What could be more absurd than Christmas? Well maybe an alternative to the traditional festive offerings with comedy at its heart.
Cardiff’s pub theatre The Other Room at Porter’s is presenting its first Christmas show, Alix in Wundergarten, in partnership with resident company difficult|stage. The production promises to be a witty alternative to the traditional Christmas offerings, from an emerging company with an excellent track record for the absurd.
Alix In Wundergarten, which runs from 1-19 December, is a twisted, black comedy set in the confines of a radio-recording studio. The invited ‘live’ audience will be guided on a trip to ‘Wonderland’ through the interpretation of four actors recording a seasonal Christmas radio drama. However, all plots are soon sent spiraling out of control when one performer, hell bent on changing all the rules, tests the director’s boundaries and sends the whole process into utter raucous chaos.
Alix In Wundergarten is written by difficult|stage’s Francois Pandolfo and the company, which includes Francois himself, along with Richard Elfyn, Arthur Hughes, Louisa Marie Lorey and Dean Rehman. The piece is directed by Angharad Lee with difficult|stage co-director Katy Owen, as dramaturg.
Writer Francois said:“I have been on a real rollercoaster ride since Kate Wasserberg [The Other Room’s Artistic Director] asked difficult|stage to be resident company at The Other Room and put on their first Christmas show. My obsession with Lewis Carroll and the story of Alice meant that I had a good solid starting point, however, its complex, profound themes soon surfaced. Using Lewis Carroll as a guide throughout the writing process has been very useful and his nonsensical, absurd material has married very well to the way Katy Owen and myself approach comedy. As rehearsals draw on apace I am keen, as I’m sure our director Angharad Lee is, to transfer this open approach to the rehearsal process, where ‘not having the answers’ and sometimes ‘shooting in the dark’ is encouraged. It’s definitely been a huge learning curve for me in terms of discoveries and revelations.”
The Other Room’s Artistic Director Kate Wasserberg added: “I saw difficult|stage’s last show, The World of Work, and have never laughed so much in a theatre. Anarchic, razor sharp, fiercely intelligent and unapologetically silly, this company combine real artistic integrity with genuine mainstream appeal.”
The Other Room’s first Christmas production, Alix in Wundergarten, runs Tuesday, December 1 to Saturday, December 19. Tickets are available now from www.otherroomtheatre.com. To keep updated on The Other Room, you can follow the team on Twitter @TORtheatre and Facebook www.facebook.com/otherroomtheatre. difficult|stage are on Twitter as @difficultstage and the show’s hashtag is #Alix
Tue 1 – Sat 19 December, 7.30pm
The Other Room at Porter’s, Cardiff
Tickets – www.otherroomtheatre.com
Tickets £12 | Concessions £10
Thursday 17 December – BSL interpreted performance
Louisa Marie Lorey, Dean Rehman and Arthur Hughes.
Photo: Aenne Pallasca