Alice in Wonderland celebrates her 150th birthday this year and we continue to be enthralled by the spell cast by Lewis Carroll when he wrote the much-loved children's book in 1865.

Was it just an innocent depiction of a child's dream-like adventure, or was there more to it than first meets the eye? Since its Victorian genesis subsequent generations have been keen to hunt for hidden meanings and messages. Was it really about drugs? Was the author perhaps less benign than he seemed?

With each generation has come a new interpretation of the story.

The 1930s was when people started questioning what was originally conceived as a pleasant, delightful, nonsensical children's story in favour of Freudian interpretation.


In the 1960s, Carroll was dug as one of the beautiful people. He was speaking the language, man. So much so, it was sung about - a lot! Jefferson Airplane's White Rabbit included the lyrics, "One pill makes you larger and one pill makes you small". The Beatles wrote I am the Walrus and to the present day Wonderland continues to be the source of inspirational for many musicians from Radiohead to Taylor Swift.

Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (AKA Lewis) would surely have been delighted with Tim Burton's film adaptation.

So the Incubator deemed the 150th birthday of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland worthy of a citywide celebration in their suitably inventive and eccentric style.

The concept events have been embraced and supported by the Tauranga Arts Festival and TCC Community Events Fund.

Since those who fall in love with the psychedelic world that Lewis Carroll created for young muse Alice Liddell are hooked for life, opportunities have been planned for both adults and kids.

The House of Cards opening night at the Incubator, on October 16, will feature a curious exhibition of playing cards from artists all around New Zealand and will be an explosion of Wonderland cosplay, weird music and, of course, art.

This event is also supported by the Historic Village, with a Mad Hatters-themed evening of street food and entertainment in the streets.

Weird Wonderland, during the Tauranga Arts Festival ANZ Community Day on October 24, will see the Edgewater fan come alive with fantastical feasts at the Dry Dock cafe, ridiculous games, live music in the company of the March Hare, Cheshire Cat, the Queen of Hearts, along with everyone's favourite pipe-smoking caterpillar.


It'll all just get curiouser and curiouser ...

the fine print
What: The House of Cards Exhibition
Where: The Incubator, Historic Village
When: Opening night October 16. On until November 4.