A critical portrait of Victorian society is how Ricardo Neves-Neves defines ‘Alice in Wonderland’, which he himself adapted from Lewis Carroll’s work and which debuts at the D. Maria II National Theater in Lisbon.
Adapted from the homonymous work of the British writer, published in 1865, ‘Alice in Wonderland’ that Ricardo Neves-Neves and Maria João Luís stage now is, however, an adapted dramaturgy of this work and that there is much of what happens, ‘Alice from the Other Side of the Mirror’.
“We wanted a less candid character, more maria-lus, more pespineta and that influenced much the starting point of the adaptation“, told Ricardo Neves-Neves, on the sidelines of a press essay on the play.
The director admitted that only halfway through the adaptation of the play realized that he ends up telling the story of ‘Alice in Wonderland’ through the dialogues and characters of ‘Alice from the Other Side of the Mirror’, although the narrative is from the first work.
This is, according to the director of the Electric Theater, the novelty of this text that stages with Maria João Luís, director of the Theater of the Earth, after, in 2015, they staged together an adaptation of ‘A Christmas Carol’ by Charles Dickens.
“Nonsense” and humour are privileged territories of the dramaturgical chosen by Ricardo Neves-Neves since he read the work of Lewis Carroll at age 19 when he was moving to the second year of the Lisbon Conservatory course, he explained.
The language of the author of the original work is a language that the director appreciates and admires and in which he feels more comfortable to stage, he told.
However, the play that is now debuting in the D. Garrett room of D. Maria II has “a third to a quarter of the texts” from the pen of Ricardo Neves-Neves.
“Well, because there is a need to paste scenes, and therefore you have to write text to fit them, or simply because in working the text the director has felt like writing,” as he said himself.
And as both Ricardo Neves-Neves and Maria João Luís liked to take this work to the scene they chose to do it now, but not because it is Christmas time.
“Lewis Carroll touches surrealism in a very direct way and I think it’s time to put it on the stage, not because it’s Christmas but because both I and Maria João Luís thought it was a good time to do it,” stressed Ricardo Neves-Neves.
‘Alice in Wonderland’ has a live soundtrack and the beat of the song respects Alice’s heartbeat, notes the director.
“Because the soundtrack was designed according to the way Alice has in this country,” she said, adding that it is therefore not surprising that the rhythm of the song accelerates when Alice “is more curious” or slows down when she “ is afraid and in need of silence. ”
The story centres around the character who names the play and who due to curiosity is drawn to a rabbit hole, from which it is transported to a fantastic location populated by particular creatures.
In this work, Lewis Carroll relied on the characters to make a critique of British society of the time and the six habits.
With translation by Margarida Vale de Gato, ‘Alice in Wonderland’ has musical direction by Rita Nunes and vocal direction by João Henriques.
In the interpretation are Ana Amaral, Beatriz Frazão, Beatriz Maia, Helena Caldeira, Inês Dias,.
The orchestra is composed by Ana Cláudia Santos (flute), Fernando Matias (bass electric), Ivo Rodrigues (trumpet), José Massarrão (saxophone), Marcos Lázaro (violin), Paulo Lafaia Nunes (saxophone) and Xavier Ribeiro (trombone).
The scenery is by Ângela Rocha, the costumes of Rafaela Mapril and it is a production of the Teatro do Elétrico and Teatro da Terra in co-production with D. Maria II, Cineteatro Louletano and the National Theater S. João.