4 July is the 150th anniversary of when Lewis Carroll (real name Charles Lutwidge Dodgson) first told the story of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland to entertain Alice Liddell and her sisters on a boat trip in 1862.
He later wrote it down, and it was published in 1865 to become a classic children’s story. It was followed by the equally perplexing Through the Looking Glass.
The story was immediately accessible not only to children but also to adults. There are endless interpretations of what the book is really about, and of course the Freudians and Jungians had a field day with this story as did the the LSD users of the 1960s. It combines the whimsy of Victorian times with some quite startling episodes. The strangeness of the story continues to appeal to artists.
© Lebrecht Authors
Matilda the Musical won a record seven Olivier awards at the ceremony in London, UK. The Royal Shakespeare Company production was based on Roald Dahl’s novel for children written in 1988. The musical was nominated in ten categories. These included best new musical best actress in a musical (all four Matildas), best actor in a musical went to Bertie Carvel for his portrayal of Agatha Trunchball, a former hammer throw champion and headteacher of Crunchem Hall, best sound design to Simon Baker, and best director to Matthew Warchus.
The best actor award went jointly to National Theatre production of Frankenstein with Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller. They alternated as the scientist and the monster.
All photographs by Tristram Kenton