Alice In Wonderland & Jack at Derby Theatre (casting news)


Derby Theatre is delighted to announce the cast for their big, family-friendly, festive production for 2016/17, a fabulous and fantastical Alice in Wonderland, performed by a merry band of actor-musicians, on from Fri 2 December until Sat 7 January.

Playing the title character, Alice will be Abby Wain. Abby originates from the region and over the years has performed in different venues across Derbyshire. Abby studied drama, theatre studies and performing arts at Bilborough College before training at East 15. Abby’s recent credits include Tale of Two Cities: Blood for Blood and Alice’s Adventures Underground.

Joining Abby will be: Dominic Rye as The Mad Hatter (Love’s Labour’s Lost for Oxford Shakespeare Company and Treasure Island for Birmingham Rep); Elizabeth Eves as the Duchess and Mother (Hare and Tortoise and The Kite Runner for Nottingham Playhouse and An August Bank Holiday Lark for Northern Broadsides); Jack Quarton as the White Rabbit (Aladdin for the Key Theatre in Peterborough and Alice in Wonderland for Octagon Theatre Bolton); Joanna Brown as the Queen of Hearts (A Midsummer Night’s Dream for Theatre in the Forest and The Princess and the Pea for York Theatre Royal); Paula James as Tweedle Dum (Snow Child for Tutti Frutti and York Theatre Royal); Keshina Misha as the Dormouse (1001 Nights for Transport Theatre and The Canterbury Tales for Watford Palace Theatre) and John Holt Roberts as Tweedle Dee (The Wind in the Willows for Polka Theatre and John also appeared in Derby Theatre’s production of Kes directed by Sarah Brigham in 2013).

Helena Rimmer, who lives in the city, will be joining the cast under The Brian Weaver Fellowship, as the third year recipient of the scheme. (The fellowship was launched in 2014 as a result of a personal donation by Buxton resident, Doreen Weaver, in memory of her late husband, Brian to provide a local aspiring actor with the opportunity to perform in two professional theatre productions plus other related opportunities.

Helena graduated from the University of Derby with a first class Theatre Arts degree in 2013. During her time as a student, and since graduating, Helena has worked and performed with professional theatre companies including New Perspectives, Uncontained Arts, Hush Hush Theatre Company and Forward Theatre.

Alice: ‘Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?’ ‘That depends a good deal on where you want to get to.’ said the Cat.

Join us this Christmas as we journey to Wonderland with Alice and a host of curious and colourful characters. As with Derby Theatre’s brilliant productions of Cinderella and A Christmas Carol, a talented team of actor-musicians will create a sparkling Christmas tale for all the family with original live music, stunning costumes and fantastic set designs. So join Alice, the Mad Hatter, the Cheshire Cat, the Mock Turtle and Dormouse on their remarkable adventure at Derby Theatre.


Also playing this Christmas, for audiences age 3+… Derby Theatre are also thrilled to present Jack this festive season, on from Tuesday 6 until Saturday 31 December. Join us for a magical seasonal tale as cheeky little Jack climbs the beanstalk to find a very hungry giant! Not even his magic beans can help him escape but it’s ok, he has a plan… Now if he could just cheer up that angry chicken!

Original music, inventive puppetry and fun storytelling come together to tell this classic tale in a special adaptation for audiences aged 3+ and their families and friends.

The cast for Jack includes: Jake Waring (Brassed Off and Cinderella at Derby Theatre in 2015); Yana Penrose (A Christmas Carol at Derby Theatre in 2014) and Martyn Dempsey (Mother Goose at Chipping Norton Theatre and Pirate Gran for Scamp Theatre and Watford Palace Theatre).

Sarah Brigham

Sarah Brigham (Artistic Director and Director of Alice in Wonderland) said: “I’m thrilled to commission a brand new adaptation of Lewis Carroll’s classic story Alice in Wonderland, which will play in our main theatre. Olivier award-winning writer Mike Kenny returns to Derby this Christmas after his smash hit Cinderella last year. Alice is full of magic and colourful, curious and wonderful characters, and our version will be a fun and stylish interpretation for all ages. Our Alice will be fun and feisty and ready to explore wonderland and the quirky characters she will meet along the way, all who have the ability to sing and play live instruments.

Jack, also adapted by Mike, will be our Studio Christmas offer, a perfect introduction to theatre for young people aged 3+. Our festive productions always prove incredibly popular with audiences of all ages who love our combination of live music, fantastic performers and great entertainment, and I’m confident that Alice in Wonderland and Jack will both be popular family choices of entertainment this Christmas. Christmas is the time we see most people through our doors at Derby Theatre, and we guarantee our audiences a joyful and festive time at the theatre.


Tickets for Alice in Wonderland range from £12 to £28, with concession and group rates available, and tickets for Jack are £11 and £9.50 for concessions. For more information and to book tickets for one, or both, shows call the Box Office on 01332 593939 or visit


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