WONDERLAND, an enchanting musical adaption of Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass, opens at Cliffs Pavilion, Southend, tonight.
The production, which will remain at the theatre until Saturday, February 18, welcomes home to Essex the talented Natalie McQueen and Michelle Pentecost, along with three other key cast members.
Hailed by UK critics as ‘fabulous, fast paced, bubbly, colourful and lively with a superb original musical score’, the show has been delighting audiences across the country.
With a huge heart, a medley of magic and a whole lot of wonder, the production is a timely and touching story of love, and an adventurous exploration of who we are, who we want to be and the power of everyday magic in our lives.
Natalie McQueen, who was born in Dagenham and studied in Romford at CPA Studios, plays Wonderland’s revamped, unique Mad Hatter. Natalie, who recently played Elphaba in the West End production of Wicked and has previously appeared in Les Miserables and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, has been described as ‘mesmerising with one hell of a voice’.
Michelle Pentecost, who hails from Gidea Park, takes on the role of Alice on Wednesday and Saturday matinees, and the Mad Hatter on Wednesday and Thursday evening. Michelle loves Wonderland’s fantastic music, and enjoys the challenge of play both Alice and the Mad Hatter. She trained at the renowned Arts Educational Schools and joins the cast having recently appeared as Eva Perron in Evita, both in the West End and during a European Tour.
Britain’s Got Talent star, Rachael Wooding, will guest star as Alice in Southend. Rachel, whose Britain’s Got Talent audition has been viewd more than nine million tims on YouTube following her 2016 appearance, has many theatre credits including Evita, We Will Rock You, Hairspray and Jersey Boys.
The stellar cast also includes West End star, superb actress and acclaimed singer Wendi Peters who is well known for portrayal of Cilla Battersby-Brown in Coronation Street, as the Queen of Hearts; and musical theatre leading man Dave Willetts, who played the title role in Phantom of the Opera, as the White Rabbit.
The leading ladies are joined by cast members Dominic Owen as the Cheshire Cat, Divine Cresswell and Phoebe May Newman in the ensemble, who are all familiar with Essex. Dominic trained at CPA Studios in Romford, Divine trained at Performers College in Corringham, and Phoebe grew up in Loughton.