A man fast
asleep in an armchair suddenly wakes to a clock striking six and as the lights
get brighter, the action transposes to fantastic allegorical eloquence beyond
one's wildest expectations.
All this in the guise of Lewis Carroll, the 19th Century British author
who brought Alice to life in the hemisphere known as Wonderland.
This deliciously entertaining one man show explores the realms and
avenues of the bizarre and ridiculous, whilst conjuring up the imaginations and
curious in the most conservative of us; the end result being an astonishingly
refreshing and beautiful piece which must be seen at least twice in order to
gain significant intellectual stimulation and insight.
Crocodiles in Cream at the Callboard Theatre has British actor
Kevin Moore displaying acting talent to perfection as he creates the life and
times of Carroll. The conversation changing from discussions on photographing
beautiful young girls (a perennial pastime), to the more serious subject of
In between, we are served ample dialogue and conversation pieces that are
spun together as Moore highlights Alice talking to ... March Hare, the White
Rabbit, the Mock Turtle, and the Walrus and the Carpenter.
Act two has Moore extrapolating wider as he exudes excellence, thereby
indulging in heavy rhetorical overkill worthy of fine theatre; Moore is
Carroll, and the incarnation is, without a doubt, psychically natural.
Lewis Carroll (real name Charles Lutwidge Dodgson) was born in Northern
England in 1832. Considered an academic rather than an author, he went on to
astound his peers and family by taking up photography (mostly young girls) and
later creating Alice through the Looking Glass - inspired by Alice Liddell, to
whom he was introduced, befriending her like a lifelong obsession.
Moore has portrayed Carroll in his native England at the Edinburgh
festival, the London based National Theatre and countless television productions
Crocodiles in Cream (a phrase from one of Carroll's poems) has been
adapted and directed from the stage by David Horlock, who alas was not able to
see his American premiere, due to his untimely death in his hometown of
Salisbury, England, as a result of a car accident.
Like Carroll, Horlock is in Tinsel-Town in spirit, the love and respect
is deeply felt in the confines of this intimate theatre.
Produced in America by Don Spradlin and Bob Bridges. Adding technical
wizardry is George Gizienski who creates faultless lighting designs.
For the sake of accuracy, we make the following comments with reference to this
1. Carroll took several thousand photographs. It is not true to say that
his subjects were "mostly young girls" although the photographs of
children are generally regarded as a more important contribution to art than his
other portraits, landscapes, etc.
2. The title of the first Alice book is "Alice's Adventures in
Wonderland" and the sequel is "Through the Looking-Glass".
3. The review might be seen as suggesting that Carroll had a
"lifelong obsession" with Alice Liddell, which was not the case. Their
friendship, however, does appear to have been very close at one time although it
could not really be described as an obsession, nor did it last throughout his life.