King of Nonsense
Kevin Moore's sensitive portrayal of Lewis Carroll in a one-man show at The Theatre, Chipping Norton, explored the contradictory aspects of the life of this shy, insecure, Christ Church don.
Carroll's wit, mathematical brilliance and photographic skills were all portrayed; as was his love of little girls and his ability to amuse and entertain them with his stories and nonsense rhymes.
The show does confront the discomfort we feel about Carroll's explanation that he wrote to "please a child I loved".
It does this in a number of ways including showing Carroll himself as the shambolic White Knight in Through the Looking-Glass saying a sad goodbye to Alice as she runs toeards the brook to become a Queen (and an adult).
The discomfort, however, is countered by a dazzling series of extracts from Carroll's work in which one rejoices in his use of wit, humour and in his s=childlike ability to allow anything to feel possible and utterly reasonable.
It was delightful to follow the illogical logic of The Cheshire Cat and join The Mock Turtle and The Gryphon as they reminisce about their school days, including memories of the Drawling Master, and an old conger eel who famously taught "Drawling, Stretching and Fainting in Coils".