This year marks the 150th anniversary of Lewis Carroll first introducing the world to the strange events and creatures in his children’s classic Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.
It’s an anniversary that is being celebrated by the Royal Mail, by film studios, and in stage productions and exhibitions across the UK and the USA.
There are events in London, New York, Oxford and at the Edinburgh festival.
And closer to home in Worksop, two popular choirs are celebrating the anniversary with a unique collaboration this weekend.
Worksop’s Musicality Singers will be teaming up with Sutton-in-Ashfield Choral Society for the premiere of new and original musical settings of the book’s poems, especially composed by Greg Watson and Robert Steadman, the musical directors of the two choirs.
Both are well known as composer, performer and songwriter in their own right.
Greg has performed with and conducted various orchestras, choirs and musical theatre groups.
Meanwhile, Robert is currently the conductor of the University of Lincoln Orchestra and has written for the celebrated percussionist Evelyn Glennie and for the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.
With a repertoire that ranges from Greensleeves to Stand By Me, taking in spirituals, show standards and The Beatles along the way, the Musicality Singers have been gaining a strong following in the last few years.
In the past 12 months, they have performed at a memorial service at Worksop’s Priory Church, at a sold-out Christmas concert and at a charity event in Sheffield.
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, with characters like the Mad Hatter’s, the Mad March Hare, the Cheshire Cat, the White Rabbit, the Queen of Hearts and events like Alice’s repeated growing and shrinking, have become favourites with generations of children and the songs reflect that strangeness and sense of bizarre fun.
Although the two choirs have completely different styles, a sense of fun is certainly something they have in common. Greg and Robert agree that they’re proud of the new works and of their choirs, but the important thing is the audience’s enjoyment.
“Really, we just want people to come along and enjoy themselves,” commented Greg Watson.
Robert’s nine year old daughter, Olivia will also be part of the evening as she will be reading extracts from the book itself between numbers.
This celebratory event takes place at The Crossing on Saturday night (4th July) at 7pm.
Tickets are £6 from The Crossing Welcome Desk. Call 01909 473375 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.