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Curiouser & Curiouser: The V&A’s Alice In Wonderland Exhibition Is A Must-Visit

This is one rabbit hole that’s certainly worth falling down.

As museums and galleries across London welcome guests back into their exhibitions, the Victoria & Albert invites visitors to step through the looking glass and into a truly enchanting experience paying tribute to one of the best-loved tales of all time. 

‘Alice’ by Pirelli

Alice: Curiouser And Curiouser will open to the public on May 22nd and promises to be an immersive journey throughout the story’s vast and varied history. 

The exhibition will feature a collection of incredible artwork, artefacts and theatrics, some dating back over 150 years – including the manuscript that started it all. 

The original novel by Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland, captured the imagination of readers both young and old when it was published. Carroll, who often told stories to the local children where he resided in Oxford, is said to have based the character of Alice on a muse of his – Alice Liddell – just 11-years-old at the time.

There has been no shortage of controversy surrounding the origins of the book over the years, with critics calling Carroll’s relationship with Alice Liddell into question after it was revealed that pages had been torn out of the author’s diary – pages which may have contained information regarding his time spent with her. It’s expected that the exhibition will offer visitors the chance to look deeper into the story’s much-debated origins, with one part of the display promising visitors an opportunity to get to know Alice Liddel herself through historic works. 

Original illustrations from the 1866 novel will feature in the exhibition

However, the V&A’s tribute to Alice In Wonderland isn’t simply a look at the original story, taking visitors on a journey through the tale’s every iteration over the years, including Disney’s unforgettable 1951 film adaptation and Pirelli’s 2018 Alice-inspired calendar shoot. 

There’s even original works by visionary abstract painter Salvador Dali on show – his 1969 work, A Mad Tea Party, is inspired by one of the tale’s most memorable moments. 

Costumes featured in live performances based on the story will feature, too, including a White Rabbit costume used in performances of Damon Albarn’s wonder.land by the Royal National Theatre and the Royal Ballet’s incredible take on the Queen Of Hearts. 

The Royal Ballet’s Queen Of Hearts

History plays an important part in the exhibition, of course, but the V&A have also put together a stunning contemporary aspect to the display in the form of an immersive, interactive and mind-bending VR experience – if you’ve ever wanted to step into Wonderland for yourself, this is your chance. 

The V&A invites visitors to delve into the origins, adaptations and reinventions of Alice in Wonderland over 158 years, charting the book’s evolution from manuscript to a global phenomenon beloved by all ages,” the V&A announced in a statement regarding the exhibition. 

“Through over 300 objects, across five Alice-inspired worlds arranged thematically – spanning film, performance, fashion, art, music and photography – the V&A will be the first museum to fully explore the cultural impact of Alice in Wonderland and its ongoing inspiration for leading creatives.”

It promises to be a truly groundbreaking experience and one which we believe is an absolute must-visit for 2021, whether you’re a lifelong fan of Alice In Wonderland or whether your only interactions with the tale so far include watching Disney’s reimagining of the story as a child. 

If you’re in need of a culture trip, we can’t recommend this one enough – be sure to book tickets now to avoid disappointment.