Alice’s Day

Saturday 4th July is Alice’s Day! We’re very excited that this coincides so nicely with The Streatham Festival, so that we can bring a bit of the Alice Day fun to South London.

What’s that you ask? What is Alice’s Day?

Alice’s Day is a an annual celebration of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, held in Oxford, where Lewis Carroll lived and worked for much of his life. Coordinated by The Story Museum, there’s an element suitable for all Alice fans, including carnivals, workshops, museum exhibitions, and lectures. This year is particularly special because it’s the 150th Anniversary of the publication of Alice, plus the connection to 4th July in particular. As so eloquently put by The Story Museum:

“One golden afternoon on 4 July 1862, Charles Dodgson, an Oxford don, took the 10-year-old Alice Liddell and her sisters on a boating picnic up the River Thames from Folly Bridge in Oxford. To amuse the children he told them a story about a little girl, sitting bored by a riverbank, who finds herself tumbling down a rabbit hole into a topsy-turvy world called Wonderland.

The story so delighted Alice that she begged him to write it down – the result was the 1864 handwritten manuscript Alice’s Adventures Under Ground, published in 1865 as Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland under the pen name Lewis Carroll, with illustrations by Sir John Tenniel. A sequel, Through the Looking-Glass, was published in 1871.”

So do come and join us for Alice in Wonderland at the British Home and sample some of the magic and mayhem of this classic book. Who knows where your imagination might take you?!

There’s even more fun to be had on Sunday 5th July when there’ll be a Mad Hatter’s Tea Party fete in the grounds of the British Home, for a double dose of Alice fun!

Get your tickets for Alice in Wonderland here.

Elsewhere at Streatham Festival

Elsewhere at Streatham Festival – our top five:

Streatham Festival kicks off on 4th July and we’re super excited to be a part of it. We’ll be performing Alice in Wonderland at the British Home on 4th and 5th July (tickets here), alongside a free Mad Hatter’s Tea Party themed fete in the grounds of the Home. It’s all set to be a terrific weekend and there’s plenty more on offer at Streatham Festival. Here are our top picks:

1. The Streatham Strut – Saturday 11th July

16 venues in the centre of Streatham hosting an exciting evening of live music, there’s bound to be something for everyone and a great atmosphere

2. Breaking the Code from Streatham Theatre Company – 4 performances

Two of our favourite things here – South London theatre companies (ho ho) and Alan Turing. Check this out to see another view on the story behind recent blockbuster The Imitation Game, taking a more personal view.

3. Shazia Mirza ‘A Work in Progress’ at the Laughing Pod – Wednesday 8th July

There’s loads of comedy at the festival, three different acts at this venue on this evening alone (phew!) but Shazia takes our fancy as it’s always good to see a comic who’s on the rise and rise in a small venue just before they get really popular. There, we called it. Also she says “There will be anger, confusion, some laughter and mostly danger” – how can you resist?!/events/556cef5fa9d97e030006898e

4. The Breakfast Club free outdoor screening – Saturday 4th July

This sounds like a perfect summer’s evening just waiting to happen – fingers crossed it’s dry but pack a cagoule and a blanket and you’ll be just fine whatever the British Summertime wants to throw at you.

5. Lucy Spanyol’s Blue Plaques – throughout week one of the festival

We love the playful nature of this, definitely worth checking them out if you’re wandering through Streatham during the festival.

Has anything else on the programme particularly caught your eye? Let us know what you see during the festival on twitter or facebook and we might just feature your review on an upcoming Arts Hour!

Quick Questions in Wonderland with Rachael Stratton

We grabbed Rachael Stratton, who’s playing ‘Alice’ in our Streatham Festival run of ‘Alice in Wonderland’, for a quick chat.

Rachael-3 blog version
What’s your favourite scene or character in Alice in Wonderland?
I love the court scene. The Queen of Hearts is truly fabulous as she marches around accusing anyone and everyone of stealing her tarts. I don’t think I’ve ever been part of something so manic!

What was the last project you worked on?
I played ‘Gingy’ and ‘Pinocchio’ in an Italian Tour of Shrek the Musical earlier this year. The show was a lot of fun and of course getting to see different parts of Italy at the same time was a bonus!

What’s the last book you read?
I’ve never been a big reader but I really enjoyed working my way through the works of Danny Wallace. Particularly, Awkward situations for men which is a selection of short stories in which Danny finds himself in various situations that are awkward for men…He really nailed the book title!
Besides Alice, what’s your favourite past role (or favourite past project you’ve worked on) and why?
My favourite role has to be ‘Winnie’ in Seeds of Love. It’s a true WWII story about a maid and a gardener who sent secret letters to each other after they were forbidden from speaking in person.

Their original love letters were discovered about 6 years ago in an old condensed milk tin in a garden shed. The play was written after managing to find Winnie and Eric, who were still happily married and in their 90s, and reuniting them with their letters almost 70 years on. Replaying their life and memories in the same stately home where the secret lovers used to work back in the 1940s was something truly special.

What’s the best play/show/concert you’ve ever been to?
I am theatre mad so this is a really tricky question. I love lots of different shows for lots of different reasons *switches to serious thinking face*. War Horse is a beautifully told story and it’s so hard to get your head around the fact that the horses on stage aren’t real horses! Another show that stood out for me is The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee at the Donmar. It’s full of witty songs and colourful characters. It’s something I’d love to be in. Also Matthew Bourne’s Edward Scissorhands is truly magical. I could easily continue but I’m restricted to a word count!

Not a lot of people know that…
A friend of mine once accidently knocked me out with a golf club.
Top Tip: Don’t stand too close to people who are playing golf.


What’s your guilty pleasure?
If I hear a song that has specific dance moves to it like YMCA, Saturday Night, The Macarena, 5,6,7,8 (the list goes on!) I simply HAVE to do the full choreography. To be fair, it’s quite good exercise!
What really grinds your gears?
All girls know this to be true…It doesn’t matter how many hair grips we buy, they will all instantly disappear! Seriously, where do they go!? It’s like the shops employ people to walk around with giant magnets to get them all back just so they can sell them to us again at a ridiculous price 3 days later. Grrrrrr.


You can see Rachael as ‘Alice’ in Alice in Wonderland at the British Home, 4-5th July, 1.30pm & 3pm (both days). £6 adult/£3 child.

Tickets available now!