as ‘Monkey: Journey To The West’ and the opera ‘Dr Dee’, on which he also worked with Norris.
In November wonder.land will be staged at the London National Theatre, in the Olivier Theatre, and next year will visit the Theatre du Chatelet in Paris.
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