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How do ‘Alice in Wonderland’ and God connect?

Author: Charley Pinfold

How do ‘Alice in Wonderland’ and God connect?

I have always been fascinated by the story of Alice in Wonderland.

As a little girl I remember watching the 1972 film adaptation, with Fiona Fullerton as Alice, over and over again.

Something about it captured my imagination, and from the comfort of my living room I would regularly join Alice on her adventures - chasing after the White Rabbit, falling down a rabbit hole and entering the magical place of Wonderland. 

In this dream-like world, Alice encounters all sorts of strange characters, from a pipe smoking caterpillar, a grinning Cheshire cat, a baby that turns into a pig, a scary Queen, a white rabbit and a lovable but nutty Mad Hatter… I could go on!

So what has this got to do with the Gospel you may ask? 

In choosing to write an allegorical play for RISE Theatre called White Rabbit, it was not so much Alice’s story that I was interested in but rather the concept of dreams, fairytales and childhood imagination.

I have a question for you – when you were a child, did you see the world as a place of endless imagination, colour and fun?  Perhaps you still do? 

I was fearless as a little girl - I dreamt big, saw endless possibilities but as I reached my teens I started getting scared.  I started doubting myself. 

As many of us enter the world of ‘adults’ we can lose that unique and beautiful child-like outlook. 

And of course, we do have to grow up – we take on responsibilities, a job, a family of our own, we may face great hardship, we have to be realistic.  But sometimes I feel like we too readily say goodbye to the boy and girl within us.  

Jesus said we must ‘become as little children’ in Matthew 18:3 and I think he had a point.

The script for White Rabbit developed out of my time in London working in the media industry, which was both wonderful and gruelling. 

I met many people who had become disillusioned with life, drained by constantly having to prove themselves. 

My boss once said to me: “I don’t bother dreaming big, that way I don’t get disappointed”. 

I felt this was such a shame.  To my boss everything was black and white.  I got the impression that people in the office thought my Christian faith was like the fairytales of my childhood – a nice thing to believe in but not real.

For me, I felt very differently.  I knew in my heart that God was real, the miracles I had witnessed, the love I had experienced, the still small voice that guided me each day.  I could not shake this truth.

Two worlds

In White Rabbit, the play focuses on two worlds: the ‘real’ world as we know it and the spiritual world.

God’s presence is represented through dreams and encounters with a Christ-like figure, who we assume is the White Rabbit, although he is never actually named. 

The story follows two characters, Jenny and Tom, who have both become lost in their own way, one through constant work and busyness, and the other through lack of it.

The White Rabbit leads Jenny and Tom back to their childhood by giving them unique tailor-made gifts.

In doing so, they discover what it is like to be children again, to dream, to be fearless, to believe. 

Each character is invited to confront their past too: the things they would rather forget. 

For it is only when they deal with their mistakes, unforgiveness and self-doubt that they can truly move on and find happiness.

The play White Rabbit I hope will connect with many people about what it means to have faith, to trust and find true purpose.  I invite you to take a trip down the rabbit hole, dare to dream and engage in life’s adventure!

  • White Rabbit is touring nationally with RISE Theatre from 19th February to 27th March to over 20 venues across the UK.  For more information and to buy tickets go to www.risetheatre.co.uk.  RISE Theatre CIC is a Christian community interest company made up of industry professionals and creatives who are passionate about bringing the Gospel message alive through original drama.

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