5 Questions with Cristabel Sved and Dubs Yunupingu
by Suzy Wrong
Dubs Yunupingu: What 5 words would you use to describe the play?
Cristabel Sved: Magical, theatrical, funny, physical, inspirational.
Do you have a favourite moment in the original book and in the play?
There are lots of brilliant moments in Lewis Carrol’s book of course. An important one for me is when Alice challenges the viewpoint and power of the Queen of Hearts. In our play this is where Alice really comes into herself and finds the courage from her adventures and her encounters with all the other wonderful, fantastical characters to stand up to this imposing authority figure.
What has been the most enjoyable part about bringing this play to life?
I’ve enjoyed so much about working on this show. It’s been great working with Mary Anne Butler, the playwright, who has done an amazing job crafting Lewis Carroll’s story for a new audience. And it’s been an absolute pleasure collaborating with our wonderful creative team and these very special young actors to bring the magic of Wonderland to the stage. Revisiting the text and the character of Alice and finding a new relevance and message for young audiences and their families has been a great journey.
What has been the most difficult part about bringing this play to life?
I think the magical things that happen in Wonderland have been our biggest challenge to bring to the stage, but it’s also been lots of fun. Alice shrinks, grows, visits the cosmos, finds herself floating in a river of her own tears, talks to mice and packs of cards…. Our production design is deliberately low tech. It relies on the theatre’s unique ability to transform ordinary objects into extraordinary things. I can’t wait for audiences to come on the journey with us. Of course, we’re asking them to help us create this magic with the powers of their imagination and this is an important theme in our play too.
If you could make any childhood book into a stage show, what would it be?
I might keep that up my sleeve for now!
Cristabel Sved: What 5 words would you use to describe Alice In Wonderland?
Dubs Yunupingu: The five words I would use to describe Alice In Wonderland are magical, adventurous, fun, suspenseful and intriguing.
You play Alice. How would you describe her personality?
The way I would describe Alice’s personality is that she is a very strong girl, she is more of a tomboy in a sense that she loves playing footy and loves a good adventure. She doesn’t want to be the neat and pretty girl everyone expects her to be. All she wants to do is find her voice to be able to express herself. Through her journey in Wonderland she slowly builds up the courage to do so.
What is it you are enjoying most about doing this play?
I am enjoying telling the story and bringing Wonderland to life with my amazing work mates.
If Alice could date any current film star who do you think she would choose and why?
If there was no age limit I would say Johnny Depp because of all the amazing crazy adventures he goes on in all the awesome films he has done. He gets to express himself through so many different characters and I feel that all Alice wants to do is to be able to express herself.
In a nutshell, how have you approached the role of Alice?
I have gone in full force, no expectations and loving every minute of it.
Originally published on Suzy Goes See
Cristabel Sved directs Dubs Yunupingu in Alice In Wonderland, part of Sydney Festival in January.
Alice in Wonderland (Sydney Festival Season)
5 – 27 January
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