What a feat, what a spectacular show, what a feast of talent Wanganui Intermediate's Alice in Wonderland was.
Based on the stories by Lewis Carroll and with a cast of more than a hundred kids
and a strong team of dedicated teachers at the helm this musical journey down the rabbit hole was a top experience.
Playing at the Royal Wanganui Opera House until Saturday, September 23, this show will charm you, have you tapping your toes and applauding with gusto.
I was at the 10am show on Thursday with hundreds of Year 6 pupils from schools throughout Whanganui as well the entire school of Wanganui Intermediate.
I've always thought the sports prowess of a school seemed to take precedence overall so it was refreshing to see a sparkling show with a young cast all clearly having a great time on the boards.
I loved this audience's reaction which included everything from "I've never been inside this building [opera house] ever", to loud sniggers at a few rude jokes referring to a lower body part, and the well aimed kick by Mad Hatter (Raiha Mihaka) at the tiny dormouse's (Aliesha Waghorn) bottom toppling her off her seat and on to the floor ... uproarious laughter from all.
These young performers constantly surprised with their command of the music belting those songs out and dancing with flair and pizzazz.
Every performer gave it their all and I have to say there was some pretty fine solo work.
White Rabbit (Nat Kirk) had a very smooth and melodic voice for one so young, Tweedledee and Tweedledum) Olivia and Sophia Bedwell were enchanting and musically they blended beautifully.
Cheshire Cat (Trinity Taylor Moore) was like a seasoned performer already and Alice (Eve Parker-Groves) was the epitome of Alice.
Huge accolades must go to creative and musical director Roz Armstrong, her assistant director and choreographer Tracey Dent, producer and stage manager Selina Percy and hey ... those costumes - take a huge bow props and costume mistress Dawn Duncum.
Bravo Wanganui Intermediate, what a grand show.