Cast members of the New Vic’s production of Alice in Wonderland visited the Rabbit Hole Tea Room in Stoke last week to celebrate Michael Hugo stepping into the shoes (and hat!) of the Mad Hatter.
The role of the Mad Hatter was shared for this production between New Vic favourites Michael Hugo (Marvellous, Tom, Dick & Harry) and Danielle Bird (Beauty and the Beast, Astley’s Astounding Adventures), with Michael taking over as Danielle completed her performances in December.
Joining Michael to raise a teacup in celebration at Stoke’s Wonderland-themed tea room were actors Eleanor Fransch (Alice), Lucinda Freeburn (the Dormouse) and Matthew Ganley (the March Hare), who all appear in the ‘Tea Party’ section of the show.
One of the New Vic’s best-loved festive family shows, Alice in Wonderland was last performed in 2011 at the theatre-in-the-round, with Michael in the role of the Mad Hatter.
Alice in Wonderland, based on the Lewis Carroll classic and adapted by New Vic Artistic Director Theresa Heskins, is a theatrical adventure filled with laughter, live music and magical moments that sees Alice journey down the rabbit hole, following the White Rabbit into a curiously enchanting new world, filled with even curiouser characters.
Returning to the role, Michael Hugo said: “It’s just bonkers, so to be part of that is tip top. Dani playing the Mad Hatter as well, seeing how two people approach a role – she brought that charisma she has got and a different level of energy.”
Owner of the Rabbit Hole Tea Room Lee Greenhalgh said: “My wife is an avid reader and for her the theme of the tea room had to be Alice in Wonderland. It’s such a classic novel, it’s so close to people’s hearts and everyone knows the story growing up. We always think it’s lovely when people want to use it for things like this.”