White Rabbit Chocolatiers and all-female theatre company She Productions have joined forces to run an Easter ‘Eggstravaganza’ of family entertainment in Beverley.
They are working together on an all-original musical play created by director of She, Annie Kirkman, called ‘Alice’s Eggstravaganza in Wonderland’.
And the production, which includes a walk through central Beverley from the East Riding Theatre venue in Lord Roberts Road, to White Rabbit’s Dyer Lane shop, promises to be a veritable feast of entertainment for all involved.
Ed Hawkes, Co-owner of White Rabbit, said the event is all part of his family’s aim of building an imaginative experience around chocolate, that brings families and the wider community together.
“Even more so than Christmas, Easter is probably THE time for celebrating with chocolate,” he said.
“Easter eggs and other characters are all part of the magic of this special festival which also marks the imminent arrival of Spring, and so we thought partnering with She Productions again was a great way to celebrate fabulous food and entertainment in one go.
“And of course, we particularly love the way our own white rabbit emblem – which is inspired both by the sculpture in Beverley’s St Mary’s church and a little by the magical tale of Alice, features centre stage!”
Based on the classic ‘Alice in Wonderland’ story, their version involves – yes, you’ve guessed it – a mischievous white rabbit and a protagonist called Alice, with bags of audience participation. Aimed at families, attendees are invited to get involved in helping Alice bring the naughty bunny in line. And the dramatised tale even includes a specially-written song about White Rabbit’s chocolate shop.
Here’s how She Productions are billing the production: “Deep down the rabbit warren, things aren’t quite as they seem. A family feud has shaken Wonderland to its core and the two cotton-tailed culprits have let their jealousy get the better of them. And so, late last night, the White Rabbit fled from her home in a rage, but she didn’t leave empty-handed.
“Today is the Queen of Hearts’ Annual Eggstravaganza Party and she is relying on the Easter Bunny to deliver her prized chocolate eggs. But, or course, the Easter Bunny has awoken this morning to an empty basket and a missing sister. Alice needs your help to retrieve the eggs and return them to their rightful owner or it’s ‘off with their heads’!”
And the performance promises to be quite a spectacle too. Classed as a ‘promenade piece’, it involves cast and audience members parading from East Riding Theatre to the White Rabbit Chocolatiers shop and café on Dyer Lane, where the children will receive a chocolate treat and, on the Friday and Saturday show days, will also have the chance to take part in a chocolate egg-decorating workshop.
Alice will be played by Grace Christiansen, a local singer-songwriter who has also worked with the renowned John Godber theatre company.
“Both our organisations are passionate about helping to put Beverley on the map and bring visitors to the town and surrounding area, and we’re really hoping that our show will add to the Easter weekend ambiance, said writer and She Executive Producer Annie Kirkman.
“It’s the second year that we’ve created a play with White Rabbit Chocolatiers. The 2017 event was sponsored by Beverley Racecourse and staged on that site, and we’re extremely grateful to them to helping us get it off the ground.
“This year we’re bringing it into the town centre and are hoping it’ll be even bigger and better.
“We’ve also tried to make it as accessible as possible and give it real family appeal, to attract people who might not normally consider attending the theatre, and encourage kids to experience the thrill of live performance and leave their phones and iPads at home.”
Their first event, in 2017, was sponsored by Beverley Racecourse in 2017, and was performed at the ground.
Performance dates for Alice’s Eggstravaganza in Wonderland are:
Wednesday 28 March, 11am and 2pm
Thursday 29 March, 11am and 2pm
Monday 2 April, 2pm
Friday 30 March, 2pm*
Saturday 31 March, 2pm*
Tickets cost £5 per child and £6 per adult, apart from the performances marked with a *, which cost £6.50 per child and £7.50 per adult and include a limited edition White Rabbit Chocolatiers’ egg decorating workshop.
Tickets are available from East Riding Theatre, in person from the box office, by emailing www.ert.co.uk or calling (01482) 874050.