The performance is a historic stage adaption of Lewis Carroll’s classic tale, Alice in Wonderland, recorded in February prior to the Covid-19 lockdown. The streaming has been arranged to showcase performances by staff and students to a broader audience than Kent’s stage theatres, and to provide entertainment for the public watching online during lockdown.
The performance is the result of a collaboration between students and staff from across the University community, working together to bring the classic to life after nearly one hundred years.
The pre-recorded performance involves the University Cecilian Choir, an ensemble of around 30 students and staff, as well as soloists, and the piano quartet. The production features many University Music Scholars and Music Award holders amongst the cast and musicians.
The performance is taken from Kent’s now-concluded project to mark the anniversary of the birth of Sir John Tenniel, illustrator of the first publication of Lewis Carroll’s classic Alice in Wonderland. This Victorian adaption was first performed at the Royal Globe Theatre on 23 December 1886, with production overseen by Carroll himself, the production was written by Henry Savile Clarke, with music by Walter Slaughter and ran for almost 30 years.
The University of Kent’s adaption was reconstructed from a vocal score by its Deputy Director of Music, Dan Harding, who said: ‘Bringing this little-known but wonderfully accessible musical adaptation of Carroll’s timeless tale to life was a uniquely collaborative project, involving student and staff musicians from across the University community. The creativity and energy brought to the performance by everyone involved opened a door into a marvellously magical occasion on the night – I’m delighted that, at a time when the arts are providing much-needed support and entertainment for communities during these unprecedented times, that we are able to share the joy of this production with people through this screening, wherever they may be.’