An Inside Look at Life in the Theatre

Did you know one of our favourite stories, Alice in Wonderland, was first published more than 150 years ago? It was originally titled “Alice” .
Did you know one of our favourite stories, Alice in Wonderland, was first published more than 150 years ago? It was originally titled “Alice”.

Alice in Wonderland, the whimsical chaotic wonderland of a fairy-tale, whether in the form of a Disney film, silent film or musical, never ceases to astonish and surprise.

We’re incredibly excited to announce that this Christmas, The Centrepoint is bringing you and your family an incredibly unique musical theatre experience called Alice In Wonderland!

We bring you intriguing insights from the show’s producers, Creativiva, Entertainment Producers and Experience Architects from Canada.  They share the inside scoop on what it takes to be a performer in a show of such international calibre!

A highly entertaining performance designed for the family, with a cast of world-class actors, singers, dancers and acrobats, right at the heart of Orchard Road!

Designed with an extraordinary ‘Cirque Du Soleil’ style aesthetic, get ready for completely unexpected and dynamic dance choreography, high quality costumes, acrobatic acts, unforgettable modern songs, and memorable characters. Get set for a circus-theatrical and musical extravaganza that’s even-more wacky, whimsical and colourful than the original.

Some of Creativiva’s highly acrobatic and theatrical live performances around the world
Some of Creativiva’s highly acrobatic and theatrical live performances around the world

One must understand that to create such an experience, every single element both seen and unseen must be planned and fine-tuned to perfection. Thus, a lot of the show’s success has to do with the talented and hardworking directors, choreographers, designers and cast.

Here are the interesting things to know if you’ve ever considered a career in theatre:

1. Intensive Training and Long Hours

A typical rehearsal day consists of 3 main elements: Singing, Acting and Dancing. The director, music director and choreographer of the show spends at least 3 hours with the cast to ensure that every aspect of the performance is perfect.

2. An Uncertain Life

On top of the fact that you’re never really sure when you’ve booked a job or not, or when you are going to travel, training days can last for up to 8 to 9 hours, or even more on other days.

According to the team, the hard work pays off.

It’s full days of choreography, vocal and acting rehearsals for the cast.

3. Not a Typical Day at the Office

A typical rehearsal day starts with body and vocal warm up. Once the performers are ready, they start choreography rehearsal where they perfect dance numbers led by Creativiva’s top of the industry choreographer.

After a quick “body break”, the cast begins their acting and script rehearsals with the show director. This is where the dynamics of the characters are carefully put together to create a genuine relationship with the audience.

Next, the cast takes their lunch break. Yeap, they haven’t had lunch yet.

They then head into music rehearsals where each song is properly harmonised and refined for the show. (Catch the show and you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the cast’s incredible vocal talent!)

Finally, everyone goes through a full run-through of the show. Only at the end of the day do the cast “cool down” by relaxing their vocal and body muscles.

4. Take Criticism as Advice

Being a stubborn Eeyore-type character would probably not work in this industry.

To be a performer you require a certain kind of intelligence like being able to take direction and apply it immediately. Constant improvement is the key to success, especially when you perform in multiple shows of various styles, genres, and even stunts.

The cast performs full-dress rehearsals in front of the director, choreographer, music director and artistic team, so that each performer gets feedback on what to improve on for the following rehearsal.

The cast have been hand selected as some of the best talent in the industry!

5. If only we were all Multi-Talented Triple Threats

They can all sing, dance and act.

Take note that this is also a circus performance show, therefore, acrobatics, balancing talents, juggling and contortion were also part of the selection criteria.

6. How Disciplined are you?

While most of us struggle to even show up to work on time, the cast has to maintain a high level of discipline.

Not only are acrobatics, balancing, juggling and contortion art forms that take years of training, being a performer requires daily, even hourly, dedication.

Of course, similar to athletes, these guys need to keep their bodies in tip-top shape. This means eating well, resting properly and training regularly.

Oh dear! Oh dear! I Shall be too late!
Oh dear! Oh dear! I Shall be too late!

7. How good is your memory?

So on top of being incredibly fit, being able to do a hand-stand split and being able to juggle, three things that most of us struggle to achieve, one would also need to have a really great memory!

Yes, it is obvious that these talents have to memorise quite a few lines, songs and choreography, but the challenge is doing all that simultaneously AND effortlessly.

8. The Power to Move an Audience

It is definitely rare to find multi-talented performers with the ability to make the audience feel something special inside.

The cast is made up of local talents from Canada who have also performed around the world.

9. Who to look out for when you watch the show?

You’ll get an opportunity to meet the cast, so look out for Mark, the Chesire Cat! He’s a phenomenal performer who is also a professional magician!

Look out for the Caterpillar, also known in the ordinary world as Lisanne as well. She comes from École de Cirque de Quebec, one of the best circus training schools in the world, and has over 15 years of experience in the arts!

Hint Hint: Look out for her cool hand-balancing act during the show.

10. Planning? I hate planning!

For some planning is a real pain. But to create the best experience means planning months ahead to ensure that every step and detail is curated with care.

There are just so many elements to consider when putting a show together. Here are some, but this is no way the full list: script, music direction, choreography, dramaturgy, make-up, costume design, visual design, circus arts, plenty of rehearsal, cast selection, training, etc.

Unique shapes and fabric combinations bring out the wild, quirky side in each character.

11. Cirque du Soleil-inspired Costumes!

If you’re a fan of the extremely detailed and lavish costume designs of Cirque du Soleil, you’ll be pleased to note that the costumes for this show will have the same magical, bold, colourful style!

There is a team of costume designers, led by Creativiva’s artistic principals, who specialise in designing the show’s costumes.

Even make-up artists are required to rehearse during the final dress rehearsals.
Even make-up artists are required to rehearse during the final dress rehearsals.

 12. How long does it take you to do your hair and make-up every morning?

While some of us take about 30 mins to an hour doing our own hair and make-up every morning, the make-up designer only has 2 hours to complete full make-up for the entire cast before the show!

Timing is a huge factor when it comes to make-up, so the designer goes through weeks of planning, preparation and designing. Each design has to match the character and costume, and is customised according to the facial configuration of each performer.

After several trials and adjustments, the makeup designer coordinates her palettes and logistic elements so that the entire cast can be fully prepped for the show, without missing a beat!

Find out what the cast of Alice in Wonderland has to say about the making of this musical extravaganza!

From Canada to USA, to the Middle East, through the UAE, to Qatar and then China, Alice’s adventures are exotic to say the least!

And she’s finally arriving in Singapore during Christmas, at The Centrepoint!

*Pssst* We heard that Alice will be heading to somewhere within the Caribbean next!

You see, there’s something about Alice in Wonderland and a sense of other-worldly escapism that reminds us adults to wake up and smell the roses, and even makes us question our perception of reality.

For the kids, it’s just a really fun, fantastical and magical world of imagination, friendship, and never-ending possibilities!

Can you wait to go down this rabbit hole?

All information and visuals from Creativiva.

From 11 to 20 November, you can catch Alice in Wonderland, The Musical at The Centrepoint. Mark these show times in your calendar.

Show 1

1pm – 1.30pm Parade in Costumes
1.30pm – 2.10pm Stage Show
2.10pm – 2.40pm Meet & Greet

Show 2

6pm – 6.30pm Parade in Costume
6.30pm – 7.10pm Stage Show
7.10pm – 7.40pm Meet & Greet

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