LAURA Wade’s dark and feisty ‘Alice’ is back in Sheffield, this time with a cast of students at Norton College - VIDEO

It is the first time the play - a dark, Yorkshire adaptation of Alice in Wonderland - will have been performed outside of The Crucible after it’s premiere there late last year.

“It’s so exciting to be working on something that hasn’t been done a million times before,” said 19-year-old drama student Sarah Cheeseman.

“The material is practically brand new and there’s so much that is open to interpretation.”

Sheffield playwright Laura’s adaptation of the classic childrens’ tale is barely recognisable from the original, with Alice a feisty 12-year-old, growing up in Sheffield and mourning the death of her brother in a road accident. Her escape ‘down the rabbit hole’ enables her to come to terms with her loss with many of Carroll’s classic characters representing parts of her young, damaged psyche.

“It’s not for children with strong themes of mortality and grief,” explained Sarah, who is playing Alice’s mum who mutates into the Queen of Heart’s character.

“But despite all the differences there are the classic scenes everyone will recognise, such as the croquet match and the Madhatter’s tea party.”

Norton College tutor Jo Beadle saw the play at The Crucible last year and is thrilled to have the opportunity to direct it. “Within minutes I was hooked by the story and thought it was just one of the most fantastic pieces of theatre I’d ever seen,” she said.

“I knew I wanted to direct it, but couldn’t believe it was available for us to do already.

“The play is incredibly difficult with lots of dark themes and different interpretations so it’s certainly been a challenge for the students, but they’ve have risen to it beautifully.”

The students have also received The Crucible’s full support, who have even been kind enough to donate props from their production.

“The Crucible wished us all the best and let us use props such as the croquet mallets they used for their production which was been a real help,” Sarah added.

The students’ production of Alice opens on March 1 at Norton College.